In the new offbeat thriller Colossal, Anne Hathaway plays Gloria, an alcoholic who discovers that her mental breakdown is somehow connected to a giant monster that's terrorising South Korea. It's a very different kind of role for the actress, and she rose to the challenge.

"I felt that it was a movie that dealt with addiction in such an intimate way," she says, "in a way that we're not used to seeing it. It's a really honest and fantastically unshowy film, despite it being searing. And it's not afraid to be funny, because my experience with addiction is that mixed in with all that tragedy are some of the funniest stories you'll ever hear. One of the things I love about Colossal is that it allowed for Gloria to be contradictory."

Anne Hathaway in ColossalAnne Hathaway in Colossal

Indeed, the movie has been described as a sci-fi, drama, allegory, horror and comedy. "This movie doesn't have a clear genre," Hathaway says. "And I think the audience understands that it's okay to laugh and go to a more emotional, powerful place. They don't negate each other."

She cites the recent hit Get Out as another film that does the same kind of thing. "It was made for $4.5 million, and was just one guy listening to his truth," she says. "And how much has it made? Like one-hundred-and-a-fillion dollars!"

She goes on to say that we seem to be "entering a time of post-genre, because we've all now been exposed to so many things through awesome television and the history of amazing movies. It feels like the next thing is: let's mix it up a little bit and let's give you this thing with a twist."

So she was happy to read the script for Colossal and sign up to play Gloria. "The funny thing was, I'm feeling great about it and I'm telling people about it," she recounts, "and everybody I tell about it, once I get to the fact that the drunk girl becomes a gigantic monster that terrorises Seoul, people start to shriek. And they're like, 'I have to see this movie!' I was pregnant at the time, and I was just so freaking happy. I thought, what a cool thing to play someone who everyone else sees as a train wreck but is having a great time. Gloria's the party bus, man! She's having a great time. It's just become untenable. And I think one of the interesting things about Gloria is that she believes she can do anything."