Philippine Star entertainment editor Ricky Lo’s interview with Les Miserables lead star Anne Hathaway has gotten a lot of attention online the past two days. A four minute video for this interview has been uploaded on the YouTube account of Philippine Star last Wednesday but it has since been deleted (note that The Philippine Star also took down the story from its website). Several other YouTube users reuploaded the video:
The interview started with Lo awkwardly asking Hathaway how she “lost her weight and got it back.” The actress snapped: “I’d rather not talk about the weight loss, please.” Lo later on mentioned about “a friend from the Philippines named Lea Salonga,” which elicited a positive response from Hathaway. “I adore her,” she said.
Hathaway went on to say that Salonga has “one of the great voices of our time” and that “there’s nothing vocally that she can’t do” and that she has “complete deference to her.” “If you think of me as an actor who sings rather than as a singer, I’ll probably be more impressive,” Hathaway said, evidently highlighting the differences between her and Salonga.
After asking about how her mom appreciates her work, Lo asked Hathaway how she is able to portray the character of the impoverished Fantene given that she is “living a life of luxury.” “That’s a very personal question,” Hathaway shot back. Lo then proceeded to ask the Academy Award-nominated actress about the scene in Les Miserables she found most challenging (it’s singing “I Dreamed a Dream”).
When Lo asked her for any message to Salonga, an apparently pissed Hathaway said “We’ve already talked about that.” And to end the interview, Lo asked Hathaway to invite Filipinos to watch the movie but the actress did not oblige. “Why don’t you invite them? I think they’d much rather hear from you,” Hathaway said. Noticeably, Hathaway did not even look at Lo when she said that. She also did not shake his hand when he ended the interview.
It’s easy to see how this exchange went disastrous. And please, the issue here is not the number of Hollywood celebrities that Lo was able to interview throughout his career. Opening your interview with a question about one’s weight is certainly a no-no.the way it is rude to tell a person how fat he/she has become (“tumataba ka yata!”) after not seeing each other for a long time. But if Hathaway really does not want to talk about her weight loss, why did she do so in her interview with Vogue?
Lo’s question about how Hathaway was able to portray the role of a poor woman despite “living a life of luxury” is inane aside from being poorly worded. Isn’t it that Dolphy, Fernando Poe Jr, and Joseph Estrada were also able to play the role of poor folks even though they’re obviously not living in poverty themselves? Anne Hathaway and everyone else in her industry are not called actors and actresses for nothing.
What clearly pissed Hathaway the most is Lo’s repeated reference to Salonga. By stressing that she’ll be more impressive if she’s judged as an “actor who sings and not as a singer,” Hathaway is indirectly saying that they should not be compared. But Lo obviously didn’t get the cue and instead mentioned her again toward the end.
For someone who came to know Hathaway through Princess Diaries, her behavior when Lo is wrapping up the interview is just plain mean and disrespectful. She may be disgusted with his line of questioning, but heck, that’s her opportunity to address us Filipinos!
*Hathaway was interviewed by Filipino writer Manny the Movie Guy last December (watch the video below). If watching Lo’s interview with the Les Mis actress made you feel bad, this one’s SO MUCH different. After all, the interviewer actually asked her about the movie, and not about Salonga. It’s evident that Hathaway had fun with the interview.