Things You Might Not Know About The Devil Wears PradaPublished on April 20, 2017. Updated June 23, 2020
Based on the best-selling book by Lauren Weisberger, The Devil Wears Prada was a surprisingly huge box office hit — it grossed $326 million worldwide and was praised by critics. Starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt, the film is a comedy drama about a college graduate who moves to New York City and lands a job working as the assistant of a powerful fashion magazine editor. Even though it’s been over a decade since the film came out, it’s still hugely popular among fans! Here’s a look back at 12 things you probably didn’t know about The Devil Wears Prada!
12. The Role of Andy
Fox originally wanted to cast Rachel McAdams in the role of Andy, but McAdams turned it down several times because she wanted to get away from mainstream films. Meanwhile, Hathaway was desperate to get her first “adult role” so she practically begged Fox’s then-executive president Carla Hacken’s for the role. After meeting Hacken for the first time, Hathaway traced the words “hire me” in the sand of a zen garden in the office. Once she got the part, she prepared for the role by volunteering as an assistant at Christie’s auction house for a week to get some office experience.
11. Stanley Tucci Late Casting
The production team had a hard time casting the beloved role of Nigel. For whatever reason, scheduling conflicts kept getting in the way and it was increasingly hard to find the right actor to play the part. They finally landed Stanley Tucci, but he only accepted the part 72 hours before he had to start filming on set! He said he kind of had to learn the character as they went. “I was cast a few days before we started shooting so I didn’t have much time to see him clearly. I kind of had to figure out who it was as we went along though it was really well written so that made it a bit easier,” said Tucci.
10. Meryl Streep Almost Turned Down the Role
It’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role of Miranda Priestley. According to Streep, when she was first offered the role she almost passed because the salary was so low. “The offer was to my mind slightly, if not insulting — not perhaps reflective of my actual value to the project. There was my ‘goodbye moment,’ and then they doubled the offer,” she said in an interview with Variety. This was the first time Streep had ever negotiated a price for a film role! “I was 55, and I had just learned, at a very late date, how to deal on my own behalf.”
9. Liz Tilberis Inspired Miranda’s White Hair
One of the most striking physical characteristics about Miranda Priestly is her white hair. It was a strategic fashion choice by Streep and costume designer Patricia Fields loved it, but the production team didn’t because they thought it made her look old. Of course, eventually Streep won in the end. In an interview with Meryl Streep, she said her friend, the former editor in chief of Harper’s Bazaar, Liz Tilberis, was a partial inspiration behind the idea.
8. Off-Screen Romance
While working together on the set of The Devil Wears Prada, Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci became friends. He was later invited to her wedding to John Krasinski and met his current wife, Felicity, who also happens to be Blunt’s sister! Now Stantley Tucci and Emily Blunt are in-laws! “Ten years after ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ Stanley is my actual family. How frightening is that? He’s married to my sister,” said Blunt.
7. Anne Hathway Couldn’t Work Nights
She’s now happily married and a mother, but when she was working on Devil Wears Prada, Hathway was in a relationship with her ex-boyfriend, Raffaello Follieri. According to director David Frankel, Hathway wasn’t supposed to be working nights because Follieri didn’t want her to. In fact, he didn’t like the fact that she was working at all. “Annie was very emotional. She was living with a guy [her ex-boyfriend Raffaello Follieri] who was a felon and embezzler. He didn’t want her to be working at all; he hated that she worked nights. She was always fragile when we shot late,” said Frankel.
6. Streep Was Behind Two Most Iconic Scenes
It was Meryl Streep’s idea to make Miranda Priestly more than just a business woman. She developed the idea for the scene with the cerulean blue sweater and the hotel room. She offered up two suggestions, “Getting the business of fashion scene in the movie,” so she came up with the idea of adding the scene where Miranda lectures Andy about how fashion is responsible for her wearing her ratty blue sweater, and a more emotional scene, “where she is without her armor, the unpeeled scene in the hotel room–just to see that face without its protective glaze, to glimpse the woman in the businesswoman.”
5. Went Through Four Scripts
The book was so well liked that the film rights were sought after before the book was even finished! Studio executives saw the first 100 pages of the manuscript, along with an outline and began their bidding. Unfortunately it took a while to find the right script. Director David Frankel scrapped four scripts before Aline Brosh McKenna finally wrote one from scratch. He wanted one that was completely separate from the book. “Miranda was a witch, and Andy’s motivation was to get her revenge. There was a lot of conflict that ended with Miranda being humiliated. I felt that wasn’t satisfying. My view was that we should be grateful for excellence. Why do the excellent people have to be nice?”
4. Miranda Priestly’s Quiet Voice
Many people would assume that the character of fashion editor Miranda Priestly was inspired by the iconic Anna Wintour, but that’s actually not the case! Meryl Streep drew some of her inspiration from male actors Clint Eastwood and Mike Nichols. The quiet voice came from Eastwood while the cutting sense of humor came from Nichols. “The voice I got from Clint Eastwood. He never, ever, ever raises his voice and everyone has to lean in to listen, and he is automatically the most powerful person in the room. But he is not funny. That I stole from Mike Nichols…The walk, I’m afraid, is mine,” said Streep.
3. Casting Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt auditioned for the role of Emily Charlton on a whim. She created an audition tape because she was already in the Fox lot auditioning for the lead role in Eragon. She ended up doing the audition in jeans and flip flops because she was late for her flight back to London. A few days later she found out she got the part. “I was in some dive club in London. I called him back from the bathroom. He said, ‘Listen I would have cast you off the tape, but the studio wants to see you one more time. Can you do what you did but dress the part more?” said Blunt. The character was originally supposed to be American, but Blunt convinced David Frankel to make her British.
2. First Day of Filming
In an interview on The Graham Norton Show, Anne Hathaway said Meryl Streep took her icy cold character very seriously on set. “When I met her she gave me a huge hug. [And] I’m like, ‘Oh my god, we are going to have the best time on this movie.’ And then she’s like, ‘Ah sweetie, that’s the last time I’m nice to you.’ She then went into her trailer and came out the ice queen and that was really the last I saw of ‘Meryl’ for months, until we promoted the film,” said Hathaway.
1. Last Line of the Film
The last line in the movie comes when Miranda is sitting in a chauffeured car with Andy. It was supposed to be “Everybody wants to be me,” but at the first table read with all the cast members, she changed it to “Everybody wants to be us.”