Anne Hathaway is one of those celebs that divides public opinion. Some love her. Some loathe her. But regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, the one thing you can’t dispute is that she knows a thing or two about making money. According to the latest information from Net Worth Buzz, the star is currently worth a staggering $50 million. Even more staggeringly, this might be a conservative estimate – Celebrity Net Worth, for instance, have added another $10 million onto that figure to give her net worth as $60 million. Short of rifling through her bank statements, it’s hard to know which is right. But either way, it’s a stupendous amount of money. So, where did it all come from? How did a 37-year-old actress from Brooklyn end up joining the ranks of Hollywood’s highest earners? Sit tight, because you’re about to find out.
A Star is Born
Hathaway was born in Brooklyn on November 12, 1982. Her love of acting kicked in early; entranced by stars like Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn, she enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, becoming the first teenager ever to gain admittance to the hallowed Barrow Group Theater Company’s acting program. Her first ever role was in the teen drama Get Real (1999–2000), but it was her performance as Mia Thermopolis in her debut film, The Princess Diaries (2001), that proved her breakthrough. The film was a worldwide smash, grossing over $165 million at the box office. Hathaway’s performance as the teenage heir to the throne went down equally well, with The New York Times’ Elvis Mitchell summing up the consensus when he described her as “royalty in the making, a young comic talent with a scramble of features”.
For the role, Hathaway earned a salary of $400,000 – nothing compared to the amount she can command now, perhaps, but still a very respectable wage for an untested actress. Success followed success. Her New York City stage debut in Carnival! was the talk of the town, while her return to Mia in The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) was met with similar approval. But by this time, Hathaway was getting older – and so was her audience. Determined not to be stuck in teen roles forever, she started actively scouting out more adult parts. Her breakthrough into the adult sector came with Ang Lee’s 2005 romantic drama, Brokeback Mountain, a role that earned her a very respectable $800,000. The following year saw her hold her own against the great Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, one of the biggest hits of 2007, Hathaway’s most commercially successful film to date, and, with a take-home pay of $1 million, the most lucrative role of her career.
For the next few years, Hathaway was considered box office gold: the romantic comedy Valentine’s Day grossed more than $215 million against a budget of $52 million, while Alice in Wonderland (in which Hathaway took on the role of the White Queen) became the highest-grossing movie of 2010 after grossing $1 billion in worldwide sales. Even where the films themselves weren’t that commercially successful, Hathaway still managed to secure a fine payday, earning $5 million for Get Smart and another $5 million for Bride Wars.
In 2012, Hathaway was cast as cat burglar Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises, a performance that earned her the stellar amount of $7.5 million. The film was a smash hit, grossing over $1.085 billion worldwide to become the third highest-grossing film of 2012. Shortly after her success in The Dark Knight Rises, she was cast in the role of Fantine in Les Misérables. To prepare for the part of the tuberculosis-riddled prostitute, Hathaway subsisted on a meager diet of just 500 calories a day, losing 25lb (not to mention all her hair) in the process. The effort clearly paid off: in recognition of her outstanding performance, she was awarded an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild, and a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress… and, of course, a $10 million paycheck.
In 2014, she starred alongside Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain in Christopher Nolan’s epic sci-fi, Interstellar. The film was a success, scoring a slew of awards and grossing over $677 million worldwide against a budget of $165 million. The year after, she appeared alongside Hollywood legend Robert De Niro in The Intern. But then things started to go quiet. After spending a couple of years taking on roles in small-budget films that, while positively received, failed to set the box office alight, Hathaway took a two-year absence from our screens.
In 2018, Hathaway made a dazzling return to form in the all-female spin-off of the Ocean’s Eleven franchise, Ocean’s 8. While the film was panned by critics, Hathaway’s performance was heaped with praise, with ABC Online’s Jason Di Rosso writing “the film’s best moments belong to Hathaway as the anxiety-ridden, vain and capricious starlet. She’s the only successful meld of comedy and pathos—a victim of the celebrity treadmill who is also capable of outsmarting it.” Despite the poor reviews, the film fared reasonably well at the box office, grossing $297 million worldwide on a budget of $70 million. Next in store for the actress are lead roles in the upcoming fantasy, The Witches, and the much-anticipated Sesame Street movie.
Some folks may have spent a good portion of Hathaway’s career describing her as “over-eager” or “inauthentic”, but no one can deny she knows how to act. And if they were too, a quick glance at her heaving awards cabinet should soon put them right. For the past 20 years, Hathaway has managed to juggle critical acclaim with commercial success… something most actors aspire to, but few achieve. The result is that she’s an industry darling; even if the Hollywood big-wigs have doubts about a film, they can be confident that having her name attached will add some surefire star pulling power. And that, in a nutshell, is how Anne Hathaway achieved a net worth of $50 million.