The art of being naked

Anne Hathaway’s latest rom-com, “Love and Other Drugs,” tackles difficult issues like Parkinson’s disease, the troubling relationship between pharmaceutical companies and the medical community as well as our fears of loss and loneliness. But at a recent press conference promoting the film, most questions focused on one thing: the impressive amount of screen time Hathaway and costar Jake Gyllenhaal spend naked.

But Hathaway was as comfortable with the questions as she was shooting in her birthday suit. She attributed her lack of distress at being undressed to Gyllenhaal and director Ed Zwick.

“We all really supported each other,” says Hathaway. “So if there was vulnerability, it was tempered by love and support.”

Of course, this isn’t the first time Hathaway has appeared nude. In 2005, she made a dramatic departure from her roles in “The Princess Diaries” and “Ella Enchanted” with her “revealing” work in Barbara Kopple’s “Havoc” and Ang Lee’s “Brokeback Mountain,” in which she played Gyllenhaal’s wife and the two shared a love scene, albeit brief. Still, the encounter proved enlightening.

“[With] ‘Brokeback Mountain’ it just established that we had chemistry and that Jake was someone I really enjoyed spending time with,” says Hathaway. “And I think we’re very bonded because of that experience.”

There’s much more to “Love and Other Drugs” than bedroom, living room and store room romps. Hathaway’s character, Maggie, suffers from early onset Parkinson’s disease. The actress reached out to women with Parkinson’s disease for research, but wasn’t sure, at first, if they would welcome her into their community.

“I was anticipating a bit of resistance from people in the support groups and I was met with absolute openness and warmth,” says Hathaway, who maintains friendships with some of the women she contacted. To accurately depict the ups and downs of the condition, she had to bare more than skin, after all.

“If you’re telling a love story, if you’re taking your clothes off, if you’re making a comedy, it’s all kind of putting yourself out there for people to hopefully enjoy,” she says.


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