‘WeCrashed’: Anne Hathaway Explains Why She Avoided ‘Judgment’ While Playing WeWork Co-Founder Rebekah Neumann (Video)

Hathaway tells TheWrap that talking to people who knew the couple helped her the most

Apple TV+’s newest series “WeCrashed” may not center on an outright crime, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some bad choices made in the conception of WeWork. But, for series star Anne Hathaway, it was essential to avoid any judgement of Rebekah Neumann’s choices.

Hathaway of course plays the latter, portraying the WeWork staple and Adam Neumann’s (Jared Leto) wife. During the company’s run, Rebekah served as WeWork’s Chief Brand and Impact Officer, before later founding WeGrow, a private school meant to turn traditional education on its head.

In the series, she’s an ambitious woman with an ego similar to her husband’s, intensely blunt, and at times a bit cold. But, in crafting the fictionalized version of her, Hathaway made sure not to approach the role with those opinions herself.

“The good news is, I approach all my characters with an open mind. It’s the only way to play them,” Hathaway told TheWrap. “I felt even more resolve to keep judgment out of it, because she is living.”

But beyond the fact that Neumann could very well watch “WeCrashed,” Hathaway noted that reserving judgement on people is generally just a good rule of thumb. So, in researching her role, she looked for very specific references.

“I found that any source material that judged the Neumanns wasn’t really helpful to me,” she said. “What was helpful was talking to people that knew them, and had known them maybe for a long period of time, who knew them before they met each other, who knew them before the valuation came in, and were able to kind of help me play certain shifts that had happened.”

Hathaway also read some of the books that the real Rebekah Neumann has publicly talked about throughout her career. You can watch part of our interview with Hathaway in the video above.

“So Rebekah, you know, has been very open about the books that have inspired her spiritual life, so I don’t feel uncomfortable discussing that. But I do always want to be respectful of that,” Hathaway explained. “And one of the sort of spiritual beliefs that she, I believe, would have been familiar with, that I found in my research, was ‘Judge all persons favorably.’ And what that means is, you know, see things for how they are but assume the best of someone.”

Applying that to the Neumanns, Hathaway continued, “And in this case, because we knew the ending from the beginning, we knew that the result was going to be the same. But what if, you know, the go-to reasoning for it wasn’t a harsh assessment of that person, but it was, ‘What were the mitigating factors that made that person act that way, at that particular moment?’”

The first three episodes of “WeCrashed” are now streaming on Apple TV+.