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HOLLYWOOD — Playing a high school outcast was a challenge for Hilary Duff, but the teen princess related to her Cinderella role in Warner Bros.’ updated fairy tale nevertheless.

The thesp said the tale was her favorite growing up. “I loved everything about it,” Duff said at Saturday’s Chinese Theater preem for “A Cinderella Story.”

Fellow fairy tale fan Jennifer Coolidge relished her role as Fiona, the plastic surgery-addicted stepmother. “Self-obsessed is the new evil,” she said.

Helmer Mark Rosman, who also directed Duff in several episodes of “The Lizzie McGuire Show” and Universal’s just-wrapped “The Perfect Man,” praised his young star for being grounded and accessible.

At the Highlands after-bash, however, her accessibility was limited to a roped-off area. The nightspot masqueraded as a high school gymnasium decorated for a dance at the party.

On hand: the pic’s football captain/Prince Charming, played by the very charming Chad Michael Murray, who flew in from the Australian set of WB’s “House of Wax” just in time to join Warner execs including Alan Horn and Dawn Taubin; exec producer Dylan Sellers; pic’s Regina King; and guests Jason Ritter, Frances Fisher and Jose Canseco.