The film, which was a take on the Cinderella folklore, focused on the blossoming romance between two internet pen pals who never met in person. They plan to meet at their high school dance — with Murray’s character Austin becoming determined to find out the identity of the girl (Duff) behind the mask.
Following the rom-com’s box office success, A Cinderella Story turned into a cult classic and inspired several straight-to-video sequels. Another Cinderella Story featured Selena Gomez, Drew Seeley and Jane Lynch in the main cast.
Meanwhile, the 2011 version A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song starred Lucy Hale, Freddie Stroma and Megan Park. The franchise later continued with Sofia Carson and Thomas Law‘s A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits in 2016. Three years later, A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish introduced Laura Marano and Gregg Sulkin in the lead roles of the retelling.
In 2021, A Cinderella Story: Starstruck became the sixth installment in the series with Bailee Madison and Michael Evans Behling as the movie’s love interests.
Duff previously revealed that she developed feelings for Murray after working together on set. “I definitely had a crush on [Chad]. We had a few kissing scenes in the movie and I remember feeling pretty nervous about that, but then we became friends and I wasn’t so nervous anymore,” she told Cosmopolitan in January 2016.
The actor, for his part, recalled taking his costar out for coffee to help develop their chemistry. “Just to get to know her and work with her so we could create some sort of relationship between each other so it would be easier on set,” he explained to Black Film shortly after the film was released.
Even though Murray attempted to commit to his role, he later admitted the one aspect of the story he was always confused over.
“If you go to masquerade mall and a girl you see almost every day is wearing a small mask and her entire face is exposed and you still can’t recognize her, you should probably see an eye doctor — among a few other doctors,” he jokingly told E! News in 2019.
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