Anne Hathaway on why she stopped boozing: ‘My last hangover lasted for five days’

Lori Loughlin at arrivals for Hallmark C...

Anne Hathaway covers the current issue of Boston Common (which is just Modern Luxury) to promote The Hustle. The Hustle is the lady-remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, with Anne and Rebel Wilson as the con artists hustling rich men. I’ve said before that I think the movie looks awesome and funny. Anne talks about a lot of different things in this piece, but I’m sure her talk about giving up booze will get the most attention. A few months back, Anne announced on The Ellen Show that she decided to give up booze for the entire 18 years that her son lived at home. It seemed like a strange vow to make for a non-alcoholic person – Anne has never been known as a lush or a partier, and she was probably at most a social drinker. Anne talks about that and more in this piece:

Playing con artists in Ocean’s 8 & The Hustle. “Normally, I am so strict with myself and my choices, but these two really yummy opportunities and fun characters came across my path. I thought, ‘OK, they are both con artists, but everyone can deal with it because I’m doing it.’”

On Rebel Wilson: “It was really hard not to break in front of her. Rebel has this gift where she pulls comedy out of the air—I don’t know how else to describe it. She is quite reserved in real life, which I was surprised by. There’s an understated quality to her—she keeps herself like a coiled spring. When it comes time for comedy, it just all comes out. I had a stifled belly laugh every single day.”

Her accent in the film: “I thought I was signing up for a breezy job. I thought I was going to show up, and Rebel was going to do the heavy lifting, and I was going to be the straight person and wear the fun outfits and have a few zingers here and there. But our director thought it would be funnier if my character had a British accent, so it became this high-wire act, and there was a lot more room for failure. I had to become very serious about the comedy.”

Announcing that she gave up alcohol: “I didn’t put [a drink] down because my drinking was a problem; I put it down because the way I drink leads me to have hangovers and those were the problem. My last hangover lasted for five days. When I’m at a stage in my life where there is enough space for me to have a hangover, I’ll start drinking again, but that won’t be until my kid is out of the house. But, I just want to make this clear: Most people don’t have to do such an extreme thing. I don’t think drinking is bad. It’s just the way I do it—which I personally think is really fun and awesome—is just not the kind of fun and awesome that goes with having a child for me. But this isn’t a moralistic stance.”

[From Boston Common]

When CB covered Anne’s announcement on the Ellen Show, CB talked about how she stopped drinking several years back too. I’ve also been almost entirely off booze for years now, minus a glass of port several Thanksgivings ago and a few wine coolers on Election Night 2016. The hangovers were one of my reasons too – I didn’t have five-day hangovers, but I had just gotten to an age where I didn’t want to wake up feeling like sh-t. I needed to break the cycle of even having a nightcap to help me sleep, because that nightcap affected the way I slept and how I felt in the morning. It was too much. So I sort of feel Anne – and hey, she might go back to booze once her kid’s in college.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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40 Responses to “Anne Hathaway on why she stopped boozing: ‘My last hangover lasted for five days’”

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  1. Chica71 says:

    Part of it is age and time,. snapping back just takes time now. The worst are the bad feelings and sadness.

    • (THE OG)@Jan90067 says:

      Age and time, sure… but a “five day hangover”?? That sounds like a binge. Regardless, to each their own. Alcohol can affect everyone differently. Somedays, one glass of wine makes me tipsy, other days I can have two and not feel a thing. Then I can go weeks w/out one.

      I do love what Brook Shields said her trainer told her when she said she wanted to have a glass of wine that evening: “Just remember, it’s like drinking a slice of bread”. lol. It’s so true: straight carbs/sugars heading right for my hips! lol

      As for the movie, while I really like Anne, I’ll pass. If I want to see “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” there are none better than Michael Caine, Steve Martin, and Glenne Headly in those roles. Classic comedy.

      • Kebbie says:

        My guess is that “five day hangover” was actually maybe a headache and nausea the next day then sluggishness or upset stomach for another day or two. I don’t think she meant five days of intense hangover symptoms, and she probably exaggerated the number of days.

        I don’t know that a legitimate five day hangover is even possible unless you’ve got some kind of extreme sensitivity to alcohol or are recovering from alcohol poisoning.

      • Mila says:

        @Kebbie – I’ve had a three day hangover (almost four, no kidding!) after I went overboard as a teen and drank almost 2 bottles of whiskey in about 2h. Ended up in the ER and it was completely overboard, but yes, multiple day hangovers are possible.

