If you want to feel old, think about this: A child born the same year The Devil Wears Prada premiered (2006) would be a high school sophomore now, almost old enough to become Amanda Priestly’s new assistant. The deliciously bitchy film about the inner workings of a fashion magazine became a classic almost immediately. It cemented Meryl Streep as The Actress Who Can Do Absolutely Everything, and it upgraded Anne Hathaway from a teen-movie newcomer to a mainstream star. Audiences immediately warmed to Hathaway’s performance as Andy Sachs, the aspiring journalist who learns about high fashion and cutthroat business as a personal assistant to an Anna Wintour-type editor.
Believe it or not, however, Anne Hathaway almost didn’t get the role. She recently appeared as a guest on RuPaul’s Drag Race, where she answered a question from a contestant about whether she’d ever had to fight for a part. “I will give you some tea: I was the ninth choice for Devil Wears Prada,” she admitted (via Us Weekly). “But I got it! Hang in there; never give up.”
Top contenders for the role included Rachel McAdams, Claire Danes, and Juliette Lewis before Hathaway finally got the job.
Anne Hathaway tried a "subtle" hint to get cast
Sometimes actors have to get creative in order to get cast in dream roles. Anne Hathaway was so eager to play Andy that she drew the words “Hire me” in the sand of the little Zen garden on a studio exec’s desk after a meeting (via Variety). She also met with director David Frankel, who ultimately decided to cast her without having her audition first. The call came in when Hathaway was at home with friends, in the middle of changing shirts in her room. “I remember running out in my living room, half-dressed, screaming, ‘I got The Devil Wears Prada! I got The Devil Wears Prada!'”
Casting the rest of the movie was no small feat, either. Streep was everyone’s first choice to play the formidable Miranda Priestly, and luckily she agreed right away. But choosing an actress to play the senior assistant Emily was a tougher call. Emily Blunt, then an unknown, was picked out of 100 actresses considered for the part. The role of Nigel, the underappreciated art director, went unfilled until three days before filming began. Stanley Tucci signed on at the last minute, which was good news in more ways than one. Not only did he nail the performance; he also met and married Blunt’s sister Felicity.
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