MILLBURN - Anne Hathaway’s journey to her big Oscar moment last night began 20 years ago at the Paper Mill Playhouse in her hometown of Millburn.

Her acting instructor, Mickie McNanny, says everyone saw her as a future star.

“From the first class she came in, Anne had a presence and a focus to her and something special that's really hard to teach," said McNanny.

Hathaway won the award for best supporting actress for her role as Fantine in Les Miserables.

Hathaway has returned to Paper Mill since becoming famous, headlining a benefit after the Sept. 11 attacks. McNanny says she is welcome back any time.

New Jersey screenwriter David Magee, of Scotch Plains, was also nominated for best adapted screenplay for 'Life of Pi,' but Ben Affleck's thriller 'Argo' took home the award.