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July 13, 2007

Anne Hathaway Shows Us Her Wild Side

You won't catch her falling out of a limo sans undies — but she'll gladly go topless if the role calls for it. Mold-breaking ANNE HATHAWAY does Hollywood her way.

Anne Hathaway shows off her wild side.

Anne Hathaway shows off her wild side.

Photo Credit: James White

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It's a steep, winding climb through the Hollywood Hills to the horseshoe-shaped ranch house where Anne Hathaway is staying. Neat shrubbery frames the front door; there's a black Range Rover out front. It's on Blue Jay Way, the namesake of the song George Harrison wrote in 1967 when he was staying in this very house. I press the buzzer, and an affable guy in a red hoodie answers the door. This is Hathaway's big brother, Michael, who's staying with her — same lush features, less contrast (lighter hair, darker skin).

Inside, the place has a clinical spareness to it, a West Elm vibe typical of rentals. It's been Hathaway's home base while she makes the movie version of the campy Cold War spy series Get Smart with Steve Carell. And as I gaze upon a carefully prepared spread — guacamole, chips, cucumber slices with Brie on top, a pitcher of water — laid out at one end of a massive, medieval-looking table, I hear the pitter-patter of bare feet rushing up behind me on the hardwood floor. "Hi, I'm Annie," Hathaway says, sticking her hand out for a shake.

Hathaway is quick to flash that enveloping smile — at 24, she's too young to be jaded about having to do interviews. She's opted for a strategically casual outfit: oversize, black V-neck sweater with a black tank underneath and skinny jeans that aren't intensely skinny — an American Eagle girl passing as American Apparel. All in all, she's squarely on trend, save for the coral-pink polish on her fingers and toes — no doubt chosen for her role as the midcentury knockout Agent 99.

Hathaway gives me a tour of the place, pointing out the giant cross that doubles as the living room's ceiling light. When she flips a switch, it glows neon yellow and pink. "Isn't that freaky?" she says, sounding delighted — apparently the owner of the house has a thing for religio-kitsch. Later, she'll show me a Virgin Mary lawn ornament and a 7-foot cross that she stashed in the garage. "The first thing I did when I moved in," she says, swinging the door shut dramatically.

"The place is kind of strange, but it's a great party house," Hathaway tells me, adding that she and her brother are hosting a Moroccan-themed bash next week. When we reach the master bathroom, she points out an errant nunchuck lying on the ledge of the tub. "I was trying to impress my friend the other night with my nunchuck aim," she says, laughing. "I was a little tipsy."

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