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The Princess Diaries is a popular movie from the early 2000s. It introduced Anne Hathaway as an awkward teen who discovered she was a princess. An incredible starting point for the actor‘s film career, The Princess Diaries actually made it difficult for Hathaway to get roles. 

‘The Princess Diaries’ was the actor’s breakout role

Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway attend 'The Princess Diaries' After Party
Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway attend an after-party for The Princess Diaries | SGranitz/WireImage

Hathaway played clumsy San Franciso teen, Mia Thermopolis, in The Princess Diaries. Directed by Garry Marshall, she took on the lead role as a newcomer opposite veteran actor Julie Andrews. 

Hathaway’s character discovered she was a princess and not just a high school student trying to be as invisible as possible. She turned to her grandmother, Clarisse Renaldi (Andrews), Queen of Genovia, for guidance and princess lessons.

The Princess Diaries premiered on July 29, 2001. Grossing more than $165 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo, the film turned out to be a surprise success. It even led to a sequel in 2004, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Anne Hathaway had trouble getting non-princess roles after ‘The Princess Diaries’

Actors get typecast. Hathaway knows this. After starring in The Princess Diaries she couldn’t shake her princess image. She said as much during a 2015 interview with HuffPost Live while promoting her latest movie, The Intern

“‘The Princess Diaries’ was so cool in so many ways, because it was a great first job — it was a big hit — but at the same time, it was a hard thing to be like, ‘Robert Rodriguez, I swear I can do one of your movies!’” she said. 

“It was hard to get into rooms to be taken seriously for roles that weren’t princesses, so I think partially that was why I’ve tried to have as big a range as I have,” she added. 


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In another interview with Glamour, Hathaway talked about having to fight for acting roles because of her “good girl” label. 

“Of course, after Princess Diaries, I was labeled a good girl, and for the first eight years of my career I had to fight to get any other kind of role,” she said. “But I like fighting for a job, actually. Once you get it, you feel like you’ve emerged victorious from the scrap and you’re like, ‘OK, this one’s mine. Did it. Done.’”

The movie almost cost Anne Hathaway the lead in ‘Becoming Jane’

The Princess Diaries almost led to Hathaway getting passed over for the lead role in 2007’s Becoming Jane. The world had yet to see her in Brokeback Mountain

The movie’s director, Julian Jarrold, didn’t even want to meet with her to discuss the part. Only after watching some clips of her in Brokeback Mountain did he agree. Not wowed by her first audition, Hathaway showed up to her second on “maybe an hour” of sleep, she later told the Los Angeles Times

“I was tired and I wasn’t in a very good mood,” she said “I guess Julian realized that I wasn’t the happy, smiley, untroubled girl from The Princess Diaries. He offered me the role after that.”

Hathaway may just reprise her role in Princess Diaries 3, which she said in 2019, has a script.