Hathaway, 'Prada' assistant reunite for 'Song One'

By JESSICA HERNDON, AP Film Writer Updated at 2014-01-24 19:21:51 +0000


PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — After working together on "The Devil Wears Prada," Anne Hathaway has reunited with first-time filmmaker Kate Barker-Froyland for her directorial debut "Song One."

Hathaway starred in the 2006 comedy "The Devil Wears Prada," which was directed by David Frankel. Barker-Froyland was Frankel's assistant on the film. "Song One" is the first feature Barker-Froyland has both written and directed.

Director Jonathan Demme ("Silence of the Lambs"), who Hathaway worked with on the 2008 drama "Rachel Getting Married," sent the actress Barker-Froyland's script. "When he says take a look at something, you take it very seriously," said Hathaway in a recent interview at the Sundance Film Festival, where "Song One" premiered.

"I was so delighted to find that it was written by Kate," Hathaway added. "We had met on 'The Devil Wears Prada' and I was just captivated by her story about the way tragedy can transform you into a better person."

"Song One" focuses on the romance between anthropology student Franny (Hathaway) and folk musician James Forester (Johnny Flynn) after Franny returns home following an accident that's left her brother, Henry, in a coma. James is Henry's musical hero and sparks fly between Franny and James when he visits Henry in the hospital.

The music of "Song One," composed by Jenny Lewis and Johnathan Rice, plays as much of a role in the film as stars Hathaway, Flynn and Mary Steenburgen. "I was really fascinated by the power of music to connect people," said Barker-Froyland in an interview at Sundance. "I wanted to explore how music could bring different characters together."

"Song One" adds to Hathaway's repertoire of music-related films following her Oscar-winning supporting role in 2012's "Les Miserables." Although she doesn't actually sing in "Song One," Hathaway had to get "really sad" as she did in "Les Miserables."

"It was a lot of emotional work in this movie," Hathaway explained. "A loved one being in a coma is just about the worst thing I can imagine happening. I had to go to that place a lot. The film is really about Franny's awakening into being a better person."

"Kate has done the most wonderful job with the film," Hathaway added. "It's really cool to have a new voice on the scene."