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Power Diaries

Kay Cannon Completely Reimagined Cinderella — This Is What Makes Her Feel Powerful

As familiar as we are with the happily-ever-after, rags-to-riches, girl-meets-prince, prince-falls-in-love-with-girl-after-one-dance story of Cinderella, the classic was also in desperate need of a makeover. Amazon Studios' 2021 musical version, written and directed by Kay Cannon, aims to turn the fairy tale on its head through an empowering, modern narrative that follows a fiercely independent heroine, starring Camila Cabello, who pursues her dream with the help of Fab G, played by Billy Porter. When Cannon isn't busy dismantling cinematic tropes, here's what makes her feel most powerful.

I feel most powerful when...

I’ve met a writing deadline, caught up on emails, and watched all my Bravo shows in one night. I drop an imaginary mic and do a victory lap around my kitchen. Also, as a parent, I feel very powerful when I'm giving a counting warning to my daughter and I only have to say, “one…” before she does whatever I needed her to do. It has worked for years and I’ve never made it to “three.” And truthfully, I wouldn’t know what to do if I did! 

Power to me means...

Being seen, heard, and valued. It also means uplifting others so that they may also be seen, heard, and valued. When we do that, we take the notion of power to a whole ‘nother level. 

What do you do when you feel powerless?

I get still. And I get grateful. I remind myself that I always have power over my own words and actions.

What's your power anthem?

I vacillate between Jessie J’s “Bang Bang” and Bill Murray chanting, “It just doesn’t matter!” from the movie Meatballs.

Who is your power icon?

Ava DuVernay. She has built her own career off her talents and abilities, and then she built an empire by mentoring and lifting up other voices.   

What do you wear when you want to feel powerful?

I pull out my Melanie Griffith Working Girl power suit and wear it around the house. No, I oddly, or not so oddly, feel my most powerful when I’m in my workout clothes. I always feel strong — like I could save the day — or at least be able to help push your car out of a ditch in a moment's notice.  
Tune in to Refinery29's Facebook on August 28 at 4 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. ET to watch the Mercedes-Benz fashion show livestream event “Dressed for a Dream” hosted by Billy Porter as the Fabulous Godmother, along with actress Jamie Chung. Cinderella launches on Amazon Prime Video on September 3rd, 2021. Watch the trailer, below:

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