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THE PRINCE AND ME

About The Story

"For me, what the story says about true love is that you have to be willing to take the risk to find it, and that's something Paige and

Eddie — at least in the beginning — are not willing to do,” says director Martha Coolidge. "So what you have, basically, are two people looking for love, but unaware that they are!”

Observing that it isn't just the external obstacles that the characters face, but also their own internal obstacles as well, Coolidge adds, "We all have a fear of love as well as a desire for it, and this film deals with that battle in a very honest way.”

Producer Mark Amin agrees. "We wanted to make a film about fantasy and wish fulfillment and make it plausible enough that audiences could allow themselves to believe it could actually happen,” says Amin. ..J think our charismatic stars, Julia and Luke, and the connection they shared onscreen, gives us all a renewed sense that a love like this is not only the stuff of dreams."

Winner of the 2001 Teen Choice Award for her role in "Save the Last Dance,” and garnering rave reviews for her recent performance in "Mona Lisa Smile,” Julia Stiles, who portrays Paige, says she found the similarities she shared with her character uncanny.

"When I first read the script, which I loved, I thought the writers had done some sort of research on me — that's how amazingly similar I am to this character,” laughs Stiles. "Because we have so much in common, it's that much easier to understand Paige's psychology and why she makes the choices she does.”

Relative newcomer Luke Mably ("28 Days Later”) says he had the time of his life making the film. "To be this budding actor and to suddenly be portraying the Prince of Denmark, riding horses, kissing beautiful women and driving fast cars opposite an actress the likes of Julia Stiles has been a fairy tale within itself,” says Mably. "Straightaway from the screen test, Julia has just been brilliant and very supportive.”

Stiles herself says she was very impressed with Mably's ability to take on such a demanding role as a prince. "Luke is a very genuine, honest person and he is extremely present in every scene. He's not in his own world, like a lot of actors. It was a pleasure to work with him.”

With a cast of over 50, and two distinctive countries as the film's backdrop, the filmmakers cast a wide net in search of their stars, with casting calls going out to Los Angeles, New York, Toronto, London, Denmark and Prague.

"From the onset, we all agreed Julia Stiles embodies the independent and modern young woman who Paige is,” remembers producer Mark Amin, who first had the notion for a romantic comedy like "The Prince & Me” after a female friend told him that one of her college classmates had actually turned out to be a prince from Holland. "And as for Luke, besides his obvious acting skills, we all knew we'd made the right choice when the number of young women who were coming to my office with various excuses suddenly tripled every time he was there.”

Director Martha Coolidge points out how Stiles' own intelligence is very appropriate to the role she plays. "Julia understands the issues Paige is up against,” says Coolidge. "She's very savvy about the character and knows the conflict between emotion and intellect that young women who are seeking careers face.”

Executive producer Cami Winikoff adds: "Julia just brings so much to the table; she is an amazing, responsible, mature young woman. As a Columbia University student herself, Julia is very driven, determined and focused — much like the character she plays in the film.”

Winikoff remembers how Luke Mably came aboard. "Martha Coolidge is great at discovering new talent. She called us from England and said ‘I found our Prince Charming; he's incredible and he's going to be a star!' And she's absolutely right.”

Recalls Coolidge: "

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