Anne Hathaway goes by ‘Annie,’ Anne is the name her mom uses to yell at her


Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor star in a new HBO Max film, Locked Down, that I really want to see. They’re a couple whose relationship is all but over when they find themselves quarantined together. Somehow, they end up stealing a three million pound diamond from Harrods and I guess there’s a murderous mafia boss to boot. It looks funny and chaotic and I love the cast. Anne is doing promotion for the film and swung by The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Apparently, she hasn’t been there in some time because Jimmy was congratulating her on her second baby, who is already a year old now. 2020 was such a time loop.

The interview was cute, if not very deep. Anne called in from what looks like her family room, which is big and airy and makes for terrible acoustics. Jimmy asked Anne what he should call her. It’s a good question because I’ve noticed that when Anne quotes people talking to her, she always has them calling her Annie. So what does Anne like to be called? Anything but Anne, that’s for sure. And the reason is pretty relatable. She’s only gets called Anne by her mom when she’s in big trouble.

Turns out, fans have been calling Anne Hathaway by the wrong name for her entire career! The 38-year-old Oscar winner appeared on Tuesday’s The Tonight Show where host Jimmy Fallon noted that he’d heard Hathaway’s close friends refer to her as “Annie.”

“Call me Annie, everybody, everybody, call me Annie, please,” Hathaway begged before getting into the confusion over her name.

“When I was 14 years old, I did a commercial, and I had to get my SAG card and they asked me, ‘Well, what do you want your name to be?'” she explained. “And I was like, ‘Well, it should be my name. My name’s Anne Hathaway.’ So that seemed like the right choice, but it never occurred to me that for the rest of my life, people will call me Anne.”

Hathaway added that it’s jarring to be called “Anne” by fans when they approach her in public.

“The only person who calls me Anne is my mother and she only does it when she’s really mad at me, like really mad,” the Locked Down star shared. “So every time I step out in public and someone calls my name, I think they’re going to yell at me.”

“People are like, ‘Anne!’ And I’m like ‘What? What did I do?!'” she joked. “People are so lovely they don’t want to be presumptuous and so I think they come up with workarounds on set because the truth is nobody’s comfortable with calling me Anne ever. It doesn’t fit. I’m an Annie. People call me H, people call me Hath, so feel free, call me anything but Anne.”

[From ET]

I totally feel Anne on this name thing and ironically, I kind of don’t know how to refer to her as I write this. It’s even funnier to me in her case because Anne Hathaway is a famous historical person, so there’s already connotations/stigmas when people hear the name. But I’m weird about my name too so I get it. My mom named me something that was very popular the year I was born. She claims it was a nod to my paternal grandmother, since it’s a version of her middle name, but that’s a tenuous connection at best. My dad asked for a girl’s name that could be shortened to a boy’s name and as a result, no one in my family has ever called me anything but the shortened version of my name. My real name never seemed to fit me, so my friends called me by my initials. I write under pseudonyms and that’s what those communities call me. So, like Anne, when someone uses my legal name, I assume there’s a problem. I’m a mess in doctor’s offices.

I’m posting both clips of Annie’s segments below. The first one because it’s relevant to the story and the second because I thought it was fun. They play one of Jimmy’s games and Anne revealed her first celebrity crushes were Leonardo DiCaprio and Eddie Vedder – that’s quite a combo. I can’t talk, though – mine were Shaun Cassidy and *mumbles* Scott Baio. Don’t worry, I replaced him very quickly with Harrison Ford! Jimmy’s story about trying to schedule a fight in middle school due to extracurricular activities is pretty funny. Locked Down premieres today.

Photo credit: YouTube and Instagram

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39 Responses to “Anne Hathaway goes by ‘Annie,’ Anne is the name her mom uses to yell at her”

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  1. ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

    I have a friend named Beth. That is the name on her birth certificate. When I asked her as a teenager if Beth was short for Elizabeth, she said that her mother knew she was going to call her Beth and said it didn’t make any sense to give her a formal name other than that. I thought that seemed pretty reasonable.