      • Kebbie says:

        @Mila Yeah, like I said it makes sense for alcohol poisoning or some kind of really excessive binge bordering on alcohol poisoning.

        I don’t think that’s the case with Anne because she said it wasn’t her drinking that was the problem. To me that implies she wasn’t drinking to the point of blackout or poisoning. And most people with alcohol sensitivities don’t like drinking at all, so I’m still guessing it’s a case of exaggeration and/or less intense hangover symptoms being described as a hangover.

  2. elimaeby says:

    I’m around her age, and the guy I’m seeing has commented on how little I drink compared to a lot of our friends. I basically say the same thing: if I drink enough to be drunk, I will absolutely feel like s**t for at least two days. I’ll have a drink here or there, but I have cut down so much since my twenties. I think it varies from person to person, but a lot of people can’t hang like we used to as we age.

  3. Murphy says:

    When I turned 32 my hangovers turned nuclear too, no more drinking for me.

  4. Snowslow says:

    Nobody wants to admit how drinking affects the body – hangovers are terrible and most people have them, especially with non organic wine. It’s crap and it does crappy things to your body. Especially after 40.
    I avoid drinking more than a beer or a glass of wine once a month but people cannot accept that. I find it super disrespectful that people keep on pushing me to drink – it’s addict behaviour but you cannot tell people they’re junkies when they’re passing on their 100£ whine bottle…

  5. Mel M says:

    That’s why I stopped, the hangovers. I loved having my evening wine or beer but after my twins the idea of feeling like total crap the next morning persuaded me to just stop. It’s hard too, especially in the summer when we are up with my in laws because they are serious lushes. Always pouring everyone glasses of wine or bringing in beers (my BIL works are a craft brewery so there is a lot of free beer around). They start the day with bloody Mary’s and it goes from there. And if you don’t drink you must be pregnant, there must be something wrong, so annoying. I’m glad I’m actually pregnant this summer so I don’t have to deal with that. The good thing is I don’t actually miss it either. For the first time in a while we have beer and wine in the house since fall that we haven’t touched.

    Although now that I’m starting to think about it I don’t know how I’m going to cope with being around their Trump worshiping hypocritical selves now because they are worse then ever! Oh crap.

    • Snowflake says:

      Girl, I’ve known people like that. If you start drinking in the morning with a Bloody Mary, imo, they have a drinking problem. I live by Florida beaches and it’s like drinking is a hobby. Crazy

  6. Ader says:

    I’m digging Anne more lately. And she does a super job with “comedic villain” roles! Very enjoyable.

  7. Lucia says:

    I was forced to quit drinking due to my medical condition. But I honestly don’t miss it. Now that weed is legal in my state, I’ll sooner pick up a joint than a glass of wine. I don’t miss it and in the end I was probably starting to drink too much anyways. Hangovers are the worst.

    • Lady D says:

      When I started bartending, I didn’t drink. Six months down the road I would start work at 5:00, start drinking about 6:00, and by closing time I was just as happily hammered as my customers. This went on for almost a year until one day I had one 3-day hangover to many. I quit my job and drinking, and now I go 2-3 years between drinks. Pot is legal in Canada now and like you, I’d much rather pick up a joint.

  8. Kate says:

    If she’s regularly getting 5-day hangovers when she drinks isn’t that indicative of a drinking problem? I just don’t know anyone who gets hangovers that last for that long unless they are blacking out when they drink.

    Also her accent in that movie is why I won’t be seeing it – the trailer looks fun but her accent made me cringe so hard I don’t think I can sit through the entire movie. Bad call by the director IMO.

    • Snowslow says:

      I don’t think she means proper hangovers. I understand what she says, you feel like crap for more days than just the next-day thing.
      In my case, and just with 4 small glasses of red wine, the second day is the worst and after that I feel slower, more tired etc. It takes time to readjust. Like when you skip a good night’s sleep and it takes ages to go back to your good energy levels.

    • elimaeby says:

      I kind of wondered this, as well. The only time I have severe hangovers is if I am drunk. If you only ever drink to get drunk, which is what I feel like she is implying about “the way she drinks”, then that is a form of alcoholism.

