SET IN THE beautiful and exotic island of Mauritius, Serenity is a tale of love, hate, seduction and murder. Anne Hathaway plays the femme fatale who arrives on an island where her former lover is eking out a living as a fisherman. She convinces him to get rid of her abusive husband by taking him for a boat ride and throwing him overboard.
Why do women find it hard to leave abusive relationships?
It is not the saturation point that gets you out of it. I think a lot of women reach their saturation point early on. There are not clear avenues to exit. I was so honoured to tell this story and be trusted with this character [in Serenity]. And I think it was so cool that the writer/director wanted to take all the language of noir—which by today’s standards can lean towards being really misogynist—and imbue it with what we now know and actually show the full extent of rage and the pain and the suffering of the woman, who in the past we would say was not a good woman but a ‘dangerous woman’. And that is not an acceptable way to view another human being, particularly when it turns out she is someone dealing with some thing no one should have to deal with on her own.
When you play these heavy characters can you let go of them at the end of the day?
I am very aware that when I play these characters that are painful and far from what I am, I have the privilege of letting them go, while there are people who can’t. That was one of the things when I did Les Misérables—I had such a horrible time letting go of the character. I read a statistic that every one of us, wherever we go, we are probably never more than 100 yards away from being a victim of sex trafficking. And I found that made it very difficult, just being conscious and aware of that statistic, very difficult to live in that world for a long time. The difference between being able to live your life without knowing that and living your life where that is your whole life—that brings me happiness and serenity.
What does serenity mean to you? Where do you go to find it?
Family. I am simple. Whenever I’m with my husband and my son, I am just so happy within our own relationship. I am the one who leaves for work. My husband does too, but I do much more. So I don’t take those moments for granted. If I had to give you a specific place—being in the kitchen and cooking for everybody. I love the feeling when I offer my son a sweater and he takes it. Anticipating his needs and having him realise that ‘Oh, yeah that does feel good.’ And then reaching and grabbing my husband’s hand. It’s just those simple moments in life. Those are the moments in life that make me happy and give me serenity.
What do you like to cook?
Well, I have different things that I get obsessed with and then I make them again and again until I feel confident. Right now, I’m making a carrot souffle that I really like. But it’s not hard and that is the thing I love about it. It makes you think that it’s fancy, but it’s five ingredients and it’s easy, and once it’s ready, you pop it in the oven and walk away.
What do you look for when you plan a vacation?
If I am lucky enough to plan a vacation, first I must ask myself the question ‘Do I want an adventure, or do I want to rest?’ I have a small child, so rest is what I want right now. But I think as he gets older and he can do more things, I think we are going to do more adventurous things. But I love to go basically any place where you can find God’s bathtub. I love going to places with beautiful sand, warm water, and just really having a good time.