Believe it or not, it’s been 12 years since A Cinderella Story hit theaters. The movie starred Hilary Duff as Sam Montgomery, a high school senior whose far-from-glamorous life included working at her evil stepmother’s diner. But when she discovered that the dream guy on the other end of her anonymous online relationship was none other than popular jock Austin Ames, played by Chad Michael Murray, Sam finally had something to be excited about (and so did we).
The characters’ email and Instant Message exchanges—not to mention, the presence of chunky Samsung flip phones and giant desktop computers—are obviously outdated, but there’s no denying that the movie still holds up today. Frankly, we're still obsessed with watching Murray and Duff, aka the epitome of early-'00s teen royalty in Hollywood, together onscreen. (Lucas Scott and Lizzie McGuire falling in love at a high school dance? That will forever be box-office gold in our eyes.)
But if the movie were to take place now, how would life be different for the modern Sam and Austin? We asked Murray to weigh in. "They can make that story time and time again, and it’ll always be evolving due to technology and society,” the star told InStyle last week after discussing his new movie, Outlaws and Angels. “I don’t really know what’s cool anymore, but I think they’d be Snapchatting each other if the movie was made today. I don’t think you can hide under an email anymore.”
Even if they disguised their Snapchat selfies with the most concealing of filters, it would be much harder for the high schoolers to cover up their true identities in today’s high-tech world. “I just don’t think hiding would have worked for them nowadays,” said Murray. “But maybe I’m wrong! I’m sure they’d find a new way to hide.”
While the technical details may be out of date, A Cinderella Story 's concept was still ahead of its time. “It's really no different from the modern-day 'catfish,'” said Murray. “The story just struck a chord with so many people, and it’s really cool that I got to be a part of it. The movies and TV shows that I did back then have really just stuck around—I see them on television all the time.”
And Murray isn’t the only one to catch reruns of his past hits. “My wife will be sitting at home, and she’ll change the channel and see me and go, ‘Oh my god—you’re such a baby!’” said Murray. “It’s kind of adorable—but then I go and change the channel.”