      • Casey says:

        Nah. She’s just trying to explain it in a way that doesn’t offend drinkers. Like don’t worry I’m not saying you all should quit. It’s me not you. She’s ever the people pleaser but I don’t blame her. It’s tough being a non drinker. Drinkers take it as judgment on their own shite.

    • Ashley says:

      Agreed Kate! That sounds like an unhealthy relationship with alcohol to me.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Depends on what kind of hangover effects she’s talking about, honestly. I have a GI disorder, so if I drink past my limit, I can be suffering from stomach issues for days after. Never had a problem with headaches and the like, but I’ve known people who are very sensitive to the after effects even when drinking responsibly.

  9. Jb says:

    If we end up getting pregnant and having a child I imagine my drinking will be limited as well so can’t really fault her for this. I only drink (vodka drinks or wine) on the weekends and 2-3 are my limit because I’m beginning to feel not 100% the morning after and it sucks to realize it has more to do with my body not being to handle it as well as 10yrs ago (I’m 35). I didn’t drink till I was 25 so I’m sure I’ll be fine without it BUT I will definitely find time for at least 1 dirty martini! 🙂

  10. GoTDang says:

    I absolutely have a drinking problem. I have officially quit liquor for good (I got the shakes and diarrhea so badly that I could hardly stand). I had been doing well with wine… until I wasn’t. I had only been hungover maybe twice before I hit my 30s and I was drinking vodka ALLLLL day. Then suddenly I was getting so hungover that even the thought of having something delicious like a Bloody Mary makes me want to vomit. I can still feel the burn of the vodka in the back of my throat. Never, ever, EVER again!

  11. Ashley says:

    I guess I feel like I can enjoy wine without feeling the need to get drunk. I haven’t been drunk in years but do enjoy a glass of wine with my dinner every night. Drinking in moderation does not produce hangovers. I’m a mother of three. Your kids need to see you enjoy a drink without going overboard so when they are adults they know how to do the same.

    • Casey says:

      I think it’s important to show kids that not drinking at all is normal too. It is a normal and healthy thing.

      • Gigi La Moore says:

        I agree, Casey.

      • BeanieBean says:

        There you go. My parents didn’t drink, and neither do I or my siblings. I remember as a kid watching a lot of old movies from the 30s, 40s & 50s, and always found it so bizarre & fascinating watching these drinking going on in these movies. Those depression era movies always had people in gowns & tuxes drinking champagne, the 40s & 50s we always see the pre- and post-prandial drink. Just so odd to me, then and now.

    • Kk2 says:

      Drinking in moderation does not produce hangovers for you, you mean. Also I think definition of “hangover” can vary. I will feel crappy (as in sluggish, not like puking and non functional) the next day after even 1 glass of wine. Wine also gives me almost immediate headaches more often than not. I can have 1 beer or a gin/tonic and be ok. But 2 or more and I’ll feel crappy, proportionally. And with little kids the penalty for feeling even sluggish and blah is so much more painful. So I almost never drink wine anymore. I will have 1 beer sometime on weekend, 2 on occasion. Never more. Have not had 3 or more without serious regret since before I turned 30/ had first kid. Something with my alcohol metabolism/tolerance definitely changed for worse. But other people don’t have this same problem. Just about listening to your body. I much prefer weed but don’t use that often either bc it also makes me tired the next day (though not nearly as bad as alcohol)- that will probably be what I pick up more when kids are out of house!

      I do agree that modeling healthy/moderate drinking around your kids is good. It’s also good to be clear that people can choose not to drink for a variety of perfectly fine personal reasons and that is not “weird.” My parents almost never drank bc they both were kids of alcoholics, but my 2 siblings and I have had no alcohol issues- all light/moderate drinkers.

  12. GreenBunny says:

    I get it. Even before kids, I limited my drinking to 1 or 2 because I hated feeling like crap when I got older. Even without kids, it felt like such a waste to spend a precious weekend day recovering from my night out. And now that I have 3 small kids, I always say that it’s not the night I regret, it’s the day after when someone still has to be the parent and the kids don’t care if you feel like crap. So I may have a beer or cocktail when out to dinner, but that’s usually it. And again, someone has to drive and since I don’t care about drinking, I’m perfectly fine abstaining and knowing I’ll get home safe. And if we have friends over, I’ll have 2 beers over the entire day/evening and then I’m good anyway.

  13. Wilma says:

    I wasn’t a heavy drinker before I had kids, just a glass of wine a couple of times a month, but I have had even fewer since having kids. The sleep deprivation is real and adding alcohol to that mix felt like hell.

