Anne Hathaway was 18 years old when she was cast in the lead role in The Princess Diaries, the 2001 coming-of-age comedy film. She was 21 years old when the sequel The Princess Diaries: Royal Engagement was released in August 2004.
Based loosely on Meg Cabot’s 2000 young adult novel of the same name and directed by Garry Marshall, The Princess Diaries was Anne Hathaway’s first feature film appearance and almost single-handedly launched her acting career, which has spanned well over two decades.
With talk of a third installment of the film being in the works, it is only fair that we take a look at how Anne Hathaway has changed in the years that followed the release of the iconic movie series.
How Old was Anne Hathaway in Princess Diaries 1?
Anne Hathaway was still 18 years old when the first installment of The Princess Diaries was released for the United States audience on August 3, 2001. As confirmed by several outlets, Anne Hathaway would not have had the opportunity to audition for the lead role in the first Princess Diaries if actress Juliette Lewis, the studio’s first choice for the role, had accepted the responsibility.
Nonetheless, after she passed on what was an excellent opportunity to shine, Disney and director Gary Marshall compiled a list of other actresses who could carry out the assignment with grace.
Among them were Liv Tyler, Kirsten Dunst, Alicia Silverstone, Jessica Biel, Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Brittany Murphy, Katie Holmes, Christina Applegate, Kate Beckinsale, Eva Mendes, Claire Danes, and of course Anne Hathaway.
All the aforementioned actresses impressed Director Marshall with their audition tapes, but Anne had one more thing going for her, at least in the eyes of the director’s granddaughters – her princess-like hair, which they could not stop raving about. Other significant factors worked out in Hathaway’s favor which convinced the studio and the director that the Dark Knight Rises actress was the best person for the job.
For starters, that audition tape Marshall watched was filmed during a 26-hour layover the actress had in Los Angeles before she headed off to New Zealand to film The Other Side of Heaven, which would have been her feature film debut.
The adventure drama was billed to be released before Princess Diaries, but Disney was alerted to the possibility that the Meg Cabot-inspired film would be a huge success, they delayed the release of the former in the hopes that Hathaway’s huge star factor would help boost sales of The Other Side of Heaven. It was a miscalculated move that backfired because the movie flopped at the box office.
Part of the reason Hathaway landed her breakout role was that she fell off the chair while filming the audition tape because she was nervous, but Marshall found the perceived misfortune charming and impressive. At the time she got the part, Anne was only 17 years old. The filming of the movie at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, took place between September 18 and December 8, 2000, and the actress celebrated her 18th birthday on November 12, 2000.
How Old was Anne Hathaway in Princess Diaries 2?
Anne Hathaway was a 21-year-old woman when The Princess Diaries: Royal Engagement was released in August 2004. The production of the sequel to The Princess Diaries began in November 2003, and the actress returned to reprise her role. She was 20 years old when production began but celebrated her 21st birthday on November 12 of that same year.
The three-year age difference between Anne’s character in both installments of the movie is quite significant, a fact that the actress herself referred to. According to her, The Princess Diaries had to deal with her character’s journey to womanhood, alongside the changes that come with it, while the sequel portrays her in a different light, essentially depicting her transformation from the unsure, insecure young adult woman to a more mature, confident, responsible, and fully realized woman.
What was Anne Hathaway’s Princess Diaries Character?
Anne Hathaway played the role of Mia Thermopolis, the heir apparent and the princess of Genovia, a small fictional kingdom between France and Spain. Anne’s character is the lead protagonist of the series, which was created in the mind of Meg Cabot in 2000.
Her full name is Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi (Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Grimaldi Renaldo in the book series), the daughter her mother Helen Thermopolis, a painter, had with Prince Philippe Renaldi (Renaldo in the book series), the crown prince of Genovia.
Unlike the books, Princess Mia’s father dies a couple of months before the events of the movie unfold, and she lives in San Francisco instead of New York, as portrayed in the books. However, the books and the movie portray Mia as a 15-year-old who owns a 1965 Mustang, but as previously indicated, Anne Hathaway, who played the role, was 17 years old when production of the film began and had turned 18 by the time it was released.
Hathaway aptly portrays Mia, who is shy, humble, occasionally sly and sarcastic, and critically self-conscious. Her masterful performance was pivotal to the positive reviews the movie earned upon release and also helped turn a $26 million budget film into gross worldwide earnings that exceeded $165 million.
What Does Anne Hathaway Look Like Now?
While she has retained the lovely physical features that made her the toast of early 2000s pop culture, Anne Hathaway has come leaps and bounds since her days as Princess Mia of Genovia.
Her career as an actress went to the next level after she appeared in the film series, and she went on to appear in a series of family films, not the least of which was Ella Enchanted (2004). She then transitioned to adult roles with movies like Brokeback Mountain (2005), The Devil Wears Prada (2006), and Rachel Getting Married (2008), for which she earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Her highest-grossing film came in 2012 when she starred as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises before she went on to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Fantine, a prostitute dying of tuberculosis in the musical Les Misérables.
Other awards include the Primetime Emmy Award she won for her voice role in the sitcom The Simpsons. Hathaway is also now a married woman with two sons, having exchanged marital vows with actor and businessman Adam Shulman in 2012.
What is Anne Hathaway’s Age Now?
Anne Hathaway is 41 years old now. She was born Anne Jacqueline “Annie” Hathaway on November 12, 1982, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, United States. Her father, Gerald Hathaway, is a labor attorney, while her mother, Kate Hathaway (née McCauley), is a former actress.
The actress is of Irish descent through both her parents but her French, English, and German roots remain quite strong through her father. She was around six years old when her family moved to Millburn, New Jersey, where she was raised alongside two brothers, one older named Michael and a younger named Thomas.
Anne was a student of both Brooklyn Heights Montessori School and Wyoming Elementary School, Millburn. She earned her high school diploma at Millburn High School before going on to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1993 and became the first teenager admitted into the Barrow Group Theater Company’s acting program.
She spent the next few years studying as an English major and political science minor at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, before transferring to New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
Will Anne Hathaway Be in Princess Diaries 3?
A third installment of The Princess Diaries is in development, but it is not yet clear whether Anne Hathaway or any of the previous cast would return to reprise their roles.
The actress, though, has made no secret of the fact that she would accept the responsibility in a heartbeat, but only if the production is executed perfectly.