Born in Brooklyn, Anne Hathaway was fascinated with her mother’s acting career from a very early age. Her parents, however, were opposed to the idea of her taking the career path of an actress. As a result, Hathaway turned to soccer, but still participated in elementary school plays. She joins stars like Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher as actors who went to college, however, Hathaway technically ended her academic career before it began, notably missing her first semester in order to film The Princess Diaries.
Of course, The Princess Diaries proved to be a breakthrough movie role for Hathaway. That said, it led to her being typecast in princess-type roles, such as Ella Enchanted and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. To help prove her worth as an actress, Hathaway turned to more mature and dramatic work, like Brokeback Mountain and The Devil Wears Prada. Now, the actress doesn’t limit herself to one genre. She’s an Oscar-winner who deftly maneuvers in a multitude of roles and genres. Here’s a look at her best drama movies, ranked.
8/8One Day (2011)
Based on David Nicholls’ 2009 novel of the same name, One Day is a romantic drama starring Hathaway and Jim Sturgess in the leading roles as Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew, university friends who agree to keep their relationship platonic. They also agree to meet up on the same day, July 15, also known as St. Swithin’s Day, every year, to update each other on their lives. During the span of 20 years of meeting up this way, they realize they might have more in common with each other than anyone else around them. One Day showcases the complex emotions of love, and will surely shatter your heart in the end.
7/8Love and Other Drugs (2010)
Directed, produced, and co-written by Edward Zwick, and based on Jamie Reidy’s 2005 non-fiction book Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman, Love and Other Drugs is a romantic drama-comedy. Starring Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal, the film tells the story of womanizer pharmaceutical sales rep Jamie Randall (Gyllenhaal), who falls in love with Maggie (Hathaway), a young woman suffering from an illness that leads to Parkinson’s disease. On top of Parkinson’s disease, Maggie also suffers from ADHD and depression. Despite the corny description, the film works surprisingly well, showing the relationship between the two in a very sweet and soft manner.
Havoc is a crime drama starring Hathaway and Bijou Phillips in the main roles as Allison Lang and Emily, two rich L.A. teenagers who are obsessed with hip-hop culture, which inspires them to imitate the gangster lifestyle by engaging in slum tourism. All this ignorant behavior backfires when they get involved with a Mexican drug cartel, realizing they’re not as street-wise as they thought. The movie wasn’t released in theaters, but instead went straight to DVD. It received mixed reviews, given how many were uncomfortable with the subject matter. Nonetheless, it marked one of Hathaway’s earliest forays into drama movie territory, helping her shed the Princess Diaries image.
5/8Becoming Jane (2007)
Partly based on the 2003 book Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Hunter Spence, who also became the historical consultant for the project, Becoming Jane is a biographical drama film. Starring Hathaway as Jane Austen and James McAvoy as her love interest Thomas “Tom” Lefroy, the film tells the life story of the famed English author. It mainly focuses on her rejection to marry off wealthily and instead falling in love with a poor Irishman. The filmmakers pulled together all the known facts about the author and decided to tell a coherent story. As for the actual critical reviews, many critiqued Hathaway’s attempt at an English accent, but if you love Austen and historical romantic dramas, this one’s definitely for you.
4/8The Intern (2015)
Written and produced by Nancy Meyers, The Intern is a buddy comedy-drama starring Robert De Niro and Hathaway in the leading roles. The film follows a 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker (De Niro) as he becomes a senior intern for an online fashion website led by a workaholic CEO Jules Ostin (Hathaway), with whom he forms an unlikely friendship. The movie feels like a warm hug and is criminally underrated. Despite receiving mixed critical reviews, it was a box office success and became a fan-favorite of Hathaway’s movies.
3/8The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Based on Lauren Weisberger’s 2003 novel of the same name, The Devil Wears Prada is a comedy-drama starring Hathaway and Meryl Streep in the leading roles. Streep plays powerful fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly alongside Hathaway, who plays fresh college graduate Andrea, who lands a job as Priestly’s co-assistant after moving to New York. The film was critically acclaimed, with Streep and Hathaway specifically praised for their amazing performances. Although some fashion designers and notables avoided commenting on the movie due to popular belief that US Vogue editor Anna Wintour was the inspiration for Priestly, it became the 12th highest-grossing film worldwide in 2006. Despite many people wanting a sequel to happen, Hathaway herself shut down the chances.
2/8Armageddon Time (2022)
The most recent drama release that’s still playing in the theaters as of this writing, Armageddon Time is a coming-of-age drama film written, directed, and produced by James Gray. Starring big names such as Hathaway, Jeremy Strong, Banks Repeta, Jaylin Webb, and Anthony Hopkins, the movie focuses on young Jewish-American boy Paul Graff, who befriends his rebellious African-American classmate Johnny Davis and starts noticing the world of privilege he has grown up in. The film talks about the strength of family and the generational pursuit of the American dream.
1/8Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Last but not least, we have to mention Jonathan Demme’s drama film Rachel Getting Married, starring Hathaway, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Bill Irwin in the main roles. It centers around Kym Buchman (Hathaway), a woman who has been in and out of rehab for ten years. She returns home for her sister’s wedding, which ends up stirring family dynamics. The film explores grieving people who are still in our lives, addiction, and recovery. It has both the cathartic aspects, while also leaves things unsaid. Hathaway received her first Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her performance in the film.