Anne Hathaway Refused to Villainize Rebekah Neumann When She Agreed to ‘WeCrashed’: ‘She’s Really Sweet’

Limited series WeCrashed stars Oscar winners Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto. Inspired by actual events, the eight-episode Apple TV+ series documents the rise and fall of WeWork, a Silicon Valley “unicorn” and provider of coworking spaces.

Hathaway, who typically works on blockbuster movies, agreed to star in the TV show only after producers agreed she could portray co-founder Adam Neumann’s wife, Rebekah Neumann, in a positive light.

‘WeCrashed’ is based on the true story of a powerful New York couple

Apple TV+'s 'WeCrashed' stars Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto pose on the red carpet during the premiere
Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto attend the global premiere of Apple TV+’s WeCrashed | Emma McIntyre/WireImage

In 2010, Israeli-born entrepreneur Adam Neumann started WeWork, a company designed around the concept of shared office spaces. The co-working idea became an enormous success. As Town & Country reports, investors valued WeWork at $47 million at one point. Neumann’s wife, Rebekah, was the force behind a private school initiative, WeGrow.

The company took a nose-dive in 2019 during a public offering. Neumann was forced to resign as CEO, receiving a $1.7 billion payout. He spent the next few years living extravagantly and traveling with his wife and six children.

WeCrashed certainly focuses on the rise and fall of WeWork. But the limited series also follows the love story between the power couple who have been married since 2008.

Anne Hathaway has mutual friends in common with Rebekah Neumann

Before taking on the WeCrashed role, The Princess Diaries star realized she could reach out to mutual friends who knew the real Rebekah, a cousin of Gwyneth Paltrow. According to Newsweek, Hathaway said everyone described the WeGrow founder as “a really sweet person.”

The Devil Wears Prada actor said she told Apple producers she was not interested in humiliating anyone. They agreed, saying, “That’s a relief to hear because we don’t want to do that either.”

Hathaway explained she found it an interesting juxtaposition that people found Neumann “sweet” despite everything that unfolded at WeWork. She questioned, “What if she really did sincerely want to make the world a better place? What if people aren’t conveniently villainous the way sometimes they are made out to be?”

The Oscar winner discussed how she wanted to tell the story of this “much more interesting person” than the one described in many news reports. Hathaway revealed that this is where she began, diving into portraying the complex character alongside Leto’s Adam.

Jared Leto was always in character while filming ‘WeCrashed’

Variety predicts that Leto is “an early front-runner in this year’s Emmys race.” To ensure he could pull off Adam’s accent, the 50-year-old actor hired five Israelis to help him learn the dialect so that he could “hear that voice all the time.”

The Suicide Squad actor revealed that the real-life Adam “charmed” him when they met. According to Variety, “Leto found it surprisingly challenging to play Neumann, who seems to bounce with energy.” 

Hathaway was extremely impressed by her co-star’s ability to stay in character between takes, calling it “fun,” “wild and focused,” and “inspiring.” She said, “I didn’t really work with Jared. He was only ever Adam.” This method of acting is nothing new for Leto, who has famously committed to his past roles in extreme forms.

WeCrashed is the first time the Dallas Buyers Club actor stars in a recurring role on a TV show since his memorable portrayal of Jordan Catalano in the 1994 ABC teen drama My So-Called Life.

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