Anne Hathaway smiles brightly during her Toronto International Film Festival premiere of Rachel Getting Married, which is held at Roy Thomson Hall.

What’s her secret to looking so good? “Hire the right people,” she gamely answers, adding that “a combination of ballet, yoga and practicing in the mirror” make her moves fluid as she poses on the red carpet.

In this romantic drama, Anne, 25, plays a girl who has been in-and-out of rehab when she returns for her sister’s wedding. Quite a change for the girl who made her name as a princess in the Disney franchise The Princess Diaries.

 “I love the idea that the survival of her sobriety depends on her self-knowledge, her honesty and representing herself,” Anne says. “Sometimes it is really hard to be who we are especially if that’s something people have to deal with. I thought that could be really obnoxious, but it’s also brave. If you understand what’s at stake for her and why she must do it, it becomes a very brave decision. I find that amazing conflict is born.”

She adds, “I relate to her honesty, her appetite for life and the way she loves her family.”

Debra Winger turns bristly when talk turns to her comeback. “It’s not a long time,” she says. “It’s the right time.” (Spunky!)

Bill Irwin, who plays Anne’s father, saw her competitive side come out. “We did this one scene in the movie that involved loading and unloading the dishwasher,” he tells me. “As the father of the household, I’m supposed to be the best at it. Annie told me several times how I should load the dishwasher.”

Director Jonathan Demme was blown away by his experience working with Anne.

“When I saw her in a movie theatre in Bridgton, Maine, when she did Princess Diaries, I went ‘this is a great, young actress! Look at how she’s holding her own with Julie Andrews! Look at how she knows exactly how to pull us into her,’” he tells me. “I had hoped honestly and truly to work with her one day. Anne read it, she loved it and off we went. I’m really thrilled with the results.”
 
Rachel Getting Married opens in limited release on October 3.

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