Julie Andrews ‘The Princess Diaries’ Casting Led to a Significant Change From the Book

In 2001, Disney’s adaptation of Meg Cabot’s best-selling e-book The Princess Diaries took the world by storm. The film was a coming-of-age story of Mia Thermopolis, a clumsy teenage lady who discovers she’s the inheritor to the Genovian throne. Because it seems, Julie Andrews’ casting as Mia’s grandmother, Clarisse Renaldi, led to a vital change from the e-book.

Mia’s dad was killed off in ‘The Princess Diaries’ to make room for Julie Andrews’ character

Julie Andrews at a press convention selling ‘Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.’ | Kurita KAKU/Gamma-Rapho through Getty Photographs

When Garry Marshall signed on to direct The Princess Diaries, he knew he wanted a big-name star to play the queen regent of Genovia, Clarisse. The character was an integral a part of the story, and he wanted somebody who might convey the crucial gravitas and class to the position. That’s when Andrews got here on board. Together with her spectacular resume and legendary standing as an actor, she was the excellent selection to play the royal grandmother.

However when Andrews signed on for the position, the filmmakers realized they’d a downside. In the e-book, Mia’s father is alive, albeit unable to have any extra youngsters. He’s a key character who helps his daughter all through her journey to grow to be a princess. However with Andrews enjoying Clarisse, they couldn’t have Mia’s father in the image. It might be too complicated for the viewers and detract from the relationship between Mia and her grandmother.

So the filmmakers made a daring choice. They determined to kill off Mia’s father earlier than the occasions of the film. In the movie, Mia’s father is alleged to have died in a automotive accident when she was a child. It’s a tragic backstory that units up the film’s emotional arc. Mia is struggling to come to phrases together with her father’s demise and tries to discover her place in the world with out him.

Meg Cabot was on board with the thought of killing off Mia’s father

When Meg Cabot, the creator of The Princess Diaries, first heard about the change to her story, she was shocked. She had created a character in Mia’s father that was necessary to the narrative, and she or he couldn’t consider they have been killing him off. However after Debra Martin (the movie’s producer) defined why Mia’s father had to die, Cabot realized the change was crucial.

“Debra referred to as me and mentioned, ‘We have to kill off the father from your book,’” shared Cabot in a 2021 interview with Cosmopolitan. She continued, “And I said, ‘Why?’ And she or he mentioned, ‘We want to have a bigger role for the grandmother because we’ve acquired this nice actress that wishes to play her.’ And I requested, ‘Who’s the actress?’ ‘It’s Julie Andrews.’ And I used to be like, ‘Oh my god. Kill him. Kill the dad.’”

Over the years, Cabot has mentioned that she was happy with how the film turned out. She even wrote a number of extra books in the collection, which have been impressed by the film’s success.

Julie Andrews doesn’t see herself returning for ‘The Princess Diaries 3’

In November 2022, The Hollywood Reporter introduced that a third installment of The Princess Diaries was in the works. Followers of the collection have been excited to see what Mia and her grandmother could be up to subsequent. However when Andrews was requested if she could be returning for the third film, she had some disappointing information.

In a December interview with Access Hollywood, the actor mentioned, “I think we know that it’s probably not going to be possible. It was talked about very shortly after [Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement] came out, but it’s now how many years since then? And I am that much older, and [Anne Hathaway] the princess, our queen, is so much older. And I am not sure whether it would float or run.”

Andrews’ portrayal of Clarisse is certainly one in every of the most memorable and quotable components of The Princess Diaries. And whereas it’s unlucky that she may not return for a third movie, we’re glad we acquired to see her in the first two.

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