Me personally, not too much. I'm just a person living my life and people don't know me that well. I think if people were to look at me as a role model, it wouldn't be complete for them. It wouldn't be honest because so much about me people don't know, and I'm fine with that. However, I do understand the characters that I play are very good role models for young ladies. They are smart, they are in possession of their lives, and I do have a lot in common with them, so I don't mind being seen as a role model. But it's not something that I have ever aspired to be or courted because I think the second that you say, "Oh, I am a role model and that's why I make the decisions that I make," you've kind of shot yourself in the foot. A role model is somebody that does things because of what they believe in regardless of what other people think.
How do you deal with success and what keeps you grounded?
I beat up animals. I don't know. I take out my aggression on small, furry, little things. No, I don't take it too seriously, to be perfectly honest. I mean, it just seems so silly to me, to be perfectly honest, because if I thought about it too much all I could ever come back to you [with] is why me? Like, I just made a little movie that I thought was cute about princesses and it just happened to turn into this beloved film and experience for so many people. And because of that, I have been given a completely new pathway in life. But I can't believe that it has anything to do with me.
So you think fame is rather ludicrous?
Well, yes. What's the point of it? It doesn't, for me, serve any purpose. I mean, I don't want to appear ungrateful for the extraordinary experiences that it's allowed me to have, but I don't take it too seriously because as we all know, as we've all seen, it disappears like that for some people.
Do you have time to date and do normal things?
Of course. I mean not right now when I'm my every waking moment is talking about fairy tales. But my whole attitude about it is that you always need to have time to do normal things, and normal is obviously just a really relative concept. But the thing about dating is that when you find the right person, you make time for them.
Would you date another actor?
It's never arisen, the possibility, but I don't say no to anybody because I would hope that people wouldn't say no to me because I'm an actor. But they would have to be a pretty extraordinary person.
How do guys approach you?
Hesitantly. Honestly, guys don't. I approach guys.
I never, ever, ever, ever get hit on, wherever I go. I'm always with my friends who have relationships and guys really don't come up to me. Or they come up and get autographs for their little sisters and then they go away. So I usually do most of the approaching.
Uh-huh. I mean, how else am I going to get a date?
How different is Princess Diaries II in terms of the progression of your character and what we can expect?
Well, I didn't wear a wig in it and no fake eyebrows so that is pretty nice. It's Mia as a woman. I mean, if Princess Diaries was about Mia becoming a young woman, making the transition from young girl to young woman, Princess Diaries II is about her going from young woman to full on actualized, realized woman.
What is happening next for you? You've finished filming Princess Diaries II?
Yes, and right before I wrapped Princess Diaries II I made a film called Havoc, which is very different. It was written by Steve Gaghan and directed by Barbara Kopple, and that's kind of my very anti-princess role. I play a girl from Pacific Palisades who forms a gang with her friends and goes around beating up other gangs and doing drugs and then becomes a hooker.
So it was another big action role?
It was. There was a lot of fighting; there was a lot of physical stuff to it.
The real kind of violence as opposed to a fantasy kind of violence?
This one was full on with guns and stuff like that.
How do you like shooting a gun?
I didn't have to and I never have.
Did you have to beat somebody up?
And how was that experience?
Horrifying. I really felt disgusting at the end of that day, and it was not fun. I'm not a violent person by nature and playing one was very different.
So the little girl role model thing will go right out the window now with that movie?
I don't know. People will look at me in a different way I'm sure.