    • SarahCS says:

      A friend of mine at high school was called Jenny and in our first year she had to tell every single teacher ‘my name’s not Jennifer it’s Jenny’ again and again and again!

    • Jo73c says:

      Same, I’ve got a friend called Dan, who gets formal letters to Daniel from people thinking they’re using his real name.

    • minx says:

      My daughter is Kate, that’s her birth name, it’s not shortened. She hates to be called Katie!

  2. Goldie says:

    I grew up in the same town as her. My sister was friends with her in middle and high school. It’s true, everyone called her “Annie”. When she first became famous, it took a while for me to get used to her being called “Anne”. 🙂

    • Katie says:

      it’s crazy to me that she’s Annie, doesn’t match because I have a different idea of an Annie in my head haha. and she’s so polished and clear in the way she talks, it just doesn’t fit an Annie who is more muted and chill and not as glam. which is probably something I would never have noticed if I just knew her as Annie Hathaway all my life but it’s always been Anne so now it’s a bit of a dissonance

      • ItReallyIsYouNotMe says:

        I had the same reaction that Annie is less polished and elegant than I identify with Hathaway, but then I remembered that there was an Annie in my high school who was very polished and I never thought twice about her name not fitting her. it must be that we get used to the names we know people by and anything else just sounds “off.”

    • Nikki* says:

      Thanks for giving us the inside scoop!

  3. AnnienotAnne says:

    My name is Anne too but I have gone by Annie my whole life. The only people who call me Anne are my extended family even though I’ve asked over and over not to be called that. I 100% get her finally yelling at the world to call her Annie lol

    • SamC says:

      I’m so the opposite. Also Anne with an “e” (drives me nuts when people I’ve known forever still forget that). I can’t stand being called Annie, probably stems from my mother hating it and vigorously correcting anyone as I was growing up (having curly hair as a child didn’t help). Funnily enough, when pulling together the documentation for my first drivers license we found out my name is Anna on my birth certificate, which is what my late grandfather would always call me, and for anything legal I have to sign as Anna.

  4. Nikki* says:

    My parents called us all by our MIDDLE names, so my legal stuff was the only thing w/my first name. Since 9/11 when you needed ID, I became VERY confused if different things were in my first or middle name. A background search showed my “alias”, and I was called for jury duty as two different people! Don’t do this to your kids!!

    • SarahCS says:

      I dated a guy who had a family tradition that the first son would be named William but that would never be used and they would always be known by their middle name. Weird and confusing for paperwork.

    • Nicole says:

      Ugh! Same here. I would have dropped my first name when I got married, but it’s my grandmother’s name and I felt guilt. I’m always telling people “it’s either under this name or this name, I can’t remember which one I put on the paperwork.” I swore never to do that with my kids. Plus, I was painfully shy as a child, so having to raise my hand on the first day to ask the teacher to call me by my middle name was awful!!!!

    • Mumzy says:

      Mr. Mumz not only goes by a middle name, but it’s the first of his two middle names. It has created plenty of confusion at times!

      We gave each of our kids two middle names as well (family names), but they do go by their firsts. Well…except for our youngest son who would make up a new name to go by at various times throughout primary school. That started because he had long been the only kid at his school with his first name, until a new kid with the same name, and raging bully syndrome, arrived. Then, he decided to switch to his first middle name, which was fine. Apparently , he tired of that, and unbeknownst to me, chose another at random. As a result, unfortunately, at least one set of parents from that school still thinks my son’s name is………Chester. Note that I never knew, or knew of, *any* Chester, until years later my sister asked me if my youngest had ever gone by that name. I laughed and said “No! Why? At school, he went by his 1st middle for a long while, so a lot of people call him that, but Chester? Definitely not!” She had been talking with a colleague who mentioned his child’s school. She shared that her niece and nephews had also attended. He said he’d known a child with the same last name as ours, but his name was Chester. It is a *very* small school, and there was no other family there with our last name, the grade he referenced had only 32 kids total, so she knew that he had the right kid, but the wrong first name. When I later asked my kids about “Chester” they burst into laughter and said, “Yeah, he went by that for awhile! You didn’t know that?” No. No I had *not.*

      So, there’s some name confusion! The kid already has 4 names, and then somewhere in his head was a sarcastic random name generator. (I should’ve named him Sur Y. Not—that would’ve suited best.)

