"I finished that a couple of weeks ago," the actress said in an interview. "I was living in Ireland for four months, and it's a lovely, lovely film for Miramax."
The actress added, "It's based on a great, great book, but the movie is a bit different, though. It's a variation on the story of Cinderella. Cinder. Ella. In-joke. Basically, instead of her being the typical stays-home-and-washes-the-ugly-stepsisters'-dirty-clothes type of heroine, she is very much a modern-day woman.
She is a spunky, young and thoughtful woman with a very good head on her shoulders. On the day she was born, though, she was given a fairy gift. She got the demented fairy in the kingdom and instead of getting something good and useful like extreme intelligence or great hair, she was given the gift of obedience.
Any command that is thrown at her she absolutely had to do. If in a conversation you just say, 'Oh, get out of town,' she has to get up and get out of town. That made for some really funny moments in the film. Eventually, she goes on a journey to overcome the curse. She tries to find the fairy and get her to take it back and the movie kind of starts from there."
Ella Enchanted also stars Hugh Dancy, Patrick Bergin, Eric Idle, Joanna Lumley and, as the dastardly Prince Regent Edgar, Cary Elwes. Hathaway noted that Elwes enjoyed playing a twist on his best-known character, Westley of The Princess Bride.
"He was so happy to be working on this film," Hathaway said. "He just came in every day with all these ideas about how to make his character even more evil. It was wonderful. At the end we were chilling together and I asked him if he had fun working on the film and he said, 'The last time I had a film feel like this was The Princess Bride.'" Ella Enchanted is tentatively set for a US release on Aug. 8, 2003.