Skip to content

The Real Reason Anne Hathaway Stopped Drinking Alcohol

The A-lister loved to party, but had a deeply personal motivation for quitting.

Anne Hathaway has starred in many memorable movies over the years, from her breakout performance in The Princess Diaries to her Oscar-winning turn in Les Misérables. But offscreen, the actor has often played another role: party animal.

"We drank the night away," Hathaway said on The Ellen Degeneres Show in 2019, talking about the festive evening she and husband Adam Schulman spent on the East African island Mauritius with her Serenity co-star Matthew McConaughey and his wife Camila Alves. The next day, "I was just kinda stumbling… with one eye open," she remembered. And in the June 2019 issue of Tatler magazine, she recalled an epic hangover that "lasted for five days" after "a day drinking session with friends that went into an evening birthday party with one of my drinking buddies."

Now, however, Hathaway says those days are behind her—for one very specific reason. Read on to find out what motivated Hathaway to swear off alcohol, and when she says she'll feel comfortable raising a glass again.

READ THIS NEXT: The Real Reason Kelly Ripa Stopped Drinking Alcohol.

Hathaway made the decision to quit drinking after a major life change.

Adam Shulman and Anne Hathaway
Joe Seer / Shutterstock

In 2016, Hathaway and her husband welcomed their son Jonathan, followed by a second son, Jack, three years later. "I didn't feel fully landed and fully here until I was a mom," she recently told the Wall Street Journal. "It's not like I was lacking integrity, but it made me want to be completely, on every level, true to my word. And that meant stopping any nonsense that I had going on inside myself."

One of those things was drinking alcohol. "I quit drinking back in October, for 18 years," Hathaway said on Ellen, after recounting the story of her wild night with McConaughey and Alves. "I'm going to stop drinking while my son is in my house, just because I don't totally love the way I do it and he's getting to an age where he really does need me all the time in the mornings."

She says she didn't like being hung over in front of her kids.

Anne Hathaway
DFree / Shutterstock

"The time I have with [my son] is really precious," Hathaway said during another television appearance in 2019. "I do leave a lot for work, and I found my time was getting impacted, not necessary by the drinking, as I never went out of control around him. But I hate to say it… as you get older, the hangovers get really bad."

Hathaway recalled a time when she felt impaired by the after-effects of drinking: "I did one school run one day where I dropped [Jonathan] off at school," she said on Ellen. "I wasn't driving, but I was hungover and that was enough for me. I didn't love that one."

Hangovers can have a dramatic effect on your mood.

anne hathaway with her oscar
s_bukley / Shutterstock

"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," Hathaway told Boston Common in 2019.

There's a good reason Hathaway felt impaired even after a night of drinking. Hangovers are notorious for making people miserable. Some of the symptoms listed by the Mayo Clinic include dry mouth, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, and fatigue.

Hangovers affect our mood, too. Although many people initially feel good while drinking, alcohol is a depressant that "interferes with the release of neurotransmitters linked to mood regulation, including serotonin and norepinephrine," according to Healthline. "Lower-than-normal levels of these important chemical messengers can temporarily affect your speech, coordination, and energy."

RELATED: For more up-to-date information, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Hathaway says she'll start drinking again once her children are grown.

Joe Seer / Shutterstock

"I feel like a traitor," Hathaway told Tatler about giving up alcohol. "My issue is I just love it. So. Much. But the way I do it makes me unavailable for my son."

There are ways to beat that awful feeling of being hungover, and some people swear by remedies they whip up at home. But quitting alcohol is one surefire way to avoid hangovers, as Hathaway discovered. According to Vogue, she's not the only A-lister to do so; Jennifer Lopez and Natalie Portman have also decided to give up drinking, too.

"I don't think drinking is bad," Hathaway clarified to Boston Common. "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."

Once her kids are grown, however, all bets are off. At that point, she jokes, she'll "move to a vineyard and spend the back half of my life completely sloshed, happy, sun-drenched—that's the plan."

READ THIS NEXT: If This Happens When You Drink Alcohol, It Might Be Time to Stop.

Luisa Colón
Luisa Colón is a writer, editor, and consultant based in New York City. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, Latina, and many more. Read more
Filed Under