When I saw this headline, I zipped my cursor over and clicked faster than you can run into the kitchen and scream, “There’s like $8 of Jarlsberg in there!” The Devil Wears Prada is 10 years old, we’re all ancient, and its three lead cast members (Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and Emily Blunt) spoke with Variety to mark the occasion. Did I mention we’re all ancient? Did I also mention that I saw this movie—a female-led comedy that made over $300 million worldwide—no fewer than five (5) times in the theater? I’m revealing too much about myself. Let’s move on.
First of all, you must read the entire thing the very moment you have time. It is, pardon my excitement, essential reading for fans of the film, and legitimately revealing in a host of ways. For example, did you know they initially lowballed Streep when offering her the part? Of course they did, you’re saying. This is Hollywood/the world and she’s a woman. But check out how she responded.
“The offer was to my mind slightly, if not insulting, not perhaps reflective of my actual value to the project,” Streep tells Variety. “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.”
She threatened to leave, and they doubled the offer. Doubled! Imagine lowballing Meryl Streep to such an embarrassingly low degree that you have to double your offer to make up for it? Imagine that!
Speaking of Streep, her character of Miranda Priestly was originally intended to less of an aspirational businesswoman, and more of target for the revenge of her subordinates. Said director David Frankel:
“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?”
After reading a first draft, Streep asked for “a scene where she is without her armor, the unpeeled scene in the hotel room—just to see that face without it protective glaze, to glimpse the woman in the businesswoman.” (The one in her home, where she’s freshly showered and in her robe.) The piece suggests that the construction of TDWP truly was a group effort, and their attempts at showcasing different personality types—all of whom are women—without vilifying any clearly paid off in the final draft. Miranda is mean, sure, but we respect her. And why shouldn’t we?
Off the set, Hathaway was reportedly dealing with a nightmare at home. Frankel says she was “very emotional” because her boyfriend at the time, Raffaello Follieri, “was a felon and embezzler” who “didn’t want her to be working at all; he hated that she worked nights. She was always fragile when we shot late.”
On a more lighthearted note, here’s what happened after she met Frankel for the first time:
[Hathaway] recalls leaving a not-so-subtle message on her desk by tracing the words “hire me” in the sand of a zen garden, and letting the executive discover it after their meeting had ended.
Classic Annie. I wouldn’t expect anything less from her.
Blunt, who shot to stardom after the film, says fans have shouted quotes from the movie at her “every single week” since its release. (What line would you scream at Blunt if you saw her on the street today? I know what I’d choose.)
“It was a night and day change,” says Blunt, who was living in Los Angeles after the film wrapped. She used to visit the same coffee shop in the morning. “The day the movie came out,” Blunt says, “all the people in the bakery suddenly knew who I was. It was surreal.”
Just read the whole thing, would you? That’s all.
Image via 20th Century Fox.