Did Anne Hathaway Dye Her Hair Blonde For Eileen?

‘Eileen,’ a mysterious thriller film, follows the story of two women whose intriguing dynamic leads them down unexpected avenues. Eileen, the eponymous lead, is a shy young lady in her 20s who leads a detestable life beside her unkind father, Jim Dunlop. However, things begin to look up for her after the arrival of a dazzling blonde woman, Rebecca, the new prison psychologist. In working beside one another at the detention center, Eileen and Rebecca grow close, with the former glowing under the other woman’s attention. Nevertheless, as some secrets come out in the open, Eileen finds her life spiraling out of control under Rebecca’s infatuating influence.

The story centers around the relationship between Eileen and Rebecca, infusing their storylines with thrilling plot twists and compelling chemistry. Therefore, as Anne Hathway’s captivating character, Rebecca, a confident blonde woman, graces the screen, charming Eileen and the audience alike, curiosity is bound to arise about the actress’ drastic change in hairstyle.

Anne Hathaway’s Rebecca and the Blond Wig Behind the Character

Although Anne Hathaway has dyed her hair blonde in the past— notably in 2013, wherein she sported a bright bleach-blonde pixie cut, the actress did not change her natural hair for her role in ‘Eileen.’ Instead, in order to achieve her character, Rebecca’s signature blonde bob, Hathaway wears a wig. Nevertheless, due to the film’s period setting, Hathaway’s wig remains a crucial part of her character’s authenticity, with the narrative requiring a realistic appearance from Rebecca’s hairstyle. The same ensures the film is able to transport the viewers to a different era efficiently.

“It was such a heightened performance, and [Rebecca] is a really grand character, and I knew that if the wig looked wiggy, then it would kind of undo everything,” Hathaway said in a conversation with Today about her hairstyle in the film. She added, “There’s so many things that you’re doing, and if there’s a false note in any part of it, it kind of gives the whole game away.” Therefore, a realistic look was instrumental when it came to Hathaway’s on-screen blonde persona.

Consequently, hair stylist Colleen LaBaff’s extensive experience and talent in heading hair departments came in handy to develop the perfect hairpiece for Hathaway. LaBaff has previously worked on several other period pieces, such as the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise and ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,’ alongside others. For ‘Eileen,’ the Director William Oldroyd wanted to reference a particular hairstyle from the late 1950s. Thus, LaBaff sourced a wig from London, mining inspiration from Monica Vitti, an Italian actress from the 1960s.

Ultimately, with some skillful trimming, toning, and styling, LaBaff perfected Rebecca’s blonde bob. “He [Oldroyd] wanted it as real and raw as possible, which is right up my alley— because doing wigs in period work, sometimes it’s just too overdone. I love the raw, real, and that’s exactly what we did,” shared LaBaff. “It’s so much better to do less than more in our world.” As such, Hathaway’s on-screen appearance as a blonde Rebecca came to be without requiring the actress to dye her own naturally dark hair. In the end, the final result enhanced the film’s overall visual while also reinforcing a vital part of Rebecca’s character.

Read More: Eileen Ending, Explained: Was Rebecca Real or Imaginary?