TV & Movies

6 Celebs Who Have Been Cast As Cinderella In Live-Action Remakes

From Brandy to Anne Hathaway, many of your favorite stars have taken on the iconic role.

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Screenshot via YouTube/Disney

Since its first release as a Disney animation in 1950, many have taken on the role of the ball-going, shoe-dropping Cinderella. With a new remake starring Camila Cabello hitting Amazon this month, let’s look back on the actors who played the princess.

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On Sept. 3, “Havana” singer Cabello joins the ranks of cinder-sweeping belles in the 2021 musical comedy Cinderella. This time, the princess-to-be starts as an aspiring fashion designer who wants love and a career — a modern-day feminist conundrum.

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Directed by Kay Cannon, the star-studded musical stars Billy Porter, Idina Menzel, James Corden, and Nicholas Galitzine. Expect a soundtrack of reinvented classics and mashups of hits like Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” and Jennifer Lopez’s “Let’s Get Loud.”

Screenshot via Warner Bros

Hilary Duff was already Disney royalty (as Lizzie McGuire) when she played Sam in 2004’s rom-com A Cinderella Story. Instead of a shoe, she drops her phone, which she uses to anonymously IM with high school jock Chad Michael Murray, aka her prince.

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Sam's plight also comes via her Botoxed stepmom, Fiona (Jennifer Coolidge), who forces her to work at the family diner in addition to doing chores. The movie-turned-franchise also cast Selena Gomez, Lucy Hale, and Sofia Carson as heroines in each of the subsequent Cinderella retellings.

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In 1997, 60 million people tuned into Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella featuring Brandy as the first-ever Black Cinderella. The diverse remake stars Filipino actor Paolo Montalban as the prince, Whitney Houston as Fairy Godmother, and Whoopi Goldberg as Queen Constantina.

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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."

Screenshot via Walt Disney Pictures/Netflix

Anne Hathaway plays Ella in 2004’s fantasy comedy Ella Enchanted, based on Gail Carson Levine’s novel. Cursed by a fairy to be obedient, her empowering journey — one where Prince Charming tags along — is about reversing the spell to regain self-ownership.

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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.”

Screenshot via Disney

In recent years, Disney revved up its production of live-action adaptations, which included 2015’s Cinderella starring Lily James as the glass slipper-wearing princess. Mostly true to the original animation, it also stars Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, and Richard Madden.

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James told EW that though playing the princess wasn’t something she “ever thought about," she liked director Kenneth Branagh’s take on the role, saying, “She’s not sitting around dreaming of Prince Charming or thinking of a castle. She’s strong, and she’s making her own choices.”

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Another star played Cinderella in the ’90s: Drew Barrymore in Ever After: A Cinderella Story. Set in Renaissance-era France, Barrymore plays Danielle, a peasant with a wicked stepfamily who falls in love with a prince, played by Dougray Scott, in the 1998 romance drama.

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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.’"