Brandy Norwood, Bernadette Peters & More Look Back on Twenty Years Since CINDERELLA

Brandy Norwood, Bernadette Peters & More Look Back on Twenty Years Since CINDERELLA

It's been two decades since an entirely new kind of princess graced our television screens, singing songs of possible dreams. Twenty years ago, Cinderella came back to the small screen, starring Brandy Norwood in the title role, with a multi-cultural, star-studded supporting cast of Bernadette Peters, Victor Garber, Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Alexander and Whitney Houston.

Produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, the made-for-television film from The Wonderful World of Disney was based on the fairy tale by Charles Perrault and was the third version of Rogers and Hammerstein's television movie musical (following the 1957 and the 1965 versions).

The film was directed by Robert Iscove, adapted by Robert L. Freedman with choreography by Rob Marshall. Cinderella premiered on ABC November 2, 1997 and earned an Emmy Award and an Art Directors Guild Award.

A recent feature by Shondaland goes in-depth with the cast and creative team to relive the magic of the '97 film. On casting the role of Prince Charming, executive producer Deborah Martin Chase recalled: "It was like we had the glass shoe that we were trying to fit for the Prince. We held auditions in LA and we saw everybody from Wayne Brady to Antonio Sabato, Jr. It was a huge deal. We just didn't find the person in LA, so we went to NY. Taye Diggs even came in in New York and there was a lot of anticipation because of "Rent."

"I believe we even saw a young Marc Anthony as well!" added Neil Meron

How did Bernadette Peters get cast as the wicked step-mother? "Craig and Neil invited me to come and play this wonderful role, and I immediately said yes," said Peters. "I don't remember if I thought about the optics of playing a white evil stepmother to a black Cinderella. We weren't really playing 'real' people - it's a fairy-tale, and I just wanted to play the role as best as I could, as cruelly as I could. I think that's how we all approached it."

Click here for the full must-read feature!

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