HATHAWAY, ANNE: THE PRINCESS DIARIES
PRINCESS OR PROFESSOR
Young American newcomer Anne Hathaway
makes her debut co-starring with Julie Andrews in The Princess
Diaries – but she’d be just as happy as a Professor of
English, she explains to Andrew L. Urban.
In The Princess Diaries, Anne Hathaway plays San Francisco
teenager Mia Thermopolis, whose true identity has been kept
secret by her artist mother Helen (Caroline Goodall). When Mia's
paternal grandmother, Queen Clarisse Renaldi (Julie Andrews)
arrives in the
But when she was about seven, she observed her actress mother
getting a great kick out of her work on the national tour of Les
Miserables (as Fantine). “I saw her become a different
person, and that appealed to me. But it was just a hobby. It was
not a planned career. It only became a career choice when I did
The Princess Diaries.”
US, the shy and awkward Mia is shocked to learn that she is now
heir to the throne of Genovia, a tiny European principality.
Given 'princess lessons' by her grandmother and the staff, Mia
must decide whether to accept her royal role. A bit like Anne
Hathaway, in a way.
Ever since she was a little girl, Anne Hathaway knew her
priorities. When her parents would ask her, which is more
important to her – to be pretty or to be smart, she’d
always reply, “Smart.”
“(Acting) was just a hobby.
It was not a planned career”
But don’t get the wrong idea: it’s no flash in the pan.
Hathaway, who goes from bushy-browed plain Jane to pretty
Princess in her feature debut, has done other good work, like the
Fox tv drama series, Get Real, in which her role as Meghan Green
won her a nomination at the 2000 Teen Choice Awards, among others.
She is also the first teenager admitted to the acting program of
the award winning Barrow Group in New York She studied acting at
the Paper Mill Playhouse in New Jersey.
“if there’s no work as
an actress, or I choose not to continue that career, I’d
become a Professor of English”
When looking through scripts for new roles, Hathaway tries to put
herself “in that place. Sometimes I feel I’m not quite
ready to play a role . . .but it’s three months of it, so I
have to be prepared to be in that place for that time.”
There aren’t that many strong roles for an 18 year old, says
Hathaway, relaxing on a couch in one of Sydney’s harbourside
hotels. In fact, she still hasn’t found a suitable script
since making The Princess Dairies last year (2000). But no
matter, she’s back at university (for security reasons, her
campus is being kept under wraps) majoring in English (with women
studies); “if there’s no work as an actress, or I
choose not to continue that career, I’d become a Professor
of English,” she says flatly.
While movies don’t define the way people live, she says,
“they do make a difference. Escapism, for one. But they can
also help people. One nine year old girl came up to me after The
Princess Diaries and said it taught her she could do anything...”
Published September 13, 2001
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