Anne Hathaway Recalls Almost Not Being Cast in The Devil Wears Prada: 13 Secrets About the Film

Did you know Anne Hathaway was far from being the first choice to play Andy in The Devil Wears Prada? Check out 13 secrets you may not know about the 2006 cult film.

By Corinne Heller Feb 20, 2021 11:32 PMTags
Watch: Anne Hathaway Explains Met Gala 2018 Inspiration

Anne Hathaway wasn't the first choice to play Andy in The Devil Wears Prada. In fact, she wasn't even the second.

On VH1's RuPaul's Drag Race on Friday, Feb. 19, the actress, who played Andrea "Andy" Sachs opposite Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt in the 2006 cult film, made a remote guest appearance. She told the contestants, while dishing out performance advice, "I was the ninth choice for Devil Wears Prada."

"But I got it," she continued. "Hang in there, never give up."

In 2016, in an interview celebrating the Devil Wears Prada's 10th anniversary, Hathaway revealed how she got creative to try to get noticed for the role. The actress said she left Carla Hacken, then an executive vice president of Fox 2000, a message on her desk: She traced the words "hire me" in the sand of a Zen garden and left it for the businesswoman to discover. Hathaway later met with the film's director, David Frankel.

"I didn't have to audition," she said. "I had to be patient. I wasn't the first choice."

photos
Amazing TV Roles That Almost Went to Other Actors

Check out 13 secrets you may not know about The Devil Wears Prada:

1. Anne Hathaway Was Not the First Choice to Play Andy

On the Feb. 19, 2021 episode of RuPaul's Drag RaceAnne Hathaway made a remote guest appearance and revealed that she was the ninth choice for the role of Andrea "Andy" Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada.

2. ...and Rachel McAdams Was a Top Choice

According to Variety, the studio Fox 2000 wanted a big movie star to play Andy, and pursued Rachel McAdams for the role. She turned down the offer multiple times, citing her desire to step away from mainstream material, the outlet reported.

3. It's Based on a Book

Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna penned the script for The Devil Wears Prada and based it on the 2003 novel of the same name by author Lauren Weisberger, who based her story on her own personal experiences working as an assistant to Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour for 11 months.

4. Is Miranda Priestly Based on Anna Wintour?

"It wasn't a one-to-one portrayal," Lauren told The Daily Mail in 2010. "But of course my time at Vogue informed the book, there's no denying that."

5. How Does Anna Wintour Feels About The Devil Wears Prada?

The Vogue editor-in-chief attended the same preview screening of The Devil Wears Prada as Lauren Weisberger, her former assistant and the author of the book on which the movie is based.

"It was entertainment," Anna told 60 Minutes about the film. "It was not a true rendition of what happens within this magazine."

Meanwhile, the editor has maintained a sense of humor when it comes to the comparisons. In 2017, Meryl Streep sat down with Anna in her Vogue office for an entertaining interview for magazine's 125th anniversary issue.

 

6. There Was Only One Choice to Play Miranda Priestly

"I don't remember anything other than, 'Please God—let it be Meryl,'" Carla Hacken, Fox 2000's executive vice president at the time, told Variety. She added that when Meryl Streep's agent called to tell her that the actress had read the script and would meet with director David Frankel, she momentarily put him on hold and cheered, "Yes!"

7. Emily Blunt Came Up With One of Her Character's Mean Lines to Andy

"I like to soak up people on the street," Emily, who plays Miranda Priestly's main assistant, who is also named Emily, said on SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show. "I guess I steal from people I meet. Like, I saw a mother speaking to her child in a supermarket when we were shooting that film. And it's a line that gets quoted back to me now. She yelled at her kid and she kind of opened and closed her hand and she goes, 'Yeah, I'm hearing this, and I want to hear this.' I went and put it in the movie."

8. Anne Hathaway's Yo-Yo Diet

In the film, Andy is in no way overweight but is mocked over her non-sample-size six figure. Hathaway told People magazine that to prepare for Prada, she was actually told to gain 10 pounds, and ate pizza, beer and ice cream. But she said that when costume designer Patricia Field met with her for a fitting, she told the actress, "This isn't going to work. You have to fit into couture. Lose 10 pounds."

"It was a nightmare," Hathaway told the magazine. "It took me about a month to gain it and two months to lose it!"

9. Reno 911!'s Thomas Lennon Almost Played Nigel Instead of Stanley Tucci

"This one is probably one of the dumbest moves in my life," Thomas told Vulture. "As I recall, I think I was just offered that role. I had some back-and-forths with the director, and they were very serious. They either offered it to me or were about to offer it to me. I didn't want to change the schedule of Reno. It was also like the sort of classic sassy gay assistant. I was like, 'You know, I don't know in my life what it does for me to play sassy gay assistant.'"

He continued, "Probably an absolutely idiotic move on my part to pass on that. I just passed, I said, 'Nah, not interested.' Next thing I know, it was like the biggest movie...At least I got to go to a parking lot in Sun Valley and get kicked in the nuts by Nick Swardson. That's what I was doing instead of getting nominated for awards with Meryl Streep."

10. Stanley Tucci Was Cast Nearly at the Last Minute

Stanley Tucci almost didn't get to play Runway magazine editor and Andy's confidante Nigel. The producers looked for an actor to portray the role for months and Tucci accepted it 72 hours before his character debuted on set, Variety reported.

At the 2016 Wizard World Comic Con in Philadelphia, Stanley told fans he was cast in The Devil Wears Prada "at like, the 11th hour," adding, "I think they scoured the Earth till they came to me."

11. Clint Eastwood Helped Shape the Character of Miranda Priesly

"The voice I got from Clint Eastwood," Meryl Streep told Variety. "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."

Meryl continued, "But he is not funny. That I stole from [director] Mike Nichols. The way the cruelest 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."

Nichols directed the actress in movies such as Silkwood, Postcards From the Edge and Heartburn in the '80s and '90s.

As for Miranda's confident strut in The Devil Wears Prada, Meryl told Variety, "The walk, I'm afraid, is mine."

12. Meryl Streep Wanted the Scene of Miranda Priestly Without Her "Armor"

Streep told Variety that she wanted "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."

13. The Movie Helped Create a Real Family

Stanley Tucci, who plays Nigel, wed co-star Emily Blunt's older sister, Felicity Blunt, in 2012. The couple shares two children.

Stanley and Felicity met at the premiere of The Devil Wears Prada in 2006 and became friends. At the time, he was married to his first wife, Kate Spath-Tucci, the mother of his three oldest children. She died of breast cancer at age 47 in 2009.

"Felicity...and Kate talked at the premiere that night and I have a photo of them together, which is so odd," the actor told People. "And then many years later, I ended up marrying Felicity."

Watch Daily Pop weekdays at 11 a.m., only on E!