THE PRINCESS DIARIES
About The Location
"The Princess Diaries" shot on numerous locations in California. In Sierra Madre, the Alverno High School served as Grove High, Mia's San Francisco private school. The move to San Francisco for two weeks of filming in various locations around the city, including The Musee Mecanique, a collection of vintage mechanical amusements located near San Francisco's historic Cliff House restaurant, which served as the backdrop for scenes between Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. The city's Russian Hill was the site for a scene involving Mia's beloved '66 Mustang, a cable car and a very steep hill.
San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown portrayed himself in a scene at the Genovian Embassy, where he was interviewed upon his arrival at the Genovian Ball.
"Mayor Brown did a terrific acting job," recalls Garry Marshall. "He even managed to avoid being upstaged by a man juggling pears and a beautiful woman in a low-cut evening gown!"
When word leaks out of Mia's royal lineage, the ensuing media frenzy startles Mia and her family - as does the sudden attention by the unlikeliest of her classmates. The object of her secret crush, Josh Bryant (ERIK VON DEHEN) suddenly seems enamored of her, and he asks Mia to be his date at the Baker Beach party.
A stretch of Malibu's Zuma Beach was transformed into San Francisco's Baker Beach for the party where Mandy Moore - as the spurned Lana - performs a song with her friends Anna (BETH ANNE GARRISON) and Fontana (BIANCA LOPEZ). Josh takes Mia sailing on his boat and the crowd dances into the evening. When the party ends in a paparazzi nightmare of helicopters and flashbulbs, the young princess' dream date turns sour.
The former Doheny Mansion, now St. Mary's College near downtown Los Angeles, served as the Genovian consulate, the site for several key scenes in the film, including Mia's first meeting with her grandmother, Queen Clarisse; Mia's dance lessons; her makeover by a pompous stylist Paolo; and the climactic Genovian Ball.
"The Doheny Mansion is a masterpiece," notes production designer Mayne Berke. "The
mansion was built over the period of 1896 and 1903, and the atrium was added in 1917. Comfort Tiffany himself designed the atrium's beautiful dome, where the ballroom scenes were shot. It's a really wonderful space.
The Mansion contains the late Mrs. Doheny's antique furniture, paintings, silverware and china, which remained with the home when she left the building and its contents to the church. Now a branch of Mt. St. Mary's College, the
building houses the college's executive offices and residence facilities, which remained open while production was shooting there.
Other scenes set in the Genovian Consulate, including a Genovian state dinner where Mia's social shortcomings become all too apparent, were shot on Disney's Stage 2, where Julie Andrews had filmed "Mary Poppins."
"The street where the Banks family lived was on this stage," recalls Andrews. "I remember the street set very well, although the Disney lot has changed so much in the years since we made 'Mary
Poppins' — the whole layout of the lot is very different today."
The L.A. Rock Gym, a rock climbing facility located in Hawthorne became Rocks Around The Clock, where Mia works part time after school. This location served as the backdrop for a mid-air heart-to-heart between Mia and her mother, as well as the site of a scene where Mia first senses a growing attraction to Michael.
Anne Hathaway took rock-climbing lessons for these scenes, and found if exciting.
"I really enjoyed the challenge of trying something new, and it's a lot of fun," says Hathaway of the sport. "I've always been into sports, and I really feel athletics are a great way to stay fit and feel good about yourself."
Director Garry Marshall shares his young star's love of sports: "I love s
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