Who inspires me? I could answer this question at the moment with Anne Hathaway. Of course this might just be the Les Mis high talking, but I did feel inspired by her remarkable performance in film that as Fantine. If you haven’t seen the film yet, and are not a musical theatre nerd; Fantine is a mother who devotes herself completely to her daughter’s survival. She basically gives up everything in order to financially support her daughter. This tragically includes selling her body as a prostitute. The agony she conveyed in those scenes as a woman given no other options was truly heartbreaking and also incredible.
Anne said in a few interviews that she researched issues surrounding sexual slavery for the role, and honestly I could tell from her performance. The truth she portrayed was the pain of women who have been forced into sexual slavery throughout time. Both back in 19th century France, and in modern day. As she explained in one interview,
“…I had been thinking about Fantine as someone who lived in the past, but she doesn’t. She’s living in New York City right now, probably less than a block away. This injustice exists in our world. So every day that I was her, I just thought ‘This isn’t an invention. This isn’t me acting. This is me honoring that this pain lives in this world.’ I hope that in all our lifetimes, we see it end.”
Anne Hathaway has amplified her voice on violence against women not only with her performance as Fantine, but she’s also come out in full support of the One Billion Rising Movement.
What’s not to be inspired by with the One Billion Rising campaign? People all over the world gathering on February 14th to dance, and to shake the world to end violence. It’s something I am looking forward to participating in. And upon noticing the latest issue of Glamour (a magazine I have never purchased in my life), I was psyched that Anne Hathaway was wearing a One Billion Rising shirt. Also, the entire interview in the magazine is with Eve Ensler talking about why she supports the cause and of course connecting it to Les Mis. I just love how she is using her voice in a women’s magazine that probably has never previously had a feature interview addressing global violence against women.
It’s not something new that Anne Hathaway is amazing, but lately she has been stellar. In an interview with Matt Lauer, who made it his job to slut-shame her, Anne Hathaway would not cave and instead commented on the culture of exploiting sexuality as a commodity. She also then turned her answer back to Les Mis. You didn’t expect critical commentary on culture with your morning interview, did you Lauer?
I hope that 2013 will be the year that all of us do more to end sexual exploitation and violence against women.
Image credit One Billion Rising United Kingdom.