The Devil Wears Prada turns 10 on June 30 and whilst we’re still reeling over how old we actually feel, we’ve rounded up the best facts you probably don’t know about the movie.
If you’ve somehow managed to elude the fashion-heavy film all these years, it stars Anne Hathaway as a naive journalism school graduate Andy Sachs, who takes a job as an assistant to Meryl Streep’s character, Miranda Priestly, in the hopes to kick-start her career. Priestly however is the powerful, ruthless and downright rude editor of the fictional fashion magazine Runway. Alongside Hathaway and Streep is a brilliant supporting cast which includes Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker and Adrian Grenier.
To celebrate The Devil Wears Prada’s 10th anniversary, Variety spoke to the stars of the film as well as the director, writer and president of Fox 2000, and got a whole load of must-know facts about the film. Here’s some of the best bits, alongside other facts we’ve learnt about the film in the last ten years.
Anne Hathaway made an effort to stand out to be cast as Andy
The actress, then known for family movies such as The Princess Diaries and Ella Enchanted, left Carla Hacken, then-executive vice president of Fox 2000, a message on her desk—she traced the words “hire me” in the sand of a Zen garden.
“I didn’t have to audition,” the actress told Variety. “I had to be patient. I wasn’t the first choice.”
The role of Andy nearly went to Rachel McAdams
According to Variety, studio Twentieth Century Fox wanted a big movie star for the role and courted McAdams, then known for The Notebook. The actress turned down the offer multiple times, citing her desire to step away from mainstream material.
We can hardly believe Mean Girls’ Regina George nearly played Andy Sachs.
Meryl Streep was the only choice for Miranda
“I don’t remember anything other than, ‘Please God—let it be Meryl,'” Hacken told Variety.
She said that when Streep’s agent called and said she would meet with the director, she put him on hold and cheered, “Yes!”
Author Lauren Weisberger makes an appearance
The author of the book from which the film was adapted, Lauren Weisberger, makes a cameo in the movie as the twins’ nanny.
The Devil Wear Prada is all about fashion – so it just had to have some incredible costume designs, right? And that it did. As many fashion designers gladly allowed for their costumes and accessories to be used in the movie, it has one of the most expensive costumes in film history.
The clothing used amounts to $1 million, but most of it was borrowed as the film’s designer, Patricia Field, only had a small costume budget of just $100,000.
Meryl’s addition of two key scenes
The actress suggested to filmmakers to get “the business of fashion scene in the movie,” which led to two additional scenes. One of them is the one where Miranda explains to Andy how the fashion world is responsible for the creation of her blue cerulean sweater.
Streep wanted Miranda to be a fully formed character, a face that audiences saw “without its protective glaze, to glimpse the woman in the businesswoman.”
Emily Blunt’s weight
Emily Blunt was asked to slim down to ‘sickness thin’ to play the role of Miranda’s assistant, Emily. She was astounded by the request, but did so anyway. She admits it’s the only role she has ever played were they wanted her to lose weight.
Anne Hathaway’s emotional time
While filming, the actress lived with then-beau Italian businessman Raffaello Follieri. The two broke up in 2008, months after he began a four and a half year prison sentence for fraud.
“Annie was very emotional,” director David Frankel told Variety. “She was living with a guy…he didn’t want her to be working at all; he hated that she worked nights. She was always fragile when we shot late.”
A good deal
Meryl Streep was initially offered a ‘slightly insulting’ salary, so she negotiated to double it. It was the first time she had to discuss getting more money for a role. . “The offer was to my mind slightly, if not insulting, not perhaps reflective of my actual value to the project,” Streep said. “There was my ‘goodbye moment,’ and then they doubled the offer. I was 55, and I had just learned, at a very late date, how to deal on my own behalf.”
Emily Blunt was a surprise addition
More than 100 actresses were considered for Blunt’s role of Emily. She did a tape on a whim because she was already in the Fox lot, doing multiple callbacks for the female lead in Eragon (a part she didn’t get. That rejection was the reason she eventually could get the Prada part). Blunt was late for her flight to London and did a tape in jeans and flip flops.
