The Devil Wears Prada facts you probably didn’t know

Taryn Davies
Published: June 29, 2016

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 journalism 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, 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 are 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

At the time Hathaway was better known for playing pretty princesses, and she says she had to be patient about the role as she wasn't their first choice. She even went as far as to leave a message on the desk of the executive vice president of Fox 2000 at the time. She wrote the words 'hire me' in the Zen garden on her desk.

The Devil Wears Prada facts you need to know

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

Carla Hacken, executive vice president of Fox 2000 at the time, remembers praying for it to be Meryl, waiting to find out if she would meet with the director, Hacken recalls cheering when her agent agreed to it.

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 Wears Prada facts you need to know

Expensive taste

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

Streep suggested to filmmakers that they include the business of fashion scene in the film, which incidentally led to an additional two scenes. One of them being the iconic blue cerulean sweater scene where Priestley explains the history of the colour she is wearing and how the fashion world chose it for her.

Another scene was the hotel room where she doesn't have her armour but is more stripped back and we get a glimpse of her as a real person as opposed to the businesswoman we see throughout.

The Devil Wears Prada facts you need to know

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 where they wanted her to lose weight.

The Devil Wears Prada facts you need to know

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."

The salary debate 

It's hard to imagine that Meryl Streep would have problems with pay, but the actress admits she was offered a 'slightly insulting' salary at first and she negotiated the pay package for her role. It saw the amount double after she threatened to walk away. She was 55 at the time, and Streep admits it was one of the first time she had to deal on her own behalf.

Emily Blunt was a surprise addition

Blunt only auditioned for the role of Emily out of convenience of already being at Fox auditioning for a role on Eragon, something she didn't get. There were more than 100 actresses who tried out for Emily, but it seems her rushed audition in jeans and flip-flops made an impression.

A change of character

Emily was originally written as an American, but when Blunt sent her audition in she had spoken in her British accent. The part was then changed, but the studio did insist on seeing the actress once more before they offered her the role. They wanted her to read for the part again, but dressed for the role too.

Stanley Tucci joined last minute

Stanley Tucci is another standout character in the film, playing Runway's art director Nigel. Suprisingly though he got the role quite last minute, in fact just 72 hours before he was due on set.

It was a good thing Tucci was cast as well, he ended up meeting his future wife, Blunt’s sister, because of the film.

Thomas Lennon apparently turned down the role of Nigel due to conflicts with his Reno 911! Filming schedule.

The Devil Wears Prada facts you need to know

Method acting

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. As they began filming Streep told the actress that she was perfect for the role and she was happy to be working with her. She then followed by admitting that the nicest thing she'll say to her during filming. She then went Priestley and wasn't friendly with her throughout filming.

Hathaway says that Streep surprised them all with the voice for Priestley as well. Everyone was expecting a strong and bossy voice, but what came out was completely 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 Devil Wears Prada facts you need to know

The Anna Wintour rumours

Lauren Weisberger who wrote the book the film is based on is a former assistant to Vogue editor Anna Wintour, so of course, there are plenty of rumours that Miranda Priestley is in fact Wintour.

There was a suggestion that Wintour told fashion designers that she would banish them if they cameoed in the film. It's been denied, but it's a little strange that the film was never mentioned nor reviewed in Vogue or other fashion magazines.

Streep, however, admits she got inspiration for the character from an unusual source, Clint Eastwood. She has previously said that she used the fact that he never raises his voice and channelled that for Priestley. Saying he's the most important person in the room because everyone has to lean in to listen.

Random facts

Meryl Streep donated her movie wardrobe to a charity auction.

There is an issue of a Runway magazine in the film which is based on a Vogue real cover which featured, Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley and Riley Keough.

Gisele Bündchen agreed to be in the movie only if she didn’t play a model.

The Devil Wears Prada facts you need to know

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.