Hayley Atwell: 'Cinderella' Isn't "About the Man Saving Her. It Is a Woman Saving Herself"

Hayley Atwell H 2015
AP Images/Invision

The star who plays Cinderella's mother said there were "many, many, many faults" with the depiction of Disney princesses in films from the last century.

Cinderella star Hayley Atwell says the live-action Disney adaptation veers away from the traditional telling of the story in which the handsome prince saves the girl from her life of suffering and persecution. In this adaptation, she saves herself. 

In an interview with Radio Times, Atwell said Kenneth Branagh's remake had a "slightly different meaning. "Ken made it very clear that he didn't feel that Cinderella was about the man saving her. It is a woman saving herself through being courageous and kind … but she's stuck within the dynamics of the way society was run at the time." 

Speaking about princesses from past Disney films from the last century, Atwell, who plays Cinderella's mother, said that there were "many, many, many faults" but that they "were only reflecting the time." Thankfully, Atwell said "that's starting to change."

"Now we have Frozen, which is about self love and love of a sister. It's slowly changing as the audience's perception of society is changing. This is a much more modern, in-depth and up-to-date take on what Cinderella is."