Skip To Content
  • BHM2021 badge

16 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Brandy's "Cinderella" That Are Just So Magical

There were four different pairs of glass slippers on set.

1. When the project was first in development, Whitney Houston was supposed to play the role of Cinderella.

Whitney Houston in Cinderella
Walt Disney Co. / Courtesy Everett Collection

The whole process of developing Cinderella took about four years, and eventually Whitney decided that she was a better fit for the role of the Fairy Godmother.

2. Ultimately, Whitney hand-picked Brandy to play the role of Cinderella instead.

Brandy and Whitney Houston in Cinderella
Walt Disney Co. / Everett Collection

"Brandy was definitely hand-picked by me," Whitney revealed in an interview with ET on the set of the movie. "I definitely wanted her to be Cinderella."

3. In fact, Whitney personally called Brandy and offered her the role directly — and the rest was history!

4. Brandy was nervous to meet Paolo Montalbán, who played the Prince. They met for the first time at the audition.

Cinderella and Prince

"I was very nervous because he was so good and so handsome, and I was blushing the whole time at the auditions," Brandy shared on The Rosie O'Donnell Show.

5. Brandy also shared that Paolo even brought her flowers and candy after they met, living up to his name of Prince Charming.

Cinderella and Prince Charming at their wedding
ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

6. Brandy didn't fully realize the impact of the film's racially diverse casting, and her portrayal of a Black Cinderella, until she saw the finished product.

7. She also reflected specifically on what it felt like being the first Black princess to wear braids.

Brandy as Cinderella

"When I look back, I'm like, 'Wow, that was such an amazing time,'" she told Elle. "To be the first Black princess with braids — it was unbelievable. I'm just happy I was able to experience that."

8. If you got big Cinderella vibes when you watched Bridgerton, there's a reason: Ellen Mirojnick designed the costumes for both.

Cinderella side by side with Bridgerton
Walt Disney Co. / Everett Collection / Netflix

She's also done the costumes for The Greatest Showman and Maleficent, just to name a few other projects.

9. For her role as Queen Constantina, Whoopi Goldberg reportedly wore $5 million worth of real Harry Winston jewels instead of costume jewelry in the film — accessories truly fit for a queen.

Whoopi Goldberg in Cinderella
Walt Disney Co. / Everett Collection

"I wanted real jewels! And I was friends with the folks over at Harry Winston, so why not?" Whoopi shared in the ShondaLand oral history.

10. Whoopi recently revealed that the iconic moment where she "squeals" in response to the prince was not in the script.

Whoopi Goldberg squealing

"I just did that thing that parents do when they really don't have any words that they want to share," she told Entertainment Weekly.

11. Victor Garber had wrapped working on Titanic right before filming Cinderella, but he humbly just said that he had worked on a project in "a giant water tank."

12. Veanne Cox (Calliope) reflected on the first time she met Natalie Desselle Reid (Minerva), and how they bonded instantly.


"I met her in the audition," Veanne told Entertainment Weekly. "We went into the audition room together, and we fell in love from the moment we met. And it was, there was never a challenge with her to make something funny. She was this naturally hilarious human being, both onscreen and off."

Natalie died of colon cancer in December 2020.

13. There were four different pairs of the infamous glass slippers on set: three sizes for the various characters, including Cinderella and Stepmother, who wore them, and one pair that was actually made of glass.


"When I put it on, I broke it," Bernadette Peters said in an interview on The Rosie O'Donnell Show.

14. The Stepmother's song "Falling in Love With Love" was originally from the Rodgers & Hart musical The Boys From Syracuse, but it was added to the movie so that Bernadette Peters would have a musical number.

Bernadette Peters singing

15. Paolo recently revealed in the cast's Entertainment Weekly reunion interview that he'd actually played the role of the Prince in his high school production of Cinderella — a fact that the cast just learned now, 24 years later.

Prince Charming in Cinderella

16. Finally, many fans have been begging for the official movie soundtrack to be released after all these years, and Brandy's possible!

Cinderella is now available to stream on Disney+.

Brooke Greenberg/BuzzFeed