Anne shows off athletic side in 'Jane'

July 29, 2007 at 9:48 AM

NEW YORK, July 29 (UPI) -- Actress Anne Hathaway says years of playing softball in New Jersey helped her prepare for an on-screen cricket match in her new film, "Becoming Jane."

Despite her real-life background in sports, the actress said the movie's props department insisted she practice three times a week to prepare for a scene in which her character -- British literary icon Jane Austen -- shows great prowess on the cricket field.

"It was nice of them to care so much, but they didn't ask any of the male cast if they needed any lessons," Hathaway told reporters in New York.

When the time came to film the scene, the actress said she knocked the ball out of the park on the first take.

One of her male co-stars, however, wasn't so skilled with a cricket bat, even though his character was supposed to be.

"We were there for hours," Hathaway recalled. "He could not hit it. It got to the point where they put (the ball) on a tee and framed it out of shot, so that he could really hit it. He was getting pissed and I just sat there smugly."

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