How Meryl Streep almost lost The Devil Wears Prada role over a funny misjudgment
Unveiling the behind-the-scenes drama, it's revealed that Meryl Streep almost missed out on her iconic role in "The Devil Wears Prada" because of doubts about her sense of humor.
The Devil Wears Prada (Source: Glamour)
Picture a parallel universe where Meryl Streep didn't land the role of the iconic Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. As astonishing as it sounds, this near-reality revelation comes from Wendy Finerman, a producer of the 2006 classic film. During a conversation with Hollywood Gold podcast host Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Finerman disclosed that Streep was on the brink of being overlooked for the role due to the misguided belief that "she has never been funny a day in her life."
Finerman revealed that the producers were confident about casting Anne Hathaway, considering her the ideal "good, all-American girl." However, when it came to Meryl Streep, doubts lingered. "People thought we were crazy," Finerman reminisced. Critics questioned their decision, asserting, "Are you out of your mind? She's never been funny a day in her life." Finerman, in hindsight, affirms that these skeptics were proven wrong.
"But it was undeniably a different realm for her, and I believe that was part of the joy — the element of surprise," the producer remarked. Lundberg acknowledged Streep's comedic prowess in films like She-Devil and Death Becomes Her, highlighting that despite her versatility, the 74-year-old is often associated with more dramatic roles.
When Reality Echoes Fiction
In another segment of the interview, Finerman unveiled an intriguing anecdote illustrating art mirroring reality. Amidst filming, Streep's body double lacked the necessary wardrobe for a scene set in Paris. Quick thinking led Finerman to instruct her New York assistant to dash home and retrieve the needed items, even going to the extent of sending her on a free business-class trip abroad to ensure the wardrobe reached without any hitches—a move straight out of Miranda Priestly's playbook.
Despite earning an Oscar nomination for her formidable portrayal of the resilient fashion magazine editor in The Devil Wears Prada, the Mamma Mia! star candidly shared with Entertainment Weekly that getting into character left her feeling "miserable." In a June 2021 interview, Hathaway, 41, expressed, "That's the last time I ever attempted a Method thing!"
Recently, Hathaway and her Devil Wears Prada co-star Emily Blunt reminisced about their initial meeting on the set during Variety's "Actors on Actors" series earlier this month.
The Princess Diaries veteran shared that, at the time, Emily Blunt, 40, had not yet been officially cast as Priestly's assistant. Reflecting on their first encounter, Hathaway remarked, "In my head—immediate thought—I was like, 'What a movie star!' You were shedding stardust."
Reciprocating the sentiment, Blunt, the Oppenheimer star, acknowledged, "I was so green coming into that situation. And you were like the warmest embrace. Even though you were a colossal movie star at that time, you treated me like a complete equal. You are one of the people I've known the longest. We've known each other for 18 years."