Anne Hathaway Says Love For Idea of You Feels Like Princess Diaries

Anne Hathaway is reflecting on her emotional reaction to first screening The Idea of You at SXSW earlier this year, and how the reception to the rom-com reminds her of the reaction she received to The Princess Diaries in 2001.

Before its red carpet in New York on Monday, The Idea of You world premiered in Austin in March, where Hathaway was in tears after the screening and told the crowd, “You have no idea the gift that you’ve just given us with your responsiveness, by being so connected to every little nuance in this. I will never forget this screening.”

Looking back, Hathaway told The Hollywood Reporter in New York that the event was emotional for several reasons, one being that “this is one of my first streaming movies and so I just knew how special it was to get to see it with an audience, because that wouldn’t be the path that this movie was going to take.”

But another reason, the star continued, was that “I was in a film when I was 17 years old called The Princess Diaries — it came out when I was 18 — and the premiere of the movie felt so much like the premiere for this one. When I was 18 years old, it was my first premiere so I just thought that was the way it works, and it can go so well but that level of just instant audience love and embracing of it and feeling, I don’t know, that audience satisfaction, you don’t get that every single time. Sometimes movies are darker, sometimes movies are more challenging.”

“This one, we really made it for everyone and to just feel everyone love it, I hadn’t had that feeling quite in that same way since The Princess Diaries,” she added. “And now I’m 41 and I know how to appreciate it.”

Hathaway stars in the film as 40-year-old single mom Solène, who begins an unexpected romance with 24-year-old pop star Hayes Campbell, played by Nicholas Galitzine.

Galitzine recalled how in their audition, Hathaway “was so open and so playful and that’s what I love about acting, that sense of play and collaboration. It is rare that you get that in the audition process. And to have someone who is such an amazing, incredible, huge star like Annie really open themselves up to you, it was very humbling.”

He also reflected on his time at a “boy band bootcamp” to prepare to play the lead singer in the band August Moon, joking, “They locked me in a room for hours and they just forced me to dance over and over and over again until I just engrained it.” He credited choreographer Danny Vitale for helping him “ground my body as sort of a dancer, in a way. I’m not a dancer by trade, I was an athlete and I think getting rid of a lot of that rigidity was a very important thing and really just being able to own a stage and sort of command a bit of a presence, I think.”

Director Michael Showalter acknowledged the much-dissected similarities between Hayes Campbell and Harry Styles on the carpet, telling THR, “I think there’s comparisons there to be made, there’s comparisons with lots of public figures, but I think Hayes touches a nerve. There’s a feeling about this character, and these two characters, that I feel like is something that’s very current in our society right now, whether it’s Harry Styles or a whole bunch of other interesting public figures that I could mention and I just think that’s part of what’s great about this story.”

The Idea of You starts streaming Thursday on Prime Video.

Neha Joy contributed to this report.

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