Anne Hathaway has confessed she has been laying low on purpose after taking "a beating" online.

The US actress faced a public backlash after winning several awards, including an Oscar, for Les Miserables last year - with people criticising her acceptance speeches and fashion choices - and she has now admitted that she has been avoiding the limelight for a while.

Talking to MTV about why she decided to end that break with low-budget film Song One, Anne said: "We had been working on the script for almost two years before we actually started shooting. All of the elements came together in that moment.

"I don't want to bring up a sore subject or anything - I think my publicist is probably like 'No, no no' - but I had just taken a little bit of a beating from the internet."

She went on: "It was the greatest thing in the world to get to work with my friends and get to go to work every day and bring Kate's (writer and director Kate Barker-Froyland) vision to life, which is a vision that I believe in. I felt like it was really cool. I felt like I had a secret."

It isn't the first time the 31-year-old has touched on the subject - she recently said in an interview: "My impression is that people needed a break from me."