  14. Veronica S. says:

    I was past my party stage by 25-26, and after I developed GI issues, I haven’t been able to drink heavily at all, so my tolerance has gone to hell. But honestly, I think most of us just lose the *time* necessary for any sort of heavy drinking by your thirties. You’ve got kids or a career or lots of other stuff going on that just sucks up the hours. I think it’s fine to imbibe regularly as long as its responsibly, but really, just getting that one glass of wine in can be a pain.

  15. Mejia says:

    I didn’t drink when my kids were young because it was expensive and I didn t want to be hung over in the least. I enjoy good wines though now but if I drink more than 2 glasses I need to check myself to avoid any hangovers. I am 57 and it gets easier to access your body and stop at this age.

  16. Annie says:

    Something we don’t talk about at all is how normalized alcohol abuse is for our generation. Millennials and slightly older or slightly younger people are abusing alcohol. These days people my age can finish entire bottles on their own, alone, drink on Mondays heavily, alone, always get wasted at dinners or reunions and even drink in the mornings. The partying phase is never over. This is something I see with friends of mine who are definitely abusing alcohol to a point where I can’t hang out with them anymore. They see nothing wrong with how much they drink, how they ruin parties or dinners, and how normal these 5 days hangovers seem to them. How often this happens. How much they can’t be without alcohol. Not even a day. It’s always heavy drinking.

    I have only seen one other young celebrity address this and it was Daniel Radcliffe. He knew he was abusing alcohol and he needed to stop. He was very open about it. Showing up drunk or hangover to set every day. Feeling like shit. But one else. Society just doesn’t want to talk about it. We’re slowly normalizing alcoholism, or at least not talking about how much this generation abuses alcohol.

    I listen to Kaitlyn Bristowe’s podcast sometimes and her entire schtick is how much she boozes it up, and finishes bottles alone and lols being a drunk is so quirky, she jokes about mixing Xanax and booze. It’s bizarre.

    • Casey says:

      I just want to say I agree with your post. It is bizarre how abusing alcohol is normal, quirky, a riot, etc. ikwym about kaitlyn too. I wonder if her Schtick is an act to try to seem wild. I wonder if she doesn’t drink much at all. What a crappy example she is setting and it might not even be legit.

    • Case says:

      I have a friend who thinks it’s normal to have 3 glasses of wine a night. She thinks it’s fine and her husband supports her so there’s not much I can say, but it worries me.

  17. CairinaCat says:

    It’s a crapshoot for me, sometimes I can have a glass of wine and no problem. Othertimes one glass of red and I feel like shit for days. Like I have the flu.
    So I usually just don’t bother anymore
    Which sucks because I do like red wines

  18. Carol says:

    I never really developed a taste for alcohol, and it is fascinating how people react when you say no. I just smile and say, “I eat my calories” as I drink my water, and that tends to stop the comments. I will sometimes drink something with a splash of amaretto, and by the second sip I can already feel the effects – my body grows warm and I get very sleepy. I cannot imagine getting drunk (I would be asleep way before then). I have friends who decided to stop when they had kids; they just wanted to make sure they were always present and available in an emergency and decided zero alcohol was the best way to guarantee that. Good for Anne!

  19. Dana M says:

    This happened to me as well after having kids. Literally, a 5 day hangover. I was diagnosed with MTHFR and cannot methylate certain things well. Unfortunately, I don’t drink anymore. I do have a sip here and there though.

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      Late to the thread, but here goes: me too! I have MTHFR issues aswell and I cannot drink more than one beverage before ruining tomorrow. It sucks. I have especially become completely unable to handle red wines, which sucks so much. I love them, but I cannot even handle half a glass recently. It gets worse with age. Did you ever find anything to help speed up your methylation processes? I am taking so many vitamins but don’t really feel a difference.

  20. feralchild says:

    I love the white shirtdress on the cover and the Zippy embroidered dress in the article so much!!!

  21. Case says:

    She mentioned in another interview that she isn’t capable of nursing one glass of wine over dinner — that when she drinks, she drinks a lot. That sounds like a problem to me, but good for her for cutting herself off. It has become normalized to drink to get drunk, unfortunately, and I find it troubling. I’m someone who is totally fine with one drink (I do it for the taste and as a treat, not to get wasted), so people who drink heavily on the regular concern me.