By Javier Romualdo
Los Angeles, Mar 23 (EFE).- Anne Hathaway has become the latest Hollywood star to appear in a production centered on disgraced entrepreneurs, con artists or business fiascos with her role in “WeCrashed,” an Apple TV+ series that explores the financial scandals surrounding flex office provider WeWork.
“It’s not a new story. I think that story’s as old as humanity itself,” Hathaway, the 2013 best-supporting-actress Oscar winner for her performance in the musical romantic drama “Les Miserables,” said in an interview with Efe. “There’s something about it that feels ancient, but the tools have changed. And now we’re kind of getting to know it in a digital space.”
“WeCrashed” marks a new foray into television for an actress that appeared in the short-lived 1999-2000 drama series “Get Real” but then devoted herself to film and is best known for her star turns in movies such as “The Devil Wears Prada” and “The Princess Diaries.”
In “WeCrashed,” Hathaway plays Rebekah Neumann, the wife of WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann.
That company, which emerged in 2010 when interest in co-working spaces was at its peak, achieved a private valuation of nearly $50 billion in early 2019.
But that valuation plunged by more than 80 percent as the result of a failed initial public offering of company stock in 2019, when the disclosures made in its S-1 filing for the IPO showed major problems with its balance sheet and raised serious doubts about its ability to ever turn a profit.
The company finally went public late last year through a special purpose acquisition company merger at a $9 billion valuation.
Hathaway acknowledged that she is interested in the whole phenomenon of “fake it till you make it” because people across different fields often exaggerate their abilities.
She added that self-assuredness is rewarded up to a point and is only called into question when things go badly.
“I’ve done it … when I was auditioning for ‘Brokeback Mountain,’ I said I could ride a horse when I couldn’t. I intended to learn, but I did lie in that moment,” she said of a role that catapulted her to A-list status in Hollywood.
Based on the podcast “WeCrashed: The Rise and Fall of WeWork,” the series tells the story of Adam Neumann (Jared Leto) and Rebekah Neumann (Hathaway) and of a company that at its height had 12,500 employees in 29 countries and had diversified its business outside of the office space and into other areas, including the residential sector and the world of education.
“It tells the story of Rebekah Neumann and her husband … and how their relationship influenced the rise and fall of WeWork,” Hathaway said. “It’s a really complicated, complex story, and it was quite an undertaking.”
While Adam founded WeWork as an ambitious Israeli-American entrepreneur, Rebekah was a yoga instructor and aspiring actress in Los Angeles who served as a sort of spiritual guide to the company.
“WeCrashed,” a streaming miniseries that premiered on March 18, comes on the heels of other productions about disgraced entrepreneurs.
They include “The Dropout,” a miniseries that examines the life of a female entrepreneur – Elizabeth Holmes – who was convicted of criminal fraud for deliberately misleading investors about her health technology company Theranos’ blood-testing technology; “Inventing Anna”; and “The Tinder Swindler.”
“We’re living in a time where we’ve never had greater global access. Things are taking on more epic proportions,” the actress said.
Speculative bubbles, cryptocurrency fever and non-fungible tokens are symptomatic of a world in which “things are growing more rapidly than they would have in the past,” she said.
“And people are trying to invest, understandably, their lives with tremendous meaning. And I think they’re trying to tie capitalist practices to spiritual meaning, and I’m not sure how that’s going to go. I’m not quite sure there’s a future,” Hathaway said. EFE