MILLBURN, NJ - After the Oscars aired and Anne Hathaway took home the award for Best Supporting Actress, Mickey McNany of Paper Mill Playhouse has reminisced on her time working with the actress during her adolescence.
“It’s been such a joy watching her on this journey,” McNany said. “She is the full package, and a really lovely, lovely, centered lady.”
Hathaway, or "Annie" as they call her at Paper Mill, began her time at the playhouse when she was 10 or 11 years old. Appearing in musicals such as The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, she always played parts that were “larger than life,” according to McNany.
“She really was a standout, even at 10,” McNany said. “I remember looking at her and being like ‘Annie, you’re something.’”
Dedicated, determined and hardworking, Hathaway kept her goals and dreams in mind at all times. She left Paper Mill around the age of 15 to pursue a television series.
When Hathaway appeared in her Oscar winning role in Les Miserables, a few of the people from Paper Mill got together to see the movie. During her rendition of “IDreamed a Dream,” the entire group was in awe. Despite having heard the song sung by others many times, this one was different.
“That was so emotional and moving for me personally,” said McNany. “I never had the connection to it like I did when Annie sang it.”
Despite her fame, Hathaway has not forgotten her roots. She appeared at the Paper Mill’s red carpet debut of Happy Days a few years ago. Hathaway also flew home from Los Angeles during her filming The Princess Diaries to take part in a 9/11 benefit with the students at Paper Mill.
All of the students decorated stars for the benefit. They placed them on a tree while Hathaway sang “We Can Be Kind.”
“It was such a lovely, lovely moment that everybody shared with her,” said McNany.
Many of the current students at the Paper Mill now say that Hathaway is their favorite actress. According to McNany, she has become an inspiration to all of them, and a great role model.
Through watching Hathaway’s entire development as an actress, one moment stands out to McNany as her favorite. During Hathaway’s acceptance speech at this year’s Oscars, she looked at her award and said, “It came true!”
“Look what you’ve accomplished,” McNany said. “We believed in you all along.”