The Devil Wears Prada‘s demanding fashion editor, Miranda Priestly, has not only left a lasting impression on movie fans and critics, but also the actress who played her on screen, Meryl Streep. The performer, who won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for her portrayal of the aloof magazine boss, has just revealed that the role was the last time she attempted Method acting.
Streep, who was also nominated for the Academy, BAFTA and SAG Awards for Best Actress for her portrayal of Miranda, made the revelation during an oral history she participated in for Entertainment Weekly. During the interview, she stated that in order to capture the iconic character’s foreboding demeanor, she choose not to participate in any activities with the rest of the cast when they weren’t filming during the entirety of the shoot.
“It was horrible! I was [miserable] in my trailer,” the performer shared. “I could hear them all rocking and laughing. I was so depressed! I said, ‘Well, it’s the price you pay for being boss!’ That’s the last time I ever attempted a Method thing.”
Streep was joined by several of her co-stars, including Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci, as well as the film’s director, David Frankel, and several other key crew members for the exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly. The cast and crew reunited to celebrate The Devil Wears Prada‘s 15th anniversary, as it was released in theaters in June 2006.
During the interview, the other actors also chimed in on Streep’s performance. Hathaway revealed that her co-star never made her feel intimidated on set, despite her Method acting. The latter performer also said that she “always felt cared for. I knew whatever she was doing to create that fear, I appreciated [it because] I also knew she was watching out for me.
“There’s this scene where [she says], ‘You’re just as disappointing as the rest of those silly girls,'” Hathaway added. “I remember when the camera turned on me, the pressure really got to me, and I’d had such emotional fluidity in the day up to that point, but it just wasn’t there anymore. I remember having the experience of watching [her] watch me, and [she] altered [her] performance ever so slightly, and just made it a little bit different, and brought more out of me and got me to break through whatever barrier I had.”
While Hathaway praised the way Streep handled playing Miranda in the comedy, the former wasn’t the first actress to be offered the part of the editor’s assistant, Andy Sachs. Hathaway almost wasn’t cast in the lead role of. Other performers who were also considered for the protagonist were Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Kate Hudson and Kirsten Dunst. Rachel McAdams was also even offered the part three times before Hathaway signed on.
While discussing Hathaway’s casting, Frankel told EW, “We started negotiating with Annie to make a deal, and that didn’t go well with the studio…We offered it to Rachel McAdams three times. The studio was determined to have her, and she was determined not to do it.”
After the Mean Girls star repeatedly turned down the role in The Devil Wears Prada, Hathaway campaigned to be cast as Andy. She called and visited the movie’s studio, 20th Century Fox, in an effort to convince them to cast her.
Frankel revealed that Streep ultimately convinced everyone that Hathaway could play the role of Andy. “Meryl was eager to make the movie, and she said ‘Let me meet with her.’ Brokeback Mountain was about to come out. Annie had a wonderful, small role in that. And Meryl watched that scene from the movie, she met with her and called up Tom Rothman at Fox and said, ‘Yeah, this girl’s great, and I think we’ll work well together,'” the director said.
After Frankel met with 20th Century Fox, Hathaway “patiently waited until I got the call. It was the easiest yes in the world. I remember the moment I found out I got the part, I just ran screaming through my apartment. I had a bunch of friends over at the time, I just jumped up in the living room and screamed, ‘I’m going to be in The Devil Wears Prada!'” she shared.
The Devil Wears Prada is the screen adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s 2003 novel of the same name. The book was inspired by the author’s time working for Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour.
Soon after its theatrical release, the film became as a modern classic, in part due to its chic costumes and quotable dialogue. The Devil Wears Prada is also still popular with audiences in part because of its feminist-driven story, particularly its portrayal of a woman in power in a male-dominated world who’s become a classic Hollywood antihero.