Catching up with the stars of your favorite movies or TV shows from childhood can be kind of a bummer sometimes. Maybe the person isn't acting anymore, or maybe they've come up against some obstacles and aren't having that awesome of a life. But there's one person I promise you it's safe to look up, because she's giving us a gift. Heather Matarazzo is making "Shut Up & Listen" from The Princess Diaries a real thing. Instead of being a show on cable, however, the 2017 iteration will be a podcast, and episodes are already being recorded. Matarazzo played the role of Lilly Moscovitz in The Princess Diaries, best friend to Anne Hathaway's Mia Thermopolis. Even though she wasn't strictly the star of the movie, her hilarious, vulnerable, outspoken performance has been seared into my memory even 16 years later. Probably yours too.
As I mentioned, "Shut Up & Listen" was Lilly's self-made cable access show, where she spoke about very important topics such as feminism and sea otters for any and all who might tune in. In the context of that fictional San Francisco high school, not many people were excited to tune in; unapologetically sharing your views and celebrating what makes you different was the fastest route to unpopularity, and that's exactly where Lilly ended up.
But that's also what made the character so lovable — her tenacity and refusal to blend in — and those also happen to be two traits that serve you very well in the real world as well. Which is a big part of why I'm so very very excited by the fact that Heather Matarazzo is making "Shut Up & Listen" a reality. Actual footage of me right now:
Matarazzo announced the project via her Patreon page, which allows her to keep creating content even as she's raising money, not only just for this amazing podcast idea, but also for completing and beginning production on the two scripts she currently has in progress.
In short, she has big plans, which culminate in this statement about the hopes and dreams she has for the next five years: "My company will be one that raises the voices of those who have felt they haven't been seen or heard."
The "Shut Up & Listen" podcast is coming so soon! Just recorded another episode last night! It's gonna be amazing. https://t.co/erKMhsCnD7— Heather Matarazzo (@HeatherMatarazz) March 2, 2017
Sounds... pretty Moscovitzian if you ask me. (And no one did, but I'm taking inspiration from Heather Matarazzo and speaking my piece anyway.) This is a very exciting project that I'm looking forward to both on a nostalgia level and on a just plain excitement level. Not only is Matarazzo still in the thick of the entertainment world, a decade and a half after Princess Diaries came out, but she's honoring her roots and pushing forward to give others the same voice. That's exactly what we need in this industry, and I can't wait to see where her career takes her from here.