Not to call your character and integrity into question, but a lot of people out there have fibbed or at least stretched the truth when it comes to our resumes. I know I certainly have. And it turns out we’re not alone, as celebrities lie about their applicable skills as well. Anne Hathaway perjured herself just a bit in order to land one of her biggest roles, in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain.
Out interviewed the Oscar-winning actress, and other key players, as part of a ten-year retrospective on the groundbreaking movie. Talking about how she got the part of Lureen Newsome Twist, the unknowing wife of closeted cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), Hathaway recalled a critical juncture in the audition process. She said:
When I left the audition, the last thing Ang said was, ‘Oh, by the way, can you ride a horse?’ My parents have given me a lot of gifts in my life, and one of them is: If you’re ever asked if you can do anything, say yes. You can learn anything in two weeks if you’re motivated enough. So I’d never been on a horse, and I replied, ‘Oh yeah, I’m a really good rider.’ So I knew I had to learn to ride, and I got really, really, really good.
Again, how many of us have tailored our resumes in a similar fashion, adding a skill in a job listing that, maybe, we don’t posses, but that we totally know we can master when we need to? It’s a good thing that Hathaway’s parents taught her how to lie, and that thinks quickly enough on her feet that she was able to conjure that fabrication out of thin air.
However, if you’re shocked and appalled at Anne Hathaway’s lack of transparency and honesty in the casting process (it’s a cutthroat business after all), don’t worry, karma came back to bite her in the ass, at least a little bit. In the time between her audition and production, Hathaway may indeed have learned how to ride a horse to back up her bold-faced lie. However, when she got to set the horse she was given, unbeknownst to her, only responded to verbal commands, and she was unable to figure out how to ride such a beast. So, upon going to a rehearsal, which took place in front of 300 extras, many of whom had a background on farms and in rodeos, she couldn’t get her horse to do a damn thing. Take that, Anne Hathaway.
Sure, she may have been the slightest bit deceitful when it came to getting the part in Brokeback Mountain, but her comeuppance seems to fit her crime. In the end it all worked out for the best, as she’s wonderful in the movie, and she probably should have landed the role anyway, horse skills or no.