If you’ve spent any time on the Internet in oh, the last three years, you know there’s nothing the Internet loves more than imagining them in different iterations: “real size,” hipster, as bridesmaids. But what would they look like as real girls today?
Luckily we got to find out in person, with the help of five of Broadway’s most in-demand stars, three of whom have spent time playing the princesses themselves in the Broadway productions. And the week before they all met to perform their Princess’s signature songs at a Feinstein’s/54 Below concert organized by former Cinderella Laura Osnes, they gave us a sneak peek at their modern interpretations of their princess’s costume — as well as what it might be like to actually hang out with Disney Princesses in real life (hint: very high-pitched).
Cinderella: Laura Osnes, former star of Cinderella and the upcoming Bandstand
Wearing a Shabby Apple skirt, Forever 21 crop top, ShoeMint heels and jewelry purchased for her wedding from a Mall of America kiosk
Who’s your favorite Disney princess? Well, I have an affinity for Cinderella having played her now! I definitely grew up watching it, for sure. Me and my best friend who lived across the street would get together. I remember watching it at her house multiple times and loving it totally!
What’s the finishing touch that gets you into Disney Princess mode? I’m a big eyelash girl so I’ll wear false lashes … and then in a show if I get to wear a wig I feel like that’s the moment I become the character. Obviously for stuff like this it’s my real hair — I followed a YouTube tutorial to get the Cinderella hair today! And of course, if there’s a tiara involved that’s it: Okay, I’m a princess!
What makes a modern Disney Princess? Oh gosh! I think a modern day Disney princess still has to have the grace and the kindness to her that all the princesses have had. But I feel like the modern day one is more independent and is more strong and is able to make choices on her own instead of just [leaving it to] fate. Today’s princess has a little bit more forward motion and drive to her.
Ariel: Sierra Boggess, former star of The Little Mermaid and currently in School of Rock
Wearing a BCBG dress and Valentino shoes
Who’s your favorite Disney princess? It’s always been Ariel since I was 7 years old! I love her because she represents the girl who feels like she was born … actually, well the human that was born in the wrong place, the wrong time, the wrong body. So I feel like people really connect to her on that really deep psychological level — as well as, everyone loves a mermaid! But yeah, I love just her independence and her need to go out into the world and get what’s hers.
What’s the finishing touch that gets you into Disney Princess mode? I remember doing this when I was in the show: As soon as I put the wig on [that was it]. But today, just I as soon as I started curling my hair and getting it in the style that is just long, down, curly it was like oh there she is! She’s back!
But the skirt is pretty different than wearing a tail. The tail was very heavy actually and there were so many different parts to it that it wasn’t as graceful as it seems like it would be in the ocean. But it was really cool. I moved my hips a lot — it was a great workout.
What makes a modern Disney Princess? I think someone knowing who they are. A girl who knows who she is, what she wants, and is not afraid to go and get it. Might as well sing while you’re doing it too!
Jasmine: Courtney Reed, star of Aladdin
Wearing a Bebe dress, Century 21 bangles, Aldo and Banana republic rings and a Forever 21 necklace
Who’s your favorite Disney princess? Jasmine, always. She means so much to me because she was pretty much the first ethnic Disney princess. I probably would’ve identified, if Pocahontas was like the first one or Mulan or Esmeralda, I think they probably would’ve been my favorite, but she was the first so then being able to play her — it’s very surreal. People ask me, “What’s it like being a Disney princess?” And I’m like, it’s the best life ever. I get to literally fly on a carpet and people watch me in awe while I’m singing the most iconic song A Whole New World — like, it doesn’t get better than that.
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What’s the finishing touch that gets you into Disney Princess mode? I think for sure when the crown goes on. Because you know she’s not a princess until the crown goes on! That’s the last thing I put on before I go onstage and sometimes when I stand up and I’m walking past Jafar’s dressing room I can catch a glimpse of myself walking by and I’m like, Oh my gosh, it’s Jasmine. Oh wait, no, that’s me! I forgot!
What makes a modern Disney Princess? That’s a good question. I think it’s independence, and Jasmine possess all of the qualities of a modern princess. She’s independent, she’s courageous, she’s strong, she’s a very empathetic. She cares for the rest of the world. She believes everybody should be equal but at the same time fights for it. She has so much love for Aladdin and she’ll give herself to him but he’ll always know that she’s independent at the same time.
Tiana: Adrienne Warren, star of Shuffle Along
Wearing an Alice + Olivia top, Maje skirt and Calvin Klein shoes
Who’s your favorite Disney princess? Tiana! The first time I saw the movie, I saw it a lot later than everyone else. I was on tour and I was sick, and I said, this is a Princess and the Frog night.
What’s the finishing touch that gets you into Disney Princess mode? I think the key is to stay in the color scheme. And she’s such a hard worker and I’m in the midst of working my tush off right now on a lot of different projects. You wake up, the sun is shining, lashes on, hair is up, done and done!
What makes a modern Disney princess? Less about the clothes and the hair and more about the mindset. In this day and age, girls need to be strong and proud and who they are and the skin that they are in, no matter what they’re wearing. It’s not about what you’re wearing but it’s about your heart and what’s on the inside.
Who’s your favorite Disney princess? Belle! I always looked up to her always cause she’s a little quirky and different. I mean there’s a bunch of songs about how she’s “different from the rest of us.” I loved that because I related to that.
What’s the finishing touch that gets you into Disney Princess mode? Hair. And I think being brave enough to wear yellow … also, eyes! Disney Princess eyes, those are the windows to your soul.
What makes a modern Disney princess? I think its being true to who you are and not being afraid to be flawed. Your flaws are beautiful, and just being different from everybody is okay. And it might make you stand out! To be confident in your quirks and in what makes you different from everybody that seems popular, the things that you’re supposed to do to fit in.
Who’s your favorite Disney princess?
— Alex Apatoff