Anne Hathaway Says She Was a ‘Chronically Stressed Young Woman’: 'I Didn't Know How to Breathe Yet'

"Something could fall through the sky and that will be lights out for you," Hathaway said about why stress isn't worth it in life

<p>Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic</p>  Anne Hathaway attends the 2023 Met Gala

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Anne Hathaway attends the 2023 Met Gala

Anne Hathaway has learned to relax as she's gotten older.

While reflecting on the roles she played earlier in her career and the fragility of life with David Marchese on The New York Times podcast The Interview, the 41-year-old Devil Wears Prada actress said that it's likely she played "chronically stressed out young women" because she was "a really stressed out young woman" off-screen in her personal life.

"I was a really stressed out young woman. And as a formerly chronically stressed young woman, which leads to, you know, all manner of things, I just remember thinking one day, 'You are taking this for granted, you are taking your life for granted,' " Hathaway said, reflecting on the success she was having in her career at the time.

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"You have no idea. Something could fall through the sky and that will be lights out for you. So when I find myself, like, the old instincts rising, I just tell myself, I'm like, 'You are not gonna die stressed,' " Hathaway said.

Asked by Marchese what was stressing her out, the mom of two said, "I didn't know how to breathe yet. And that was really complicated. That was really, really complicated not knowing how to breathe."

<p>Jacopo Raule/Getty</p> Anne Hathaway attends the Versace fashion show during the Milan Fashion Week

Jacopo Raule/Getty

Anne Hathaway attends the Versace fashion show during the Milan Fashion Week

Putting it more simply, the Idea of You actress said that " literally everything" in her life as a young woman in Hollywood stressed her out at one point.

"I was just very, very, very in my head, about a lot of things. I guess maybe that's the the easiest way to put it," she went on to clarify.

Hathaway said she felt "somatic" stress at the time, meaning she felt physical symptoms of the tension in her body as opposed to just in her mind.

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The WeCrashed star revealed in a recent Vanity Fair interview that she's about five years sober, and also mentioned her sobriety on The Interview, where she admitted that she "probably" drank alcohol to cope with her stress.

"My personal experience with it is that everything is better. For me, it was wallowing fuel. And I don’t like to wallow," she explained to Vanity Fair of her relationship with alcohol. "The thing that I have faith in is that everybody else is going to have one or two drinks, and by the time everybody gets to two drinks, you’ll feel like you’ve had two drinks — but without the hangover.”

Related: Anne Hathaway Recalls 'Gross' Request to Kiss 10 Men for a Costar Chemistry Test: I 'Pretended I Was Excited'

<p>Amy Sussman/Getty</p> :Anne Hathaway attends the global premiere of Apple TV+'s "WeCrashed"

Amy Sussman/Getty

:Anne Hathaway attends the global premiere of Apple TV+'s "WeCrashed"

On the podcast, Hathaway told Marchese that the key to her transformation into a more relaxed person was that she learned to become settled in her life in a positive way that made the idea "a beautiful...concept of surrender." She also said she's learned to practice gratitude more frequently.

While she didn't go into specific details, she said that "a light went on" in her head when she realized that being hard on herself wasn't going to help her achieve more in life.

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

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