Anne Hathaway on protecting herself from her 'worst fear' on the Mother's Instinct set

Anne Hathaway says she insisted on being called by her character's name in her latest project in order to protect herself from her "worst fear".

The Oscar winner stars alongside Jessica Chastain in the thriller Mother's Instinct which follows the lives of two 1960s housewives whose lives and friendships are destroyed after a tragic event.

"It was one of those jobs you really, really didn't want to take home with you," Hathaway told Sky News.

An adaptation of the 2018 French film of the same name, Mother's Instinct is the directorial debut of filmmaker Benoit Delhomme, and was shot in just 24 days.

The Devil Wears Prada star says she's typically quite "laid back on set," but this film's storyline forced her to create a separation between work and real life.

"I did call a meeting with Jessica [Chastain], Benoit [Delhomme - the director] and a few of the key crew, and I just said, 'Listen, I'm going to have to insist on this one, that you call me my character's name'."

She says she told them: "I sort of have to create a protective layer between me and her, because this is my worst fear. And I would really appreciate it if everybody could just get under me in the end, support me in this way. And you guys were amazing, and I was protected in that way."

The thriller also stars fellow Oscar-winner Jessica Chastain who believes the time the film is set in, draws comparisons to the present day.

"The 1960s was such an explosive moment in our society in terms of gender, where women were really starting to find their freedom and starting to be heard in a big way."

'Unfair expectations placed on women'

Mother's Instinct sees both actresses battle against gender norms of being a housewife, stopping your career to raise a family and waiting on your husband's needs and desires.

The Good Nurse actress says, unfortunately there's still a way to go: "I think there are unfair expectations placed on women all the time."

Chastain explains that there are certain beliefs placed upon women in the media from "the pitch of their voice" to "how they're presenting themselves in the world in terms of their femininity".

'Actress sniper' Chastain

Hathaway and Chastain are good friends in real life, after having previously worked together on Christopher Nolan's Interstellar.

Hathaway jokes that Chastain was "an actress sniper" on set, adding that she had to let herself "marvel" at her co-star's "incredible" performance.

She says: "It was an aspect of filming that was actually really, really hard because I knew I had to give my friend space to play her character, but I did not want [her] to be that good at anxiety."

The film also features Josh Charles (Dead Poets Society), Anders Danielsen Lie (The Worst Person In The World) and Caroline Lagerfelt (Gossip Girl).

Mother's Instinct is in cinemas now.