Anne Hathaway Reveals What “Princess Diaries” Costar Julie Andrews Taught Her

‘The Princess Diaries’ was “the film that changed my life,” Anne Hathaway said of the 2001 hit

<p>Monica Schipper/FilmMagic; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic</p> From Left: Anne Hathaway; Julie Andrews

Monica Schipper/FilmMagic; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

From Left: Anne Hathaway; Julie Andrews

Anne Hathaway is recalling the most memorable lessons she learned from Julie Andrews.

In her April 2024 Vanity Fair cover story, the 41-year-old actress revisited 2001’s The Princess Diaries, in which she starred opposite the British dame.

“I’ve learned that I want to handle myself in a way that I’m going to be proud of at a later date,” said Hathaway, recalling how Andrews, 88, would make time at the end of each filming day to sign autographs for fans.

“She respected that they had a relationship to her work that spanned their entire lives and made it a beautiful experience for them,” she said of the Mary Poppins Oscar winner.

Related: Anne Hathaway Says She Hasn't Seen The Devil Wears Prada in 'Over a Decade — Maybe 2 Decades'

Moviestore/Shutterstock From Left: Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway in 'The Princess Diaries'
Moviestore/Shutterstock From Left: Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway in 'The Princess Diaries'

“I don’t know that I was always capable of that,” added Hathaway, reflecting on her on-screen career, which launched with the 2001 film starring her — at the age of 17 — as Mia Thermopolis, heir to the throne of the fictional Genovia.

The Princess Diaries was directed by the late Garry Marshall and adapted for the screen by Gina Wendkos from Meg Cabot’s novel of the same name. One of 2001’s most commercially and critically successful hits, the Disney film costarred Héctor Elizondo, Heather Matarazzo, Mandy Moore, Caroline Goodall and Sandra Oh.

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Rewatching scenes from the movie, Hathaway told Vanity Fair, “I was 17 years old when we made this, and so I hadn't met as many people yet in my life. So I knew Gary Marshall was really special and I knew Julie Andrews was really special. But now sitting here watching this from this point of view, they're two of the most magical people I have ever met.”

Getting choked up, the Les Misérables Oscar winner said that Princess Diaries “was the film that changed my life." She added, "It's so weird to watch it, I haven't seen this movie in maybe 20 years, and it's — I'm a little bit speechless with this one. Actually, it's very emotional to see it.”

Watching her mentor as Genovian queen Clarisse Renaldi, Hathaway added, “I just have to pause there and say — how radiant is Julie Andrews?”

<p>Norman Jean Roy/Vanity Fair</p> Anne Hathaway on the cover of Vanity Fair

Norman Jean Roy/Vanity Fair

Anne Hathaway on the cover of Vanity Fair

Related: Chris Pine Says He's 'Here' to Return for 'Princess Diaries 3' — But with Different Hair

A sequel to 2004’s The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement is reportedly in the works. Earlier this month, Andrews told that "sometimes it’s best to leave a good thing alone" when asked about a third installment to the franchise. 

"It’s quite a long time now since the two Diaries were done, and I’m not sure,” she admitted. “I don’t like it when people milk and milk and milk the subject, you know, 'til it’s dead."

Hathaway told PEOPLE last year that it was "thrilling" to "see the level of excitement” for a potential Princess Diaries 3. "We feel the exact same, and I know it's probably very frustrating," she said. "It's a process that requires patience, and so everybody should consider themselves a part of the movie business now, because this is how long it actually takes to make things."

Related: Anne Hathaway Wanted to ‘Tell the Story of a Woman Blooming’ in The Idea of You: ‘Incredibly Moved’ (Exclusive)

While speaking to Vanity Fair, the actress said she was “so proud” to be in the 2001 movie, which “felt so big at the time, and it wound up being so big. And it's kind of just gotten bigger as my life has progressed.”

Following last year's She Came to Me and Eileen, Hathaway next stars opposite Nicholas Galitzine in the rom-com The Idea of You — which is in theaters and streaming on Prime Video starting May 2 — and with Jessica Chastain in Mothers’ Instinct.

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