Best known for her portrayals of The Princess Diaries’ Mia Thermopolis and The Devil Wears Prada’s Andrea Sachs, among many other iconic characters, Anne Hathaway remains one of Hollywood’s most celebrated Hollywood talents — but there was one major role the Academy Award winner passed on.
Speaking to GQ back in 2016, Hathaway recalled being approached for the leading role of Alice in a contemporary reimagining of the classic tale Alice in Wonderland. However, after starring in The Princess Diaries, and its 2004 sequel The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, the actor was reluctant to sign up for the project.
“The studio had the Alice script a long time ago and I was approached back then for the part of Alice. I considered it, but felt, what with The Princess Diaries, that I had been there, done that sort of pretty-girl-in-a-fairy-dress role,” she explained at the time.
Hathaway didn’t completely rule out starring in Alice in Wonderland, however.“I told the studio, however, that if they found a director eventually, that I would be interested at a later date in playing the White Queen,” she added. The studio eventually turned to director Tim Burton to oversee the 2010 film, in which Hathaway starred as the White Queen, per her request.
Recalling how she was eventually cast in the Disney fantasy flick, which went on to gross more than $1 billion at the global box office, Hathaway shared that she wasn’t originally part of Burton’s cast of choice.
“When Tim came on board he had the cast he wanted and, of course, that didn’t include me,” she told GQ. “But the other actress who was marked had scheduling conflicts, so the studio piped up and put me forward. I talked on the phone with Tim and he really liked my take. I wanted the Queen to be a cross between Debbie Harry, Greta Garbo, David Bowie, with little bit of the work of Dan Flavin thrown in for good measure.”
Meanwhile, speaking in 2018, Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence disclosed that she missed out on a role in Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, which she admitted was “the only time I’ve been truly devastated by losing an audition.”