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Anne Hathaway Explains Why “It Was Hard” to Get Serious Roles After The Princess Diaries

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Miracles happened for her eventually! Anne Hathaway revealed to HuffPost Live on Tuesday, Sept. 22, that she had a tough time being taken seriously in Hollywood after her breakout role in 2001’s The Princess Diaries.

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The Intern star, 32, whose very first movie role was as Princess Mia Thermopolis in the Disney hit, reflected back on her standout career over the last 14 years. “This whole thing, everything that’s happened to me has been such a lovely surprise,” Hathaway shared. “I’ve worked very hard for it, but I’m so surprised that it’s going as well as it is.”

Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries
Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries

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In fact, Hathaway said she laid out the groundwork for versatility at the beginning of her career — though the path was difficult.

“My whole M.O. in my twenties was being in as many different types of films as you can. Working with as many different types of directors as you can. I think, in part, that’s what I wanted to do as an actor,” she shared. “And also, for the first few years of my career, The Princess Diaries was so cool in so many ways. It was a great first job. It was a hit. But at the same time, it was a hard thing to be like, ‘You know, Robert Rodriguez, I swear: I can do one of your movies.’ It was hard to get into rooms to be taken seriously for roles that weren’t princesses. And so, I think partially, that’s why I’ve tried to have as big of a range as I’ve had.”

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Hathaway’s director for The Intern, Nancy Meyers, praised the actress for her ability to handle a variety of roles. “She’s one of the few women who can do it all,” noted Meyers, 65, whose directorial resume includes 2009’s It’s Complicated with Meryl Streep, 2003’s Something’s Gotta Give with Diane Keaton, and 2006’s The Holiday with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. “She can do everything.”

During her stop by HuffPost on Tuesday, Hathaway also reflected back on what advice she would give herself now that she’s no longer in her twenties.

Anne Hathaway as Fantine in 'Les Miserables'.
Anne Hathaway

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“I think just tell myself, ‘Things are gonna go wrong,'” Hathaway mused. “I would tell myself, ‘You’re so afraid of things going wrong. Um, they’re gonna go wrong. Don’t waste any time worrying about that. Just be happy when you can. Treat everybody around you with respect, which is actually a hard thing to do when you’re a young person starting out. I thought I was respectful, but when I thought of it, I really was not appreciative enough of the people that I was working with.”

Have a question you’d like to ask a celebrity? Check out who will be appearing on HuffPost Live and submit your question to be asked live on-air!

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