Miranda Priestly is one of the most iconic roles in her 45-plus-year career, but it has also apparently been one of the most difficult. Yes ok “The Devil Wears Prada” is one of our favorite movies ever, for Meryl Streep it was not a pleasant experience as an actress.
The veteran actress shared some surprising revelations to Entertainment Weekly on Monday, ahead of the 15th anniversary of the movie.
The 3-time Oscar winner, 71, explained that she was actually “depressed” by playing Miranda Priestleyalso known as the ‘Devil’ in the brilliant comedy film starring Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt.
To help her get into character, the actress said she tried method acting, a practice famously employed by other artists such as Daniel Day Lewis and Dennis Hopper, which made her embody the icy character both on and off camera.
“It was horrible! I was miserable in my trailer,” Meryl recalled of being separated from the other actors. “I could hear them all screaming and laughing. She was so depressed! I said to myself, ‘Well, that’s the price you pay for being the boss!'”
“That is the last time I tried something with the Method!” added the star, who is often referred to as the best actress of her generation.
And despite her difficult time embodying the character, said to be modeled after Vogue editor Anna Wintour, the role earned Meryl his 14th Oscar nomination.
Surprisingly, the actress has been nominated 21 times, having won the Academy Award 3 times.
Meanwhile, Hathaway, 38, told the outlet that Streep’s decision to maintain her fearsome character even as the cameras they were not recording it made her feel intimidated. “But I always felt taken care of,” added the actress.
“I knew that whatever I was doing to create that fearI appreciated it because I also knew she was taking care of me,” Anne shared. “There’s a scene where Streep says, ‘You’re just as disappointing as the rest of those dumb girls,'” she continued. “I remember when the camera looked at me , the pressure really got to me, and I’d had so much emotional fluidity in the day up to that point, but it just wasn’t there anymore. I remember having the experience of seeing Meryl watch me, and she altered her performance ever so slightly, and did it a little bit differently, and she brought out more of me and made me break through any barriers,” Hathaway concluded.
EW’s retrospective on the film, based on the novel by Lauren Weisberger, divulged some other surprising details, namely that Hathaway was nowhere near the Better option to play the lead character, Andy Sachs.
“Devil Wears Prada” director David Frankel revealed that the studio’s top pick, Rachel McAdams, he had no interest in the role.
Even as Anne Hathaway tirelessly pursued being cast as the lead, Frankel, 62, recalled that McAdams, who had just starred in “Mean Girls” and “The Notebook,” kept saying no. She joked, “The studio was determined to have her, and she was determined not to.”
Meanwhile, Hathaway refused to take ‘no’ for an answer when she met with Elizabeth Gabler, then head of the Fox 2000 studio, to discuss why she had to play this role. Gabler praised Hathaway for her persistent ‘campaigning’ and disclosed that the actress left a hilarious message for Fox executive Carla Hacken in her zen garden, which read: ‘Hire me’.
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