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Meryl Streep "depressed" while filming and 14 other things you didn't know about The Devil Wears Prada.

In 2003, Lauren Weisberger, a former assistant to Anna Wintour, released The Devil Wears Prada.

The book, which follows a young woman hired as an assistant to powerful fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly, was loosely based on Weisberger’s experience working for Wintour, who has long been described as a “terse” and “emotionally distant” boss.

“It wasn’t a one-to-one portrayal,” Weisberger told the Daily Mail in 2010. “But of course my time at Vogue informed the book, there’s no denying that.”

Watch the trailer for The Devil Wears Prada below. Post continues after video.


In mid-2006, Weisberger’s book came to our screens, with Meryl Streep playing the ever-intimidating Miranda Priestly.

Fourteen years on since the film was released, Anna Wintour’s former right-hand man, American fashion journalist Andre Leon Talley, opened up about what the film got wrong about Wintour.

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Talley shared that unlike Meryl Streep’s character in the movie, Wintour would “never” throw her coat down when she came into the office.

“Anna Wintour has never thrown a bag or coat down – or I haven’t seen it. She would not throw her coat down,” Talley said.

“She might hand it gently to an assistant to put in a closet, but she was not slashing her coat around like some bad, baby orca.”

Talley also noted that there are quite a few similarities between Priestly and Wintour.

“[Wintour] would ask assistants to go get things, like that Harry Potter book for her children,” she said.

“Make sure you get that book because she’s going to have it to take on the weekends. That was right.”

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Image: IMDb.
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Much like Andy (Anne Hathaway) was seen dropping off dry cleaning to Priestly, Wintour has a similar habit.

"Oh the dry cleaning came, like every morning," Talley told Entertainment Tonight.

"It has been documented, every night after she had been out she would stop by her dry cleaners on the way to work. Dry cleaning is paramount to her existence, nothing gets soiled."

Here are 15 other surprising things you didn't know about The Devil Wears Prada.

Meryl Streep attempted method acting, and hated it.

In June 2021, Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci reunited with Entertainment Weekly to commemorate the movie's 15 year anniversary.

Streep said for her role as intimidating boss Priestly, she attempted method acting which sometimes meant being cold in interactions with her cast mates on set.

"It was horrible! I was [miserable] in my trailer. I could hear them all rocking and laughing," Streep said. "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!"

Blunt said Streep's method technique didn't mean she was rude or intimidating, but it did mean Streep was not her usual self.

"Meryl is so gregarious and fun as hell, in some ways it wasn't the most fun for her having to remove herself," said Blunt. 

"It wasn't like she was unapproachable; you could go up to her and say, 'Oh my God, the funniest thing just happened' and she'd listen, but I don't know if it was the most fun for her to be on set being that way."

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Anne Hathaway wasn't the frontrunner to play Andy.

In 2016, Hathaway shared that she "wasn't the first choice" for the role of Andy Sachs in the movie.

Instead, director David Frankel offered the role to Rachel McAdams multiple times, before eventually choosing Hathaway. Claire Danes and Juliette Lewis also auditioned for the role of Andy.

After a meeting with Fox 2000 executive vice president Carla Hacken, Hathaway traced "Hire Me" into the sand of a zen garden on her desk, hoping that Hacken would notice it after their meeting.

During an appearance on RuPaul's Drag Race in February 2021, Hathaway said she was the ninth choice.

"I was the ninth choice for Devil Wears Prada," she said at the time. "But I got it! Hang in there, never give up!"

The manuscript was purchased before the book was even finished.

The manuscript for The Devil Wears Prada was purchased before Lauren Weisberger's book was even completed.

Listen to the latest episode of Mamamia's daily entertainment podcast, The Spill, below. Post continues after podcast.

Emily Blunt's character was supposed to be American.

Miranda Priestly's other assistant, Emily Charlton, was originally meant to be American in the film.

But actress Emily Blunt felt that her character should be British instead.

"British people in America always sound so desperate and clipped," the actress told The New York Times in 2008.

"In the fashion world, there was a slightly snobby reaction to my character. They felt the hair, the makeup, and the clothes were wrong."

Blunt also felt that the British accent would make her character seem superior to Anna Hathaway's character, Andy.

Meryl Streep dyed her hair white for the role.

For the role of Miranda Priestly, Meryl Streep dyed her hair white, which ended up influencing her character's wardrobe.

Meryl also initially turned down the role because she wasn't happy with the studio's offer. This led the studio to double the offer to $4 million.

Stanley Tucci was a very late addition to the cast.

Stanley Tucci, who played stylist Nigel in the film, was a very late addition to the cast.

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Image: IMDb.
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In fact, Tucci accepted his role just 72 hours before he started filming for the role.

Thomas Lennon was originally offered the part of Nigel, however he had to turn it down due to scheduling conficts.

The original plot was very different.

In an earlier edition of the script, the movie was a "mean revenge story" where Andy sought revenge against Miranda.

Thankfully, the idea was soon scrapped.

Lauren Weisberger made a cameo.

Lauren Weisberger, who wrote The Devil Wears Prada, made a small cameo in the film as the nanny to Miranda's twins.

The costume design cost more than $1 million.

In total, the costume design for the film cost over $1 million.

The costumes were designed by Patricia Field, who is well known for her work on Sex and the City.

The role changed Anne Hathaway's life.

Prior to appearing in The Devil Wears Prada, Hathaway had only appeared in children's and family films, such as Ella Enchanted and The Princess Diaries.

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The Devil Wears Prada was her very first role in a film that was aimed at an adult audience.

"I think what people saw was promising – it made people want to see more," she said.

Anne Hathaway worked as an assistant to prepare for the role.

Prior to her role as Andy, Hathaway felt that she needed real-life experience as an assistant to get into character.

The actress worked as an assistant in an art auction house for a few weeks to prepare.

Andy's best friend was named Lily... again.

The Devil Wears Prada was the third time that Hathaway's character's best friend's name was Lily.

In her previous roles in Ella Enchanted and The Princess Diaries, her character's best friends were also named Lily.

The coat montage took countless takes.

One of the most iconic scenes in the movie is Miranda Priestly's coat throwing montage.

The scene, which involved Miranda slamming her coat down on Andy's desk, took countless takes.

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"It was a hard day for Meryl," Emily Blunt recalled.

"There were probably 30 takes where either her arm got stuck or the coat didn't hit the desk at the right time. That was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen."

Meryl Streep based her portrayal on Clint Eastwood.

Rather than basing her character on Anna Wintour, Meryl Streep based her portrayal on a number of influences.

"The voice I got from Clint Eastwood," Streep said.

"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 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."

Fans still quote lines to Emily Blunt.

Over a decade later, fans still recite Emily Blunt's character's quotes to her on a weekly basis.

"I never had any idea that my lines would get quoted to me every single week of my life since the movie has come out," she told Variety.

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This article was originally published on May 15, 2020 and has been updated.

Feature Image: IMDb.