The first film’s success prompted a sequel, and the actress, now starring in the dramatic thriller Serenity, recently revealed that a script for a third movie exists. And Hathaway always knew the story of Mia Thermopolis’ journey to Genovian royalty, based on Meg Cabot’s book series, would be a hit.
“Getting the script, it just had that feeling,” Hathaway, 36, tells PEOPLE’s Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle in the new PEOPLE cover story, excerpted from the latest installment of The Jess Cagle Interview (streaming now on PeopleTV). “I touched it, and it was electric.”
The Oscar winner remembers freaking out when she met director Garry Marshall during the audition process. “Pretty Woman [was] my favorite movie growing up,” Hathaway says. “I get to meet the director of that, how extraordinary. Oh my God, he’s also from that movie Soapdish that I love.”
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“Getting to make it and be on set every day, I got to hug Julie Andrews every day,” she says. “That part was also very, very, very magical. Then it came out and it was received. That part even, by the way, was magical.”
Hathaway jokes that The Princess Diaries turned her into “a superstar to 6-year-olds,” and she acknowledges, “I got very, very, very famous.”
To this day, Hathaway still credits the film for all her good fortune.
“I live my life as if I’ve won the lottery,” Hathaway says, “not as though I was famous.”