The Devil Wears Prada was released in 2006. The film was directed by David Frankel and written by Aline Brosh McKenna. Although, the original story came from Lauren Weisberger’s book by the same title, published in 2003. Weisberger worked for Anna Wintour, Vogue’s current editor-in-chief, as her assistant and confirmed the novel was inspired by her experience. However, the literary work remains to be fiction, but many believe it is an insight into Wintour’s corporate culture and true persona. In The Devil Wears Prada movie, Andrea Sachs, played by Anne Hathaway, lands a job as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Streep, shortly after receiving a journalism degree. Check out The Devil Wears Prada screen facts below.
Anna Wintour at the Early Screening
Many people believed Wintour was upset over the novel considering it was inspired by her. Vogue’s editor-in-chief was not invited to the premiere. For this reason, it was surprising she interacted with the film publicly. Aline Brosh McKenna, the screenwriter, stated “Anna came to the first screening in New York. She sat right in front of me and David [Frankel] with her daughter and wore Prada, which shows she has a great sense of humor!” Throughout the advance screening, Wintour’s daughter reportedly nudged her mother during the film saying, “They got that right!” In the end, Wintour said she enjoyed the film despite initial push back.
This is the second film Anne Hathaway played a character that undergoes a makeover. The first was The Princess Diaries, released in 2001. In the film, Hathaway’s character reveals she went down to a size 4 from a size 6, since many women in the fashion industry are known to go to great lengths to be thin. She actually did lose weight during production of the film reaching a size 4.
Outrageous Costume Budget
Naturally, tons of designer outfits were required for filming. Patricia Field, the costume designer, obtained multiple fashion designer loans to purchase luxurious costumes. However, over $1 million was still spent on wardrobe making The Devil Wears Prada the most expensively-costumed film in history. Field, who also did costuming for Sex in the City and Emily in Paris, received an Oscar nomination for her work on The Devil Wears Prada.
When filming was over, all of the costumes were sold at an auction for breast cancer research. Hathaway bought one of her character’s green dresses. Streep kept her sunglasses which later appeared in Mamma Mia! during the song “Money Money Money”.
Casting of Miranda Priestly
The actress who played Miranda Priestly was considered carefully. The role was written for Glenn Close, but she was sick of being cast in villainous roles so she turned it down. Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie, Lisa Kudrow, Helen Mirren, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michelle Pfeiffer, Julia Roberts and Hilary Swank were a few of the other actresses considered for the part.
In addition, over 100 sets of twins auditioned for the role of Miranda’s twin daughters, Caroline and Cassidy. This is surprising considering they barely appeared in the movie. As the old saying goes, there are no small parts, only small actresses.
Fear of Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief
During pre-production, the studio reached out to various designers regarding an appearance in the film. Everyone they contacted refused to appear in the film because they were fearful of Wintour’s reaction. Clearly, Vogue’s editor-in-chief has a lot of influence over the fashion industry in real life.
The only designer who agreed to appear in the film was Valentino Garavani, who designed Streep’s black dress which appeared in the museum benefit scene. Gisele Bündchen, a supermodel, signed for a small role in the film as well.
When production began, the team struggled to secure locations because of Wintour too. A saving grace was the fact that Streep was attached to the film. However, even with a critically acclaimed actress tied to the movie, the team couldn’t get scenes at the Met Ball or Bryant Park. Due to these complications, production took 57 days.