Anne Hathaway can now add producer to her impressive résumé.
The Oscar winner and her husband, Adam Shulman, have teamed up with Jonathan Demme — director on Hathaway’s “Rachel Getting Married” — to produce their first film, “Song One,” the debut feature from writer-director Kate Barker-Froyland.
“I really loved producing. I loved being able to support a filmmaker in a way beyond acting in a movie,” Hathaway, 32, told Variety at the film’s Cinema Society premiere in New York on Tuesday night. “I learned that the goal is the same whether I am an actor or a producer — that I will do anything to get the director’s vision.”
Hathaway (dressed head to toe in white, in an Iro blazer, Theory pants and sheer top) along with Shulman, reunited with cast members Johnny Flynn and Ben Rosenfield at the Landmark Sunshine Cinema for the first time since the picture premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year. Joining the actors at the screening were Barker-Froyland, Demme and another producer on the film, Marc Platt. The “Interstellar” actress credits her producing partners for helping her successfully shepherd the production from start to finish.
“I feel like I got a gentle introduction to producing because I have a team of producers, two of whom are film veterans. Marc Platt and Jonathan Demme never gave me more than what I could handle,” she said. “I always felt supported, and a few weeks before we started filming, Jonathan Demme pulled me over to the side and said, ‘You should focus on acting now. We got this.’ And he did.”
Originally, Hathaway was only set to spearhead the development of the love story — which is set against the backdrop of New York City’s indie music scene — but she cared for the film’s storyline too much to pass it off to another actress.
“I was attracted to the film’s quietness,” said the star, who won the Academy Award for her supporting role in “Les Misérables.” “It’s very humble, and heartfelt, and I loved that it’s a movie about second chances.”
In the film, Hathaway plays a PhD candidate in anthropology, studying in Morocco, who returns home to Brooklyn after her estranged musician brother (Rosenfield) is hospitalized and in a coma following a car accident. She uses his journal as a guide to learn about his life, and forms a relationship with his musical idol (Flynn), which helps her to reconnect with her family.
“I wanted to tell a story about music and how it brings people together,” said Barker-Froyland, who is the daughter of Sony Pictures Classics co-founder Michael Barker. “Music is universal, and it can bring back the memories of a specific time or place in a second. I wanted to capture those feelings and let the audience experience that.”
Hathaway shares the same sentiment as Barker-Froyland. “Music is one of my favorite parts of living,” she said. “I believe deeply in the power of music. It can heal you and provide lots of joy.”
For British acting newcomer Flynn — who is also the frontman of a folk-rock band, Johnny Flynn & the Sussex Wit — listening to Hathaway sing was pure delight.
“When we sing in the movie together, it’s more like goofing around, but Annie has an amazing voice,” he said, adding that she’s “a natural, and can really sing anything.” Their duets even extended beyond the call of duty. “In between takes we would sing with a guitar and hang out in the trailer. She has a true passion for music,” he said. “She was the perfect person to produce and star in the picture.”
Following the screening, Hathaway ditched her Christian Louboutin stilettos and slipped on a pair of white Adidas Stan Smith sneakers for the after-party at Omar’s, a cozy, chic restaurant tucked away in a historic brownstone in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. She socialized with Platt and the film’s execs while remaining close by her husband. Hathaway also bonded with Daniel Day-Lewis’ son, Gabriel-Kane, with whom she even snapped a commemorative selfie.
“Song One,” from The Film Arcade and Cinedigm, comes to theaters and VOD on January 23.
(Pictured: “Song One’s” Kate Barker-Froyland, Anne Hathaway and Jonathan Demme)