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As many know, actor Anne Hathaway was once cast in Tim Burton’s take on Alice in Wonderland. But she rejected the part when she was first approached for the role. This was because she thought the Alice character was too similar to her role in The Princess Diaries.

Anne Hathaway once felt she was typecast after ‘The Princess Diaries’

Anne Hathaway smiling while wearing a gold dress.
Anne Hathaway | Rich Fury/Getty Images

The Princess Diaries films played a significant role in making Hathaway an A-Lister. The movie and its sequel turned Hathaway into a household name, bringing a lot of attention her way. This would lead to offers from other movies. But the characters she was being asked to play were too similar to her Princess Diaries role.

The young actor didn’t want to be pigeonholed as her Princess Diaries character Mia, so she made steps to change that.

“It was hard get into rooms, to be taken seriously for roles that weren’t princesses,” she once told Huffpost Live (via People). “My whole M.O. in my 20s was being in as many different types of films as you can. Working with as many different types of directors as you can. I think, in part, that’s what I wanted to do as an actor.”

She stuck to this plan of hers when she was offered Alice in Wonderland.

Anne Hathaway was originally offered the role of Alice in Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’

The idea of a contemporary for the classic story Alice in Wonderland floated around Hollywood before director Tim Burton landed the project. Before there was a director attached to the movie, however, Hathaway was being considered for the main role. But it wasn’t a role she was interested in because of her part in The Princess Diaries.

“The studio had the Alice script a long time ago and I was approached back then for the part of Alice. I considered it, but felt, what with The Princess Diaries, that I had been there, done that sort of pretty-girl-in-a-fairy-dress role,” Hathaway once said in an interview with GQ.

Hathaway wouldn’t completely rule out being in Wonderland altogether. She just had her sights set on a different role.

“I told the studio, however, that if they found a director eventually, that I would be interested at a later date in playing the White Queen,” she said.

After Burton was hired for Wonderland, Hathaway kept her word and ended up as the White Queen in the film.

“When Tim came on board he had the cast he wanted and, of course, that didn’t include me. But the other actress who was marked had scheduling conflicts, so the studio piped up and put me forward,” she recalled. “I talked on the phone with Tim and he really liked my take. I wanted the Queen to be a cross between Debbie Harry, Greta Garbo, David Bowie, with little bit of the work of Dan Flavin thrown in for good measure.”

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Hathaway continued adding more versatility to her career by doing more challenging roles. One of the films that she felt helped others take her acting more seriously was Rachel Getting Married. The dark drama earned Hathaway an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

“People that I really respect have come up to me and said that they did not think that I had that in me. That is a very nice feeling but I wasn’t out to prove anything with that role. But that happened without me trying and it was nice. I started when I was so young and my goal has always been career longevity and so I always planned to take my time with everything and explore things,” she once said in an interview with FanBolt.