    • LightPurple says:

      My Dad’s family was similar. They were all named after older family members but their parents called them by their middle names. My Dad went by both. With family and friends, he used his middle name but in all his work associates called him an abbreviation of his first name. One of his sister’s always used his first initial and her middle name. Another sister changed her name legally.

      • JanetDR says:

        My ex father in law’s family all had nicknames that were just regular names. It was really odd. Like, Uncle Bills name was actually Fred. No middle name connection. I never got what I thought was a reasonable explanation for it.

  5. Jayna says:

    This reminds me of Julianne Moore. Her real name is Julie Anne Smith. It was changed professionally for her stage name. In real life, she goes by Julie. No one calls her Julianne.

    On why she changed her name professionally:

    “There was already a Julie Smith, a Julie Anne Smith, there was everything. My father’s middle name is Moore; my mother’s name is Anne. So I just slammed the Anne onto the Julie. That way, I could use both of their names and not hurt anyone’s feelings. But it’s horrible to change your name. I’d been Julie Smith my whole life, and I didn’t want to change it.”

    • stormsmama says:

      I had no idea. Julie Smith!
      Thanks for sharing Jayna!

    • lucy2 says:

      I didn’t know that about her! In some ways it has to be annoying to always be referred to as a different name, but on the other hand no one is going to see the name Julie Smith somewhere and assume it’s her, so it probably grants a bit of anonymity.

  6. ce says:

    My parents named me and my siblings nicknames-backward, so like they decided on our nicknames and *then* figured out what that was short for. My sister only goes by the nickname and hates the legal name, but in 6 months when she gets married she’ll legally change it. As for me, all my legal forms are a mess. I realized after I got married I had put different spellings of my *middle* name on legal forms by accident because when I got my licence at 16 I “liked a different spelling better” and no one caught the mistake. Oops.

    • Brandy Alexander says:

      My husbands parents did the same. They knew they wanted to call him by initials, and just found names to match the initials they wanted. Anytime anyone calls him by his real first name, it sounds so weird.

  7. Circe says:

    My daughter is Anne (from Anne of green gables, my favorite book) but she goes by Anouk (from Chocolat, another great book). I love that she has options. I’m a Catherine who also goes by Cathy and it’s nice to be able to use both. Anne is such a beautiful name, I love seeing so many others out there!

  8. anniefannie says:

    I was named after my Moms sister who is an Anne. I have been an Annie all my life as when growing up I had ZERO in common with my Aunt who actively didn’t like me ( and trust me when I say there was zero reason for her to feel that way) Now when I’m called Anne it really gets under my skin ( my Ex husband does it constantly when he cracked the code)

  9. manda says:

    My name is Amanda and I am fine with that, or Manda, but I really cringe when people other than my family try to call me Mandy. That is reserved for my mom and my sister.

    I have a friend whose older sister was always Anne. She was scary cool when I was a freshman and she was a senior. Flash forward twenty years, and Anne is now a friend, and she likes to go by Annie, and it’s just hard for me because for years she was Anne. Thankfully she doesn’t appear to mind (hasn’t said anything, at least) that I mess it up sometimes!

  10. Emmy Rae says:

    I wonder why she doesn’t put Annie as her display name on social media. Too confusing? Maybe she will now since she is getting the word out that she’s Annie?

  11. kimmy says:

    I’m an 80’s baby. Growing up, there were 2 other Kim’s in my class, so we always had to use our last initials. Then in 5th grade volleyball, the coach called me Kimmy and it stuck. The nickname followed me to high school and college (where no one was from my home town!) and after. My closest friends, their families, and my mom still call me Kimmy. My husband and his family call me Kim…its still kind of jarring!

  12. stormsmama says:

    Im happy for her. And I get it. She’s taking complete ownership of her identity.
    It IS a trip to change your name.

    I recently went “back” to being called the short version of my name. Its annoying in little ways bc its like people want an explanation. I prefer it. Its my name.

