If you grew up in the 2000’s, the words “Genovia” or “Mia Thermopolis” or “Me? A princess? Shut Up” would bring a smile. Having a long lost grandmother show up telling you you’re a princess was also the dream.
Both the 2001 film The Princess Diaries and its 2004 sequel had every little girl wishing they were Mia Thermopolis.
But those of us who have read the book series by Meg Cabot know that there are some major differences between The Princess Diaries book and the movies. One major difference is in regards to Mia’s dad, who is a major character in the books.
In the movies, Mia’s dad had passed away and is only spoken of here and there throughout the film. So why did Disney kill him off?
According to the author of the books, it was all because of the Disney legend herself, Julie Andrews. Yep, that’s right.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Cabot said she was surprised when Disney told her they wanted to remove one of the main characters.
That is until they revealed to her who was to play Mia’s grandmother. She told EW, “Mia’s dad plays a big role in the books. I was like, ‘Oh, Oh, my God, what did he do for Disney to kill him off?’”
She continued, noting: “And they said, ‘Well, we have this actress, who’s a really big actress, that we want to play the grandmother. And we wanna make her role much bigger, and kinda raise the stakes…”
Cabot continued, “…and give her a lot more lines, and we think we can give her a lotta the dad lines.’ And I was like, ‘Well who’s the actress?’ And they were like, ‘Julie Andrews.’”
After Disney revealed who was playing the role of the Queen, Cabot right away said, “Oh my God, kill the dad.’ I was like, it’s Julie Andrews, sure.”
Thank goodness Cabot agreed to Julie Andrews playing a huge role in the movie. Her role brought some of the most memorable quotes from the film.