When Elizabeth Hathaway moved from Los Angeles to Atlanta six years ago to become the Assistant U.S. Attorney and deputy chief of narcotics, she viewed the change as a great career opportunity and a chance to experience a different culture. Hathaway had never lived in the Southeast.
But she has traveled to 23 different countries on six continents. Along the way, she's seen wild animals in Africa, been to the Oscars and walked the streets of Jericho.
"I always loved traveling and I like to experience different cultures," she said.
She recently discussed her yen to wander with the Daily Report.
Are you a California native?
No, I was brought up in upstate New York. After law school, I had a job offer from a firm in L.A. and realized I could live somewhere without a winter. I was there for 10 years.
Lots of people live in L.A. and never get to the Oscars. How did you manage it?
Our firm represented the Academy [of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences], which gave me the opportunity to apply to become a seat filler. The Academy wants the audience always to look full, so people fill the seats for stars. Believe it or not, you have to go to the venue and practice how to fill a seat. All the seat changes take place during the commercials, so you have to move really fast.
Tell us all the details. Did you get to meet stars, have a makeover and rent jewelry?
We were told that if you had to ask whether your outfit was dressy enough, it wasn't, so I rented a silver gown. I got up really early in the morning and had my hair done, but I didn't rent jewelry. I'm not sure jewelers do that for just anybody.
You wait in line until you are needed. I started out in a front row, center seat, but then Uma Thurman showed up right before the show, so I had to leave. Later I think I filled Val Kilmer's seat. It's exciting because you get to see up close all the actors you've seen on the big screen. I was directly in front of Sophia Loren, who is stunning, and Robin Williams was on the end of my row. I told him I was a big fan and he was very friendly.