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‘The Devil Wears Prada’: How Meryl Streep Almost Missed Out on Iconic Role

‘The Devil Wears Prada’: How Meryl Streep Almost Missed Out on Iconic Role

Meryl Streep had some naysayers when she was first cast as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, but she got the last laugh when she earned an Oscar nod for her performance in the film.

The film’s producer, Wendy Finerman, opened up about her casting choice while talking on the Hollywood Gold podcast. She explained that for her, Streep was the perfect fit, despite what others were saying.

“People thought we were crazy,” she said. “I had people call me up and say, ‘Are you out of your mind? She’s never been funny a day in her life.’ She has been funny, and they were wrong. But this was clearly a different kind of world for her. I think that that was part of the fun of the unexpected of seeing her amidst in outfits.”

Streep played the hellish, no-nonsense boss of Anne Hathaway’s Andy Sachs. The character, who is the “devil” in The Devil Wears Prada, is over-the-top high maintenance and cruel. Interestingly, the character was loosely based on Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.  

Meryl Streep Regretted Starring in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’

Hathaway weighed in on her immediate opinion of Meryl Streep during an installment of Variety’s Actors on Actors. She remembered how effortless Streep was with her dry comedic chops. Hathaway, an Oscar winner herself, felt as though she paled in comparison to her castmate.  

“I remember Meryl coming up with like 18 different lines on the spot, Stanley [Tucci] doing the same…and I was just, like, this kindergartener,” she remembered.

Despite her flawless portrayal and subsequent Oscar nomination, Streep ended up regretting taking the role. She admitted that she had to actually live the character to play the character. If she broke the persona between takes, she would have lost the edge. So, she went through her days being a “miserable” boss lady.

“It was horrible!” she told EW in 2021. “I was [miserable] in my trailer; 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!”