Sunday, April 26, 2015

Anne Hathaway starring in Julie Taymor's Grounded

Academy Awards

The Anne Hathaway with James Franco in 2011.

The Academy Award winning actress is in the news today.  Elysa Gardner (USA Today) explains:

In Julie Taymor's fascinating, unsettling new production of Brant's play (*** out of four stars), The Pilot is played by Anne Hathaway, whose performance is stripped of any conspicuous traces of femininity. Wearing her uniform, pacing a stage filled with sand, Hathaway speaks and moves with purposeful gruffness. Her character uses the term "hair-tosser" to dismiss girly-girls, along with less printable words.

Jeff Labrecque (Entertainment Weekly) offers:

For 85 minutes, Hathaway, clad mostly in her military flight suit, flies solo, building a character whose sense of reality is slowly slipping with the gradual adverse effects of a high-tech strain of PTSD. Armed with the clipped accent of Holly Hunter imitating Chuck Yeager, her character, the Pilot, is cocky and profane—a woman who legitimately feels castrated by her armchair assignment. Few actresses could muster the spectrum of conflicting emotions required during such a lengthy monologue, but the real challenge is revealing them even while the character doesn’t explicitly acknowledge them. It’s a delicate high-wire act that Hathaway navigates successfully.
The actress is greatly assisted by director Julie Taymor’s scenic-projection stagecraft that transforms a spare postage-stamp sized stage into the skies over Iraq, the roads outside Las Vegas, and the claustrophobic trailer where the Pilot rains Hellfires on the guilty. 

Marilyn Stasio (Variety) concludes her review with, "And it’s something of a shock to realize that Hathaway has successfully (and, yes, gracefully) navigated the harrowing transition that so many soldiers go through, from proud hero to haunted ghost."

We'll again note this from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America:

Tel: 212-982-9699

NEW YORK (April 7, 2015) – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) partnered with The Public Theater on their production of George Brant’s play GROUNDED, starring Oscar winner Anne Hathaway and directed by two-time Tony winner Julie Taymor. GROUNDED, which begins performances today and runs through May 17, follows a female ace fighter pilot re-assigned to remote-controlled drone duty. Facing 12-hour shifts hunting targets from her Air Force trailer followed by the pressures of dealing with her family, this “gripping” (New York Times) new play exposes the complicated consequences of waging war without ever leaving home.

“We’re proud to support this one-of-a-kind play that focuses on the human cost of our increasingly technology-driven wars,” said IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff. “The recent conflicts we’ve been engaged in have been unconventional, and many of our service members have provided direct support to the war effort without their boots touching the soil of Iraq or Afghanistan. GROUNDED provides a unique look into that reality, as well as the challenges faced by our female servicemembers. IAVA is excited to partner with GROUNDED and The Public Theater to bring the experiences of our servicemen and women to New York City and it’s theater-going audience.”

Founded and headquartered in New York City, IAVA will have staff and veteran volunteers onsite at each performance to provide information on its free services and support for post-9/11 veteran members. For example, IAVA’s innovative, locally focused Rapid Response Referral Program connects veterans to local resources and to one-on-one support with Veteran Transition Managers for services ranging across employment, education, housing, mental health and more.

GROUNDED has been named one of the best plays of the year by both London’s The Evening Standard and The Guardian, and won the Smith Prize for Political Theater. For tickets, please go to

The Public Theater is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. The Public continues the work of its founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for theater as an essential cultural force and leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day.

Note to media: Email or call 212-982-9699 to speak with IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff or IAVA leadership.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America ( is the leading post-9/11 veteran empowerment organization (VEO) with the most diverse and rapidly growing membership in America. Celebrating its 10th year anniversary, IAVA has repeatedly received the highest rating - four-stars - from Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator.