Christy Carlson Romano Reveals How She "Lost" Princess Diaries Role to Anne Hathaway

Christy Carlson Romano said she wanted to be cast in Princess Diaries "so badly" and shared the story of how Anne Hathaway ultimately got the part.

By Lindsay Weinberg Sep 16, 2021 8:07 PMTags
Watch: Christy Carlson Romano Felt "Salty" Over Shia LaBeouf’s Success

Christy Carlson Romano could have been Princess Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi. 

The Kim Possible actress revealed she "lost" out on the lead role in Princess Diaries to Anne Hathaway two decades ago. The beloved movie came out in 2001, about halfway through Christy's time on Even Stevens. Yet, Princess Diaries ended up being Anne's first movie, following her role as Meghan Green in the TV series Get Real the year before. 

Now, Christy is spilling the whole story. In a YouTube video on Sept. 16, she explained how she had been rehearsing for the Princess Diaries audition while on the set of Even Stevens in California.

"I wanted to do this audition so badly. I don't know why, but I just knew it was going to be a big deal for me," she said. "I was like, ‘Wow if I got this, I could jump over from Disney TV to Disney proper, right?' It was a big chance and, unfortunately, I didn't get a chance."

Anne Hathaway's Best Roles

Why? She ended up having to stay late on the Even Stevens set to film "overtime" and had to miss the audition.

"It is like almost time for me to leave to go get ready for the audition," Christy recalled. "I get called in by the producers and they say, ‘Christy, we don't have time for you to go to the audition today.'"

Paul Archuleta/Getty Images/Ron Batzdorff/Brownhouse Prod/Botnp Inc/Kobal/Shutterstock

That was the end of her royal road, because she said at the time you couldn't put yourself on tape or send any auditions virtually.

"If you didn't show up for the audition, chances are you weren't going to get the opportunity. And this was a big one," she shared. "So, sadly, I never got my shot at that." 

Considering the movie (and its sequel) launched Annie's career and she went on to win an Oscar, Christy feels that Princess Diaries could have been her big break, too. "I do think it would have made my career if I would have got it," she said on YouTube. "That isn't to say she wasn't the right person for the role. She's amazing. She was so cute in it. I mean, so charming." 

And Christy was actually involved in the second movie when her song "Let's Bounce" played during Mia's slumber party, while she and her princess friends ride mattresses down the grand staircase. 

One reason Christy believes she had a real shot at playing Mia Thermopolis is because she and Anne had actually met before, while auditioning for another role. When she was 14, Christy auditioned for the Broadway show Parade, and she met Anne in the waiting room and noticed they looked alike. She admits they both have a "very similar smile," big brown eyes and a singing voice.

"I did my best performance ever, my best audition in that room," Christy recalled. Of course, she ended up being cast as Mary Phagan over Anne. 

Although they have competed for the same roles, Christy had nothing but nice things to stay about the Les Misérables star.

"She's an amazing actress, obviously," she said. "She's a pretty cool chick... I've had a couple interactions with her that are all positive."

In fact, she ran into Annie soon after the Princess Diaries casting. Christy said it was at Erik von Detten's birthday party in Malibu: "Anne was there. I said, ‘Hello? How are you? I met you in New York. I think you're so great.' She was so sweet, but it was a very brief moment and the movie hadn't come out yet."

Watch her full video above.