Hot ticket

"I was a little nervous coming in as the new kid on the block" ... Anne Hathaway.
"I was a little nervous coming in as the new kid on the block" ... Anne Hathaway.

Not every Disney darling can go so far in life. In 2001, when a 19-year-old Anne Hathaway starred in its frothy, fish-out-of-water comedy The Princess Diaries, she was funny, but gave no real clue to just how far she'd rise.

In the decade since, she has charmed audiences and critics repeatedly, including the US's Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which nominated her for best actress for 2008's Rachel Getting Married.

Hathaway now looks set to charm again - clad in black skintight leather as Catwoman - in Christopher Nolan's final Batman film.

She is the only member of the cast who had not worked with the writer-director before.

''I was a little nervous coming in as the new kid on the block,'' she says. ''Everybody took me to the side and explained that I wasn't being treated any differently, and I didn't feel like I was. But being the only person cast who hadn't worked with Chris motivated me to work even harder because I was determined not to stand out in any way.''

Hathaway's is a rare talent and her career has been well managed. Despite being young and beautiful, she has avoided the typecasting trap. She's done ''damaged'' in Rachel Getting Married and Love and Other Drugs (in which her character suffered Parkinson's disease). She has exploited a considerable gift for comedy in Get Smart and The Devil Wears Prada. And now, that youth and athletic beauty is coming in particularly useful - making the character of the feline jewel thief thoroughly believable.

''I decided it was probably better for my stress levels to focus on how I felt in the suit rather than look at myself in it,'' she says. ''There weren't any mirrors around but occasionally I went to the bathroom and caught a glimpse, so I actually got to know it one piece at a time, never the full version. But the first time I was in it, Tom [Hardy] came out as Bane and Christian [Bale] was in the Batman suit and I got a chill.''

The rare dignity that surrounds Hathaway may also be part of her sustained success. She is mature and private while her peers stumble out of limos flashing their underwear.

When Metro asks a personal question, for example, it is deftly deflected. What does she share in common with her character?

''A real respect for mystery,'' comes the enigmatic reply.

This story Hot ticket first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.