The Princess Diaries Cast Then And Now


Wow. Gee whiz. Golly wolly.

July 29 officially marks 21 years since The Princess Diaries was released in theaters.

This movie is ICONIC, and it honestly shaped an entire generation. What film better prepared us for the world? Without it, how would we know how to wave like a princess? Or know what a “foot poppin’ kiss” is? Or understand that even though responsibility is often terrifying, it’s better to meet the challenge than to run? (OK, got a little sincere there. Moving on!)

Walt Disney Co. / ©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

One of the most memorable parts of this classic is its cast. It is jam-packed with STARS, babe, and some incredibly memorable character actors.

Walt Disney Co. / ©Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

So, let’s take a look at what the cast is up to 21 years later.

Here’s Anne Hathaway then:


She played the PrinCESS of Genovia, Mia Thermopolis.

And here’s Anne Hathaway now:

Daniele Venturelli / WireImage

Now side by side:

Disney, Daniele Venturelli / WireImage

This movie launched Anne Hathaway’s career and made her into a true force in Hollywood. After The Princess Diaries, she went on to star in movies like The Devil Wears Prada, Rachel Getting Married, Les Misérables, and Ocean’s 8 just to name a few. She’s also become very involved in charitable causes, serving as a board member for the Lollipop Theatre Network, which brings entertainment to children in hospitals, in addition to serving as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, advocating for gender equality. Recently, she starred in and executive produced the critically acclaimed show WeCrashed, and is leading the Cannes darling Armageddon Time, set to hit theaters this October.

Here’s Julie Andrews then:


She played the impossibly posh Queen Clarisse Renaldi. She taught us all that that a true queen never slides.

And here’s Julie Andrews now:

Michael Kovac / Getty Images for AFI

Now side by side:

Disney, Michael Kovac / Getty Images for AFI

With a career spanning nine decades, Julie is one of the best we have. Known, of course, for Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music, after her turn as Queen of Genovia, she went on to star in the Eloise movies, and joined the voice casts of Shrek and Despicable Me. Most recently, she was honored with the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award in a televised event, adding to the 66 (!) other awards she’s collected during her illustrious career. WE LOVE YOU, JULIE. :’)

Here’s Heather Matarazzo then:


She played one of the greatest movie BFFs of all time, Lilly Moscovitz.

And here’s Heather Matarazzo now:

Michael Tullberg / Getty Images

Now side by side:

Disney, Michael Tullberg / Getty Images

Having made a name for herself in the cult classic Welcome to the Dollhouse, Matarazzo followed up this unforgettable role with another cult fave, Saved!, as well as Hostel: Part II, and most recently reprised her role as Martha Meeks in the 2022 Scream. Earlier this year she made a splash in the news when she opened up and spoke very candidly about the struggles of being a working actor in Hollywood. Well we’re a fan of you, Heather, and root for nothing but your success!

Here’s Robert Schwartzman then:


He played Mia’s longtime crush, Michael Moscovitz. (Also, what was more high school than crushing on your BFF’s older brother?)

And here’s Robert Schwartzman now:

Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images

Now side by side:

Disney, Rodin Eckenroth / Getty Images

You can really see it now that he’s a little older, but Robert and Jason Schwartzman are actually brothers! Who knew? And in regards to his character in the movie being a musician, that was all real! After the film he focused mostly on music, performing and releasing records with his band, Rooney, and went on to be a composer for several different music projects. In 2016, he made his directorial debut with the film Dreamland, and followed it up with The Unicorn, and most recently The Argument.

Here’s Hector Elizondo then:


Not Joey, but Joe. He played Mia’s handler and the queen’s secret paramour. 

And here’s Hector Elizondo now:

Steve Granitz / FilmMagic

Now side by side:

Disney, Steve Granitz / FilmMagic

Best known for his role as Phillip Watters on the CBS medical drama Chicago Hope, Elizondo has had a long and robust career dating back to the 1960s. The Princess Diaries was not his first time working with director Garry Marshall either, having met him in the ’80s and worked with him on Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, and even a bit part in Overboard. Over the last decade or so, you might have seen him starring in the Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing or on the recently cancelled B Positive.

Here’s Mandy Moore then:


Playing Groove High’s resident HBIC, Lana Thomas, she breathed new life into “Stupid Cupid.” (And now it’s stuck in my head.)

And here’s Mandy Moore now:

Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

Now side by side:

Disney, Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

You know this girl! Breaking into the Hollywood scene as a princess of ’90s pop, The Princess Diaries was one of her very first acting roles, and she went on to have a pretty iconic career outside of music. Starring in A Walk to Remember, How to Deal, Saved!, and later voicing Rapunzel in Disney’s Tangled, she’s taken on some pretty memorable characters. Just this year, she finished out her role on the hit show This Is Us, for which she earned two SAG Awards and a People’s Choice, and has made a triumphant return to music with her new album In Real Life, which you should go listen to right now. It’s so good!

Here’s Erik von Detten then:


He played the popular hottie, Josh Bryant, and had the hair that launched an entire generation’s sexual awakening.

