Skip to main content

The Devil Wears Prada is a popular movie of the 2000s. In the 2006 film based on Lauren Weisberger’s 2003 novel, Meryl Streep plays the editor-in-chief of a fictional fashion magazine. Her character, Miranda Priestly, is both feared and admired by her employees. She speaks in hushed tones and holds the power to make or break careers.

Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway at 'The Devil Wears Prada' premiere at the Deauville Film Festival
Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway at The Devil Wears Prada premiere at the Deauville Film Festival | Francois Durand/Getty Images

When Streep first read the script for The Devil Wears Prada she had some suggestions to round out her character. Turns out, her tweaks produced two of the film’s most memorable moments. 

‘The Devil Wears Prada’ only wanted 1 actor to play Miranda Priestly

For the role of the high-powered editor-in-chief loosely based on Vogue’s real-life editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, there was only one person screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna had in mind. 

“We had talked about Meryl a little bit, but I dare not allow myself to dream,” she told Variety in June 2016. 

Streep agreed to sit down with director David Frankel to discuss the movie. During their meeting, the award-winning actor expressed concerns about the character of Miranda. Streep wanted her to be a fully fleshed-out character, which she felt meant changing the script a little. 

Meryl Streep suggested the addition of 2 scenes

Streep’s biggest concern about Miranda was that she come across as a developed character and not an imitation. To that end, she made suggestions to the director. 

First was “getting the business of fashion scene in the movie,” she told Variety. 

Before Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway) gets a makeover courtesy of Nigel (Stanley Tucci), Miranda schools her on the workings of the fashion industry. More specifically, how it ultimately led to her wearing a plain blue sweater.

The two-minute scene is now one of the most memorable moments in The Devil Wears Prada. And it all started with Streep. 

Her second suggestion was the addition of a scene where Miranda is vulnerable. Hence her conversation with Andy about her divorce sans makeup. 

“I also 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,” Streep said. 

Meryl Streep learned how to negotiate on ‘The Devil Wears Prada’

Not only did Streep make suggestions that produced two major moments in The Devil Wears Prada but the actor learned a key lesson from the film. She learned how to negotiate deals for herself. 

“There was my ‘goodbye moment,’ and then they doubled the offer. I was 55, and I had just learned, at a very late date, how to deal on my own behalf,” she said. 

The Devil Wears Prada isn’t streaming on Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+ but it does occasionally air on TV.