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Last February, Brandy told People she was "blessed and humbled" to play the part in the seven-time Emmy nominated musical, adding that it inspired “Black girls that look like me” to “dream bigger" and to "know that they can do anything if they put their minds to it."
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On casting, producer Jane Startz previously told Bustle that Hathaway was “the perfect person” for the role, saying, “she's just a titanic classic power. She's just a brilliant singer and a brilliant comedian." Case in point: Hathaway’s on-screen rendition of “Somebody to Love.”
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Barrymore was trying "to reinvent" and "come out of a tumultuous period" at the time, she shared at a Hearst talk in 2016. So when she found Danielle, a Cinderella who "rescued herself," she became the actor's favorite role ever, saying, "I thought, 'That's who I want to be.’"