In Which Anne Hathaway Movie Does Her Real-Life Dad Play Her Father?

Anne Hathaway is an Academy-Award winning actress known for her roles in the films The Intern, Interstellar, The Princess Diaries, Les Misérables, and The Devil Wears Prada, among others. While the movie star’s mother, Kate McCauley Hathaway, is also a former actress, Gerald Hathaway, Anne Hathaway’s father, is a labor attorney. However, he did appear in one of his daughter’s most iconic movies.

Anne Hathaway and parents
Gerald Hathaway, Anne Hathaway, and Kate McCauley Hathaway in 2013 | Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Anne Hathaway’s real-life father appeared in the 2001 Disney movie ‘The Princess Diaries’

Hathaway’s film debut came in 2001 with The Princess Diaries; she played regular-teenagaer-turned-royalty, Mia Thermopolis. According to IMDb and other sources, the young actress’s actual dad appeared as Mia’s father in the movie.

“The picture of Mia’s deceased father next to her music box is Anne Hathaway’s real-life father,” the trivia page reveals. “He also appears to be writing the letter to her while fishing.”

However, the voiceover that we hear in The Princess Diaries reading out the letter is not Hathaway’s dad. IMDb reports that an actor named Rene Auberjonois played the voice of Philippe Renaldi.

Readers of Meg Cabot’s book The Princess Diaries, on which the movie was based, will recall that Mia’s dad is alive in the novel. In the book, Mia’s father has cancer. Apparently, “Disney thought that topic was too “adult,” so they decided that for the movie, the Philippe character would already have died.

Anne Hathway played Mia Thermopolis in ‘The Princess Diaries’, her first foray into movies, at age 17

What are some other fun facts about the 2001 movie? IMDb trivia shared that “Mia’s cat, Fat Louie, was Anne Hathaway’s pet in real life.” However, more than one feline friend was necessary to portray Louie.

“Four different cats played the role,” IMDb reported. “One who allowed people to carry it, one who could sit still, another who would jump, and the last one, who sits on the envelope at the end of the movie.”

For many reasons, it seems like Hathaway was born to play the role of Mia in The Princess Diaries. At one point in the film, Mia recites a soliloquy from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. The infamous playwright married a woman named Anne Hathaway.

Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway
Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway during The Princess Diaries premiere after-party | SGranitz/WireImage

Hathaway’s clumsiness also contributed to her perfect characterization of Mia. In the scene in which Mia is walking on the bleachers and falls, Hathaway actually tripped, on accident. The director loved it so much he kept the fall in the scene.

Other fun trivia about ‘The Princess Diaries’ and ‘Modern Love’ star Hathaway

The lead actress also had some lovely ideas for her character.

“It was Anne Hathaway’s idea that the brush should break in her hair at the start of her makeover,” IMDb recalls.

However, the role of Mia Thermopolis in The Princess Diaries was offered to several other actresses before Hathaway snagged the part.

Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway in 2019 | Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

Juliette Lewis was the first to be offered the role, but she said no. After Lewis, several other famous actresses were offered the lead, and turned it down. IMDb cites that Christina Applegate, Diaz, Alyssa Milano. Eva Mendes, Drew Barrymore, Reese Witherspoon, Alicia Silverstone, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Brittany Murphy, Katie Holmes, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Claire Danes, Kate Hudson, Jessica Biel, and Kirsten Dunst, among others, said, “no thanks” to Princess Diaries.