And here’s Erik von Detten now:

Now side by side:

Disney, Erik von Detten / Cameo / Via

Erik made a name for himself on the Disney Channel, starring in the series So Weird and the genre-defining Disney Channel Original Movie Brink!. After TPD, he did a lot of voiceover work in projects like Recess, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, and most notably as the creeptastic Sid in both Toy Story and Toy Story 3. Last year, he gave an interview with E! News, where he talked about leaving acting and focusing on family life, in addition to working as a manager for a finance company. But he is very open to returning to the screen should the opportunity arise. I’m personally crossing my fingers.

Here’s Patrick John Flueger then:


He played the quiet, nerdy, magic-obsessed friend Jeremiah Hart. (TBH, he was low-key hotter than Josh.) 

And here’s Patrick John Flueger now:

Nbc / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Now side by side:

Disney, Nbc / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Flueger’s very first acting role was in The Princess Diaries, and he went on to star in the 2011 remake of Footloose as well as landing main roles in the TV shows The 4400 and Scoundrels. If you think you recognize this face, you probably do, because most recently he’s taken on the role of Adam Ruzek in both Chicago P.D. and Chicago Fire!

Here’s Caroline Goodall then:


She played Mia’s mom, Helen, and delivered the line, “A very, very cute asparagus,” in a way I’ll be thinking about ’til the day I expire.

And here’s Caroline Goodall now:

Eamonn M. Mccormack / Getty Images

Now side by side:

Disney, Eamonn M. Mccormack / Getty Images

Before playing Mia’s mom, Goodall had her hand in some pretty notable movies, like Hook and Schindler’s List to name a couple. No big deal. She also reunited with her TPD costar, Mandy Moore, in Chasing Liberty! She’s gone on to have quite an impressive television career back in her home country of England, starring in the shows Bulletproof, The Trader, and most recently Cold Courage.

Here’s Kathleen Marshall then:


She played the queen’s personal assistant, Charlotte Kutaway, and made sure people knew who was allergic to goose feathers.

And here’s Kathleen Marshall now:

Rachel Luna / Getty Images

Now side by side:

Disney, Rachel Luna / Getty Images

Daughter of the late Garry Marshall, she had bit parts in a lot of her father’s films, like Runaway Bride, Raising Helen, and his TV show Happy Days. She even had a bit part in her aunty Penny’s movie A League of Their Own! She now serves on the board of directors for the Garry Marshall Theater, a nonprofit organization that focuses on showcasing new talent, which she co-founded with her father in 1997.

Here’s Sandra Oh then:


She played Vice Principal Gupta and has some of the best line readings in the history of cinema. *picks up phone* “Gupta. Mhm. Mhm. Mhm. The queen is coming. To Grove High School.” Icon.

And here’s Sandra Oh now:

Charley Gallay / Getty Images for Netflix

Now side by side:

Disney, Charley Gallay / Getty Images for Netflix

OK, we’ve got a STAR STAR STAR here, theydies and thents! After Princess Diaries, she starred in Grey’s Anatomy as THE Dr. Cristina Yang, nabbed a Critics’ Choice Award for the film Sideways, and crushed it in like a million other movies and TV shows. She was also the first female actor of Asian descent to be nominated for a lead actor Emmy, and was the first Asian Canadian person to win two Golden Globes. This year, she wrapped up the popular TV show Killing Eve and took on a large role (literally, LOL) in Pixar’s Turning Red.

Here’s Larry Miller then:


He played Paolo, Mia’s hairstylist, who taught us that we should all have two eyebrows and that the cucumbers do nothing.

And here’s Larry Miller now:

Now side by side:

Disney, Gotpap / GC Images

You’ve seen this guy everywhere. From 10 Things I Hate About You to The Nutty Professor movies, Miller has been in a lot of very formative movies for the millennial generation. After taking on the role of Paolo Puttanesca, he became a staple of Cristopher Guest’s films like Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, and For Your Consideration. From 2002 to 2004, he spent some time as a journalist, writing a bi-weekly column for the Washington Examiner, and even had his own podcast, The Larry Miller Show, until December 2020!

Here’s Joel McCrary then:


He played Prime Minister Motaz, who so kindly pretended to have brain freeze along with Mia, and treated us all to a rousing rendition of Genovia’s national anthem!

And here’s Joel McCrary now:

Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images

Now side by side:

Disney, Albert L. Ortega / Getty Images

We love a character actor, and this guy is one of the best! McCrary has been steadily working since the early ’90s, popping up in shows like 3rd Rock from the Sun, Kenan & Kel, and iCarly. More recently, he moved into the writing and directing space with the Disney Channel shows Kickin’ It and The Gamer’s Guide to Pretty Much Everything. We love someone who can do it all!

Here’s Patrick Richwood then:


 He played Mia’s neighbor, Mr. Robutusen. He wrote soaps.

And here’s Patrick Richwood now:

John Lamparski / Getty Images

Now side by side:

Disney, John Lamparski / Getty Images

OK, this role may have been small, but boy was it mighty! They say there are no small parts, and this proves it. Any fan of this film remembers Mr. Robutusen. Richwood was also one of Garry Marshall’s darlings, showing up in Pretty Woman, Beaches, and Runaway Bride in addition to TPD. Outside of film and television, he’s had a successful career onstage, in shows like The First Wives Club, Hairspray, and Anything Goes!

What were your favorite moments from The Princess Diaries? Let us know in the comments!

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