America Ferrera hopes her character in How To Train Your Dragon 2 offers young girls a chance to identify with a woman who is not just a damsel in distress.
The Ugly Betty star voices feisty princess Astrid in the sequel, which stars Jay Baruchel as the voice of Viking dragon trainer Hiccup.
The 30-year-old actress was accompanied by dragon Toothless on the green carpet in London's Leicester Square at the premiere of the new animated movie.
America said: "I never dreamed of being a princess. I always related to characters who were in the middle of the action, and most of the time those were the male characters.
"So I think that Astrid is out there representing for so many girls who want to be a part of the action. I think they'll really enjoy her."
She added: "That's what I love about playing Astrid - she's adventurous and exciting and competitive. If anything, she's running to Hiccup's rescue, not the other way around. So it's fun to play a character that feels fresh."
The actress was joined at the premiere by director Dean DeBlois and writer Cressida Cowell, who created the How To Train Your Dragon series.
How To Train Your Dragon 2 sees Hiccup and his faithful dragon Toothless battling to save the future of men and dragons from the power-hungry Drago, voiced by Djimon Hounsou.
It also features Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett as the voice of Valka.
Dean said: "I'd written the character for her, inspired by the sorts of characters she'd worked on before. And then we were lucky enough to be nominated for an Oscar in 2011, so I went to the ceremony and there she was - standing around in the cocktail reception.
"And I walked up to her and introduced myself and said I'd written a part for her. And she said 'Well, the first film is a big hit in our household, tell me more'.
"And I did and there in her beautiful frock and hair she started adopting the mannerisms of a woman who might have lived with dragons for 20 years. So it was really cool. And she said, 'Send me the script', and that was that."
How To Train Your Dragon 2 is released in UK cinemas on Friday July 11.