THE PRINCESS DIARIES
About The Production
Mia Thermopolis (ANNE HATHAWAY) is a bright but shy teen who lives in San Francisco with her free-spirited artist mother Helen (CAROLINE
GOODALL), and experiences the typical perils of high school life along with her best friend, Lilly (HEATHER
A bit of an outsider, Mia is content to slip beneath the radar as she navigates the treacherous waters of physical education class, her school's social caste system and a secret crush on a popular boy. Mia is suddenly thrust into the spotlight when her grandmother, Queen Clarisse Renaldi (JULIE ANDREWS), arrives in town to deliver the startling news that Mia is the heir apparent to the throne of the small European principality of Genovia!
The character of Mia required a very special actress to bring her to life, and Anne Hathaway was chosen from thousands of hopefuls for the role,
"Anne Hathaway has a lot of star qualities," says director Garry Marshall, "She reminds me of two people I love very much - Judy Garland and Harpo Marx, That may sound like a strange combination, but she can
smile and light up the room, or make a goofy face for a laugh - and she's a terrific physical comedian. She's not afraid to fall down. I haven't worked with anyone who wanted to do physical comedy more since I worked with my sister Penny."
"Ga rry Marshall gave me what I believe is the most important advice anybody will ever give me in my career," recalls Hathaway of their first meeting about the film. "He said to me, 'You never know what's going to be a hit, so you might as well have fun making it.' And we ye had more fun than I ever could have imagined."
Of the character of Mia, the slightly awkward and shy young girl who blooms into a self-assured, graceful young woman, Hathaway notes, "I think Mia has gone through life with only one or two people telling her that she is special — her rather flighty mother and her best friend, Lilly. When she begins princess lessons with her grandmother, she begins learning more about herself, which makes her feel good. I think the transformation Mia makes is far more than physical — it's completely emotional and psychological - and it's wonderful."
As for preparing to be a princess, Hathaway says, "There is absolutely no way to prepare for if unless you're born into it. So, all you can do is try to accept it as graciously as
you can, while always remaining true to yourself, which I think is a very important message of this movie. Don't believe in the labels that other people assign to you - follow your own heart."
As Anne Hathaway was the ideal Mia, Julie Andrews was the filmmakers' first and only choice for the role of the formidable Queen Clarisse Renaldi. Garry Marshall, a longtime admirer of Andrews, was thrilled when she agreed to join the cast.
"She is such a talented artist," recalls Marshall of the experience. "She did great work, and she is really funny. She knows
where the jokes are - and she's one of the great reactors of all time. The English language was written for her - she knows every syllable, and I just love to listen to her."
Producer Mario Iscovich echoes Marshall's sentiments, noting, "I can't imagine this movie without Julie Andrews, and we thank our lucky stars that she agreed to join us.
She anchors the movie, and she brings to the part of Clarisse such a regal, elegant quality. Working with Julie Andrews reminds you what a real professional truly is ... she's amazing."
And why was Julie Andrews drawn to the film?
"First and foremost, I was attracted to the project for the opportunity to work with Garry Marshall," says Andrews. "I'm a great admirer of his, and I was thrilled when I was asked. I have always connected with the humor and the layers of character in his films, He does it beautifully — it's all of the tiny details that make you smile and
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