A change of character
The character of Emily was supposed to be American, but Blunt read the part in her British accent, and it was changed. She did have to audition one more time because of her wardrobe: “[Frankel] said, ‘Listen I would have cast you off the tape, but the studio wants to see you one more time,” Blunt recalled of the phone call she got in a London dive bar. “‘Can you did what you did but dress the part more?'”
Stanley Tucci joined last minute
Stanley Tucci accepted the role of Runway’s art director Nigel, who helps Andy navigate through the world of fashion, just 72 hours before his character debuted on set.
At a recent appearance at Wizard World Comic Con in Philadelphia, Tucci told fans he was cast in The Devil Wears Prada “at like, the 11th hour.”
“I think they scoured the Earth till they came to me,” he joked.
It was a good thing Tucci was cast as well, he ended up meeting his future wife, Blunt’s sister, because of the film. “Ten years after The Devil Wears Prada, Stanley is in my actual family,” Emily said. “How frightening is that? He’s married to my sister. All thanks to The Devil Wears Prada.”
Thomas Lennon apparently turned down the role of Nigel due to conflicts with his Reno 911! Filming schedule.
Meryl Streep went deep into the role of Miranda Priestly and treated Anne Hathaway as mean as she did on screen whilst filming the movie. On the first day on set, prior to filming, Meryl turned to Anne as said, “I think you’re perfect for the role. I’m so happy we’re going to be working together.” She then paused before saying “That’s the last nice thing I’ll say to you” – and it actually was until several months later when they promoted the film together.
And Streep managed to surprise them all with her take on what Miranda sounded like. “I think we all had an idea of what Miranda would sound like,” Hathaway recalled of their first sit down. “It was a strident, bossy, barking voice. So when Meryl opened her mouth and basically whispered, everybody in the room drew a collective gasp. It was so unexpected and brilliant.”
Harry Potter Books
One of the prop Harry Potter book 7 bindings used in the film were sold in an auction for $586, the proceeds were donated to Dress for Success, a not-for-profit organisation that assists 45,000 women per year as they transition into the workforce.
The writing for The Devil Wears Prada is, obviously, very tight to begin with. But during their table read, Meryl made one very small change to Miranda’s last line. Instead of “Everybody wants to be me,” she said, “Everybody wants to be us.”
It’s not just Meryl Streep that improvised in the movie. Emily Blunt stated she borrowed the following line from a mother shouting at her daughter in the street, “Yeah, I’m hearing ‘this’. (gestures talking with his hand), and I want to hear ‘this’ (gestures silence).
The Anna Wintour rumours
The character of Miranda Priestley is supposedly based on the formidable Vogue editor, Anna Wintour.
Anna did not receive an invite to the movie’s premiere, but she did attend an advanced screening on The Devil Wears Prada and stated she enjoyed Miranda’s decisive nature.
According to Lauren Weisberger, Wintour’s former assistant, the editor reportedly warned all fashion designers that she would banish them from Vogue if they made a cameo in the movie. Anna Wintour’s spokespeople have since denied the claim, despite the fact that Vogue and other fashion magazines refused to mention or review the movie.
But Meryl certainly didn’t take inspiration from the Vogue editor for the character.
“The voice I got from Clint Eastwood,” Streep told Variety. “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 [director] Mike Nichols. The way the cruellest cutting remark, if it is delivered with a tiny self-amused curlicue of irony, is the most effective instruction, the most memorable correction, because everyone laughs, even the target.”
“The walk, I’m afraid, is mine,” she added.
A Runway issue is displayed behind Emily’s desk, featuring a cover with three models. It’s based on the real cover of Vogue’s August 2004 issue, featuring Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, and Riley Keough.
Meryl Streep donated her movie wardrobe to a charity auction.
Gisele Bündchen agreed to be in the movie only if she didn’t play a model.
Valentino Garavani, who designed the black gown Meryl Streep wears in the museum benefit scene, is the only fashion designer who chose to make an appearance in the film.
Meryl Streep’s daughter, Mamie Gummer, played a Starbucks clerk in one scene, but her scene was cut for pacing.
Most of Emily Blunt’s wardrobe is from Vivienne Westwood.
Over 100 sets of twins auditioned for the role of Miranda’s daughters.
In order to prepare for the role of Andrea, Anne Hathaway volunteered as an assistant at an auction house for a week.