(cont'd on Anno)
So clearly people who use that interview as "evidence" that Rei isn't more than a smile are wrong. They are equally desperate to deny what happened in the series. The story continues for 20 more episodes, with Rei developing and doing some scary, disturbing things, not to mention brave and uplifting. EoE is a spectacle to behold, and Rei's development in the series is an extremely important cornerstone to the development of the story here. Misato, Asuka etc... have character arcs that make no real difference.
Anno, and Kaworu/Asuka fans who hate Rei will say anything even if it doesn't make sense about the original story in order to further their own fandom. This is why Anno is so negative towards Rei, this is why he dislikes Rei and the fans. I see you write this:>Rei doesn't bother to get close to others because she sees herself as a replaceable object. That's probably why Anno dislikes her fanbase as many of them see her as a perfect wife rather than a lonely person.
But how is that even remotely true, when he strongly attempts to make Rei more doll-like, less of a person, with less agency in every spinoff? In the meantime, he's elevated Kaworu to obscene levels of importance and potence, while also making his favorite Asuka free from flaws and virtually untouchable in all spinoffs, particularly Evangelion. The only thing that happened to Asuka so far have meant giving her super strength and eternal youth. How can you rationalize this as anything else but extreme favoritism, while Rei is the constant target of attack?
Anno is a complete otaku. He sees Asuka, Kaworu as his "perfect wives", which is why he copied parts of their character from his favorite characters and even doujins he liked. People he knew, even. He wants people to love these "perfect wives", not the character he worked hard on and surprised him with her popularity.
Get this Kaworu fan: The injustice IS real, and you're part of it every time you deny.