Anne Hathaway Reveals She Was Asked to Gain 20 Pounds for an Upcoming Role

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Anne Hathaway
Sølve Sundsbø for Allure

Anne Hathaway is speaking out about Hollywood's beauty standards.

The 36-year-old actress covers the September issue of Allure and reveals the surprising request director Dee Rees made ahead of filming Netflix's The Last Thing He Wanted. In order to get into the character of Elena McMahon -- a journalist turned arms dealer -- in the flick, Rees suggested Hathaway gain 20 pounds.

"At 16 years old, it was 'Congratulations, you have the part. I’m not saying you need to lose weight. I’m just saying don’t gain weight.' Which of course means you need to lose weight," Hathaway recalls, before sharing another way body positivity was encouraged on the set of her recent movie.

"So I had that, then 20 years later I have Ane Crabtree [the costume designer for The Last Thing He Wanted] asking me what my body does on my moon -- which I realized meant my period -- so she can make adjustments for me," Hathaway marvels. "It was just this beautiful thing."

"I am cautious in my praise of how Hollywood is shifting," she admits. "There is so much more body inclusivity -- which is great! -- but the thin thing is definitely still the centralized ‘normal’ expectation."

Anne Hathaway
Sølve Sundsbø for Allure

After physically preparing herself for the role, Hathaway managed to delve deep into her character's psyche -- and learn something about anger in the process.

"I feel like something about working on The Last Thing He Wanted made my character so angry and so righteous. She’s not wrong for the reason she’s angry, but [it’s] taken over her life. Now she’s more angry than alive," Hathaway explains of her character. "... It had a big impact on me because anger is something that’s been a big part of my journey. Not necessarily neutralizing it, because anger is useful, but learning the whys of it. Learning how to ask, How does this serve me?"

Though she has learned to emotionally deal with her anger, Hathaway admits that she "used to love to fight."

"It felt so good to fight and be right," she says. "You have those moments where you just want to grab them, like, 'Noooooo! I just want to be petty for a little bit longer.'"

Anne Hathaway
Sølve Sundsbø for Allure

When ET caught up with Hathaway last month, she gushed over her family with husband Adam Schulman -- the couple share a 3-year-old son, Jonathan -- and her excitement about being pregnant with baby number two.

"I am really happy," she said. "This is something I've been wanting for a while and I'm really happy it's happening."

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