Hathaway is most known for her innocent and spunky roles such as "The Princess Diaries," but this fall that drastically changes in her latest film, "Rachel Getting Married."
She sat down with Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith to discuss this latest role, which is generating Oscar buzz.
In the film, Hathaway plays Kim, who comes home after nine months in rehab for her sister's wedding. The movie highlights what takes place during that weekend and what emotional memories are rehashed.
"Rachel Getting Married" also touches upon "people who want to let the past be buried and people who aren't ready to look at what happened and people who are," Hathaway explained.
Although Hathaway considers the film to be funny, she said that the term "dysfunctional" gets turned around a lot when describing the family in this movie.
"Actually, the director (Jonathan Demme) and I think that they are painfully functional," she explained.
American director Demme has a distinct style to his films where nothing seems rehearsed or looks like it's dialogued.
"There is very little acting, quote-unquote acting. To have that kind of transparency in your work is exciting," Hathaway said.
Hathaway had to draw a lot on her inner emotions to reveal the emotions of a person with an addiction and with a horrible cross to bear.
"You go to the truth. I'm very, very lucky that I love my job and my job is to really plumb the depths of my imagination and my character's circumstances, the stakes are very high and her pain is so present over the death of her little brother, which she does bear the responsibility for. What I thought about was the depths of my love for my brother and where that would take me. That was the jumping off point," Hathway said.
She is humbled by the Oscar-buzz surrounding her portrayal of Kim.
"Does it matter? It certainly doesn't - 'doesn't matter.' I've been doing this a decade and this is the first time I've ever gotten any kind of recognition on this level that people are saying that my work could garner something like that or deserves it. That's amazing," Hathaway gushed.
"I'm not going to lie. That makes me feel really good, but I'm not going to be any more proud of this film. It hasn't opened yet and I think the film is successful," she said.