Anne Hathaway (search) puts a modern twist on every little girl's princess fantasy at movie theaters this weekend.
In addition to horseback riding and wearing beautiful gowns, Hathaway, who plays Mia Thermopolis in "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (search)," finds herself being prepped for an arranged marriage — something this princess isn't exactly thrilled about.
"She's no typical male fantasized princess or just, 'oh I'm a princess and I'm getting swept away [by] prince charming,'" said Heather Matarazzo (search), who plays Mia's best friend Lilly Moscovitz.
Hathaway, the 21-year-old star of 2001's surprise hit "The Princess Diaries," told FOX News her character wants to take her own path, something that young girls watching the film may relate to.
"Mia is going to be a ruler with a conscience and she's going to be a rule-breaker," Hathaway told FOX. "She's not just going to play by what the establishments says a proper girl is, a princess should be."
Expected to do as she's told, the quirky Mia — who in the first "Princess" film learns she's heir to the throne of a small European country — ends up surprising everyone by choosing her own track and re-defining royalty.
The sequel reunites Hathaway with director Garry Marshall and co-star Julie Andrews (search), who returns as Queen Clarisse, coaching granddaughter Mia through the trials of an arranged marriage as she prepares to inherit the crown.
"I tried to show that I was concerned about her, that it worries me that it is going to be an arranged marriage," said Andrews of her character. "[Mia's prince] would have to be someone she could truly be happy with."
Hathaway, who shot to stardom with the original "Princess Diaries," embraces the girl-power films that made her a star, but as she moves into adulthood she said she's ready to distance herself from the saccharine roles she's known for.
"I'm a 21-year-old in a G-rated movie. This isn't exactly the kind of artistic choices that I want to be making right now, but at the same time, I'm grateful to be able to make them," she said.
After two flicks as Mia and her role in last spring's fairy-tale romance "Ella Enchanted (search)," Hathaway figures her princess days are numbered.
"Of course, you can never say never. If I'm asked to play Queen Rania [of Jordan] in a film, I might say yes, just because I think she's a fascinating woman," Hathaway said. "But I think I've done a lot in this genre, and I'm ready to tackle new ones."
Hathaway has done two dramas, "The Other Side of Heaven" and "Nicholas Nickleby," and has two more in the works.
Already shot is the indie film "Havoc," about two young affluent women who get caught up in a clash of cultures among Latino gangs in East Los Angeles.
She's now filming "Brokeback Mountain," directed by Ang Lee and starring "it-guys" Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger.
With these new roles, Hathaway is unconcerned about getting typecast as the wholesome princess. "I'm not any of these characters that I play. I'm an actor, and if I can say so without sounding arrogant, I think I'm a very good actor," she said.
Still, Hathaway understands that many young girls love adore the sweet "Princess" films with an empowering message.
"I think that if you are in any way a romantic and you have a little imagination, putting yourself in those situations is always really fun."
And Andrews pointed out that most people love the idea of being plucked from obscurity and made into royalty.
"It's the glamorous idea that you too could be a princess. It's fun to fantasize, it's a wonderful game to play."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.