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Wanna feel old? Fifteen years ago today, on July 29, 2001, “The Princess Diaries” was released in theaters. And that means one thing: Our huge crush on Michael Moscovitz is now, itself, a high school sophomore.
Michael, played by Rooney frontman Robert Schwartzman, was the good-guy love interest to misfit princess Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway). Ever since the moment that mop-topped, doe-eyed dude in a slightly oversized school blazer skated onto movie screens, the nerd queens of middle schools throughout America never fully owned their hearts again.
For a lot of self-identified awkward girls like myself at the time ― aspiring alt kids, maybe ― Michael was the heartthrob we’d been waiting for. He was smart, quiet but capable, a mechanic, and the keyboardist in a garage band called Flypaper. He had everything.
He gave us moments like this:
What misfit tween girl wouldn’t like to hear that “weirder” could be a good thing?
Plus, he totally saw Mia when she was invisible.
HuffPost sat down with Robert Schwartzman this spring, when he was touring to promote a new album with Rooney. “It’s funny,” he said. “I did live that life that the character lived, in a way, as a musician.”
Michael didn’t appear in the second movie; the explanation given was that Mia’s first love was busy touring with his band, and Schwartzman says he actually was touring with Rooney at the time.
That musical authenticity wasn’t the only part of himself that he brought to the role ― actually, the character’s most memorable quirk came out of the actor’s brain, as well. “I had this idea to eat M&Ms in the audition with Anne Hathaway,” he told HuffPost, “and then they liked that and wanted his character to eat M&Ms. Then they made the pizza with M&Ms.”
“Most people don’t know, but that came because of my own use of them on set.”
Our youthful infatuation with Michael Moscovitz, frankly, isn’t letting up anytime soon with Robert Schwartzman giving us so much reason to believe that he actually is, sort of, Michael Moscovitz.
Except with a really adorable rescue pup:
Now that “The Princess Diaries” is old enough to have a learner’s permit in many states in the U.S., the man who was Michael Moscovitz says he looks back fondly on the role. “I love that that movie has such a long life, and people love it, and people want to talk about it today,” he told HuffPost. “I feel like, it’s cool to have played a role that people really connected with.”
Whether you’ve papered your bedroom with film stills of Michael Moscovitz (hopefully not) or forgotten completely how dreamy he was, take a moment today to remember the truth of these words:
Maybe those fangirls weren’t talking about Michael ― but we sure are.