Anne Hathaway has hailed 'The Princess Diaries' as one of the "greatest gifts" of her life.

The 39-year-old actress shot to fame playing Mia Thermopolis in the 2001 Disney comedy and she will always treasure her experience working with director Gary Marshall to produce a movie that is still popular today.

She said: "That movie is one of the greatest gifts of my life and always will be. It’s really something to think how loved it is after all these years. It makes people feel comfort. It makes people feel safe. It makes people laugh and they keep discovering it even now. And I was so cared for by Garry Marshall.

"He watched out for me and was so lovely and made me feel like I had worth.

"I never experienced anything a 17-year-old shouldn’t experience nor was I ever put in a position that a 17-year-old shouldn’t be put in. That shouldn’t make you lucky – and it shouldn’t need to be said – but it was. And it does."

Anne believes a lot of her career experiences are down to "luck", starting from having a family who supported her ambitions because her mother was also an actress.

She told You magazine: "One of the luckiest breaks I had was being born into a family where acting wasn’t feared but respected and valued.

"Though at the same time, they saw first-hand that it’s not necessarily the most mentally healthy career for children.

"I mean, what exactly is a 'mentally healthy career for children?' "

But the Oscar-winning star had to rely on a "con" to land her role in 'Brokeback Mountain'.

She explained: "When I auditioned for 'Brokeback Mountain', the last question the director Ang Lee asked me was: 'Can you ride a horse?' I said: 'Yes.' And I couldn’t.

"I thought to myself, 'I have a few weeks to learn.’

"I am very determined, took it very seriously, worked very hard, and learned how to ride well enough to do the film. But when I said that to get the part, was it true? It was not. Did I see a path where it could be true? Yes, I did. What’s the line? When does that become a con?"