Whitney Houston did a lot more in her career outside of music. The Bodyguard star was an accomplished actress, starring in films as the leading lady alongside greats like Kevin Costner and Angela Bassett. But Houston also wanted to give other talented artists a break. She did so by starting her own production company. Within that, she produced films. One of which was The Princess Diaries starring Anne Hathaway.
Anne Hathaway says Whitney Houston is her biggest musical influence
In a cover interview with Interview Magazine, Hathaway revealed in a Q&A with fans that Houston is the biggest musical impact on her career. She also had the chance to work with Houston on The Princess Diaries.
“The musical artist who has changed my life the most would be Whitney Houston because she produced The Princess Diaries, the film that we were in together. And if there ever has been a voice in modern history that was probably touched by god, it’s hers,” Hathaway explained.
Hathaway is also a talented singer. Though she hasn’t released a full-length musical project, she has showcased her voice in her film projects, and even performed alongside Kelly Clarkson on the American Idol winner’s talk show.
Whitney Houston signed on to produce ‘The Princess Diaries’ before the film was approved
In 2020, Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries novels, revealed in a Tweet that Houston was such a fan of the book series, that she wanted rights to the script immediately. Her decision came before the film was in motion.
“OK, let’s just pause for a moment of silence to thank Whitney Houston, without whom The Princess Diaries movie would not have been made. She (and @debramchase) snatched up my unpublished manuscript and got the royal dream started #R29MovieClub,” Cabot tweeted at the time.
The film was produced for Disney by Whitney’s BrownHouse Productions, along with Mario Iscovich. It earned more than $100 million at the U.S. box office, prompting a 2004 sequel.
The singer was a staple on set during filming
Houston didn’t miss out on the chance to be on set and took her producer role seriously. She even forged a familial-like atmosphere, giving the director Gary Marshall a birthday party on set during production.
Houston chatted with Hatahawy in one behind the scene moment captured by Access Hollywood. “It’s been so much fun making it,” Hathaway tells Houston about filming the movie. “Every little girl is going to love it,” Houston tells her.
Hathaway would later describe the process as “magical.” She noted that working with the legendary Julie Andrews was also a bonus. “Getting to make it and be on set every day, I got to hug Julie Andrews every day. That part was also very, very, very magical. Then it came out, and it was received. That part even, by the way, was magical,” she told PEOPLE in 2019.
Houston would produce several other well-known films, including The Cheetah Girls, The Cheetah Girls 2, and Sparkle. The latter of which she also starred in, making it her final film appearance before her 2012 death.