Anne Hathaway (Jim Spellman - WireImage)

Anne Hathaway made headlines when she dropped 25 lbs. for her role as Fantine in Les Miserables, fasting on two thin squares of dried oatmeal paste per day, but those paled in comparison to the ones the actress has been generating since stepping out panty-less at the film’s NYC premiere this week.

“It was devastating,” the actress reportedly told Vanity Fair writer Ingrid Sischy about the moment she realized her private parts had been exposed while exiting an SUV wearing a skin-tight Tom Ford dress. “They saw everything. I might as well have lifted up my skirt for them.”

The 30-year-old also addressed her disappointment photographers had sold, rather than deleted, the revealing photos during an interview with Today host Matt Lauer on Wednesday, after he joked about seeing “a lot” of her lately.

“I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants, which brings us back to Les Mis, because that’s what the character [Fantine] is. She is someone who is forced to sell sex to benefit her child,” she said.

And Hathaway is forced to show up to the interview to sell the movie, which is now generating far more publicity thanks to her decision to go commando than had she rolled up in granny panties.

Unfortunately, we live in a celebrity culture that constantly uses the wardrobe malfunction as a cheap publicity grab, so it’s hard not to let our minds go there with Hathaway, even if it’s just for a second.

The actress has managed to draw such a convenient parallel between her situation and that of Fantine’s, you can’t help but wonder if the whole thing was pre-mediated.

Surely there have been enough starlets pulling a Britney to know the risks of flying knicker-less – and wouldn’t her famed stylist Rachel Zoe have suggested invisible underwear if Hathaway really wanted to avoid VPL?

The film may not have needed a publicity push – it’s scoring tremendous buzz on its own merit – but the extra flood of coverage certainly doesn’t hurt to recoup some of its $61 million budget.

With Hathaway known as one of the good girls, it’s hard to imagine she’d stoop to these levels to boost the box office, but with endless smoke and mirrors in Hollywood these days, you really never know.

And for those insisting the star would never willingly jeopardize her chances of a second Oscar nomination for Les Miserables, they should know celebrity scandals like this blow over faster than most weather patterns, but the rewards of leading a film to a box office win last a whole lot longer.