    I will call her Annie!

  13. lucy2 says:

    I’ve always seen costars and such refer to her as Annie, but always took it as a friendly nickname, not what she actually prefers.
    Everyone who knew me as a kid or knows me through my family calls me my nickname, the rest of the world and all my professional stuff, my full name.

  14. Nikki (49) says:

    i’m Nicole, but i’ve always been called Nikki for over 50 yrs (after Poet Nikki Giovanni). whenever someone calls me Nicole i look around thinking “hey, another Nicole” .

  15. Lilpeppa40 says:

    I totally understand her. I have a double barreled first name (Think like Beth-Anne) and everyone just calls me Beth, only my mother calls me Beth-Anne when she’s upset and it’s so jarring to me when I hear people call me Beth-Anne

  16. CC2 says:

    Emily Blunt calls her Annie in interviews too! Always thought it was a cute affectionate name.

  17. Annalise says:

    That’s so funny because my full first name is Annalise but my family has always called me Annie and I HATE it. When I was 18 I decided that from that point on my new nickname would be Anna, and since I was 18 a LONG time ago pretty much everyone in my life calls me Anna EXCEPT my family who insist on still calling me Annie. This is obviously just my opinion, but I think Anna (or Anne) is MUCH more sophisticated and adult sounding than Annie.


    I’m loving all of the other Annie’s coming out of the woodwork! I’ve only ever met one other in my life. My husband keeps urging me to go by “Anne” to be more professional, but after a lifetime of Annie it’s just so hard to change!

  19. Queen Meghan's Hand says:

    This reminds me: Does anyone remember when she won for Les Miz at the NY Critic’s Circle Awards and they spelled her name wrong?

    Before starting her acceptance speech, she pointed out that they spelled her name wrong–“It’s Anne with an E.” Because of that I will only ever think of her as Anne with an E Hathaway.

    • sa says:

      I either don’t remember that or just never knew about it, but good for her.

      Seriously, they give her an award, but can’t even be bothered to spell her name correctly? It’s not that hard.

  20. GuestwithCat says:

    Interesting. I have, of course, a legal name like anyone else, but will answer to whatever anyone wants to call me.

    My poor addled mother called me by the dog’s name a lot. It confused the dog when I would also show up when the dog was called. Lol.

    My friends and family and I have had a lot of fun with giving me different names over the course of my life. I never had any problems keeping it straight in my head to answer to whatever I was called. It was all in good fun and I think it seemed natural because the name I was given never really fit me and everyone sort of realized that. But in all these years, nobody has really found a name or nickname for me that fit well enough I thought I should legally change to it. So I’ve changed names the way some people change hairstyles. But all my documentation has stayed consistent and I’ve had no problems in that regard.

    My husband’s family is more normal/rigid about names, so I’ve been pretty bored answering to my legal first name around them for the last 30 years.

    My daughter and I used to play games as imaginary characters when she was little, so she got used to calling me crazy names like Esmerelda when she was little. But usually she just calls me “Mom” now that she’s past playing make-believe.

  21. LoonaticCap says:

    I fully relate to this and all the comments are wonderful. I have a portuguese name that is not so common, and have been named after my aunt – who is a famous singer in my country.
    So we have the same nickname and the main difference is that it’s her second name and for me it’s my first, but at family gatherings it’s always confusing…
    On the other hand at work i like to be called by my legal name (basically you remove the two first letters of my name to use my nickname), because it goes hand in hand with professionalism and also with respect (some like to use that as a way to get too close for comfort).
    Also, because my nickname is so easy to catch on people then start putting that name on emails and I dislike that. It’s a good way to keep my professional and personal life separate.
    However, I find it oddly endearing when someone I like at work decides to call me by my nickname.
    It’s a mess but it’s ok. I also have tons of cute little nicknames people give me, there’s just a couple I don’t like.

  22. Charfromdarock says:

    She is stunning in the Instagram pics she’s posted over the past few days.

  23. msd says:

    When she first became famous I thought of Shakespeare’s wife.

    Actors having to change their name because another actor has it still seems quite odd to me. I can’t think of another profession that insists on it.