Meet Andy Sachs. A million girls would kill to have her job. She’s not one of them.
Emily as: Emily Charlton
Genre(s): Comedy | Romance
Written by: Aline Brosh McKenna (screenplay), Lauren Weisberger (novel)
Directed by: David Frankel
Other Cast: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker
Release Date: June 30, 2006
Production Budget: $35m
Total Worldwide Gross: $326.5m
Filming Locations: New York City, New York, USA
In the dizzying world of New York fashion, where size zero is the new 2, six is the new 8, and a bad hair day can end a career, Runway Magazine is the Holy Grail. Overseen with a finely manicured fist by Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) – the most powerful woman in fashion – Runway is a fearsome gauntlet for anyone who wants to make it in the industry. To make Runway the fashion bible of New York and therefore the world, Miranda has let nothing stand in her way… including a long line of assistants that didn’t make the cut. It’s a job no self-respecting person can survive, yet it’s an opportunity a million young women in New York would kill for.
A stint as Miranda’s assistant could blast-open the doors for recent college graduate Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway). More college drab than haute couture, she stands alone among the small army of “Clackers” on staff at Runway – superslim fashion divas clacking their stilettos down the halls of the magazine’s Manhattan headquarters. But when Andy comes in for the job, it dawns on her that making it in this industry will take more than drive and determination.
And her ultimate test stands before her in head-to-toe Prada.
Miranda can spin the fashion world like a basketball but has a devil of a time finding and keeping a good assistant. Andy is completely wrong for the job. But she has something the rest of them don’t: she refuses to fail.
To become the perfect assistant, Andy will need to make herself over in Miranda’s image. Soon, much to her boyfriend’s (Adrian Grenier) dismay, she can talk the talk, walk the walk (in flawless Manolo’s) and never again confuse Dolce with Gabbana. But the more of life she sees through Miranda’s eyes, the more she begins to grasp that Miranda’s world is a fabulous but lonely one – and that sometimes great success depends on great sacrifice… but at what cost?
Emily: Great. Human Resources certainly has an odd sense of humor.
Andrea: Oh, and you’re replacing yourself.
Emily: Well, I am trying. Miranda sacked the last two girls after only a few weeks. We need to find someone who can survive here. Do you understand?
Andrea: Yeah. Of course. Who’s Miranda?
Emily: Oh, my God. I will pretend you did not just ask me that. She’s the editor in chief of Runway, not to mention a legend. You work a year for her, and you can get a job at any magazine you want. A million girls would kill for this job.
Andrea: Well, what if I need to?
Emily: What? No. One time an assistant left the desk because she sliced her hand open with a letter opener… and Miranda missed Lagerfeld… just before he boarded a 17-hour flight to Australia. She now works at TV Guide.
Emily: Did she say which skirts?
Andrea: No. No.
Emily: Did she say what kind? Color, shape, fabric?
Andrea: I tried to ask her.
Emily: You may never ask Miranda anything. Right. I will deal with all of this, and you will go to Calvin Klein.
Emily: Oh, I’m sorry. Do you have some prior commitment? Some hideous skirt convention you have to go to?
Emily: You went upstairs? You went upstairs. Oh, my God. Why didn’t you just climb into bed with her and ask for a bedtime story?
Andrea: Okay, I made a mistake. I know.
Emily: Andrea, you don’t understand. If you get fired, that might jeopardize Paris for me. And if that happens, I will search every Blimpie’s in the tristate area until I track you down.
Emily: Like death warmed up actually. Oh, God. It’s the benefit tonight. I’ve been looking forward to it for months. I refuse to be sick. I’m wearing Valentino, for crying out loud.
Andrea: Oh, thanks, Em. You look so thin.
Emily: Do I?
Emily: Oh, it’s for Paris. I’m on this new diet. It’s very effective. Well, I don’t eat anything. And when I feel like I’m about to faint, I eat a cube of cheese.
Andrea: Well, it’s definitely working.
Emily: I know. I’m just one stomach flu away from my goal weight.
Andrea: Emily, I didn’t have a choice.
Emily: Oh. Please.
Andrea: You know how she is.
Emily: That is a pathetic excuse. Do you know what really just gets me about this whole thing is that, you know, you’re the one who said that you don’t really care about this stuff. And you don’t really care about fashion. You just wanna be a journalist. What a pile of bollocks!
Andrea: Hey, Emily, it’s Andy. Don’t hang up. I have a favor to ask you.
Emily: You have a favor to ask of me?
Andrea: Yeah. Thing is, I have all these clothes from Paris… and I don’t have anyplace to wear them… so I was wondering if you could take them off my hands.
Emily: Well, I don’t know. It’s a huge imposition. And I’ll have to get them taken in. I mean, they’ll drown me.
Quoting: Emily Blunt
On her character: I think I could have played her even bitchier, if that’s possible, because it read even bitchier. But I felt it was important that you see glimpses of vulnerability through the sarcasm. I think in humor you find vulnerability, so if I could make her as funny as possible then there would be that side to her that people would feel sorry for. She’s so desperate, she’s so outrageously desperate, and I always feel sorry for those kinds of people.
On her character: Emily is so far on the edge of fashion that she’s practically falling off. She has no friends and thinks of nothing else but Miranda.
On working with Meryl Streep: I remember that first table read and she just submarined (everything) – she didn’t even raise her voice, it was so frightening. It was just so fascinating, and I think it’s actually one of my favorite things she’s ever done.
Kyle Smith, New York Post: Impossible orders come from Miranda’s office, sarcasm attacks from everywhere else. The first assistant, Emily (played at about 20,000 megahertz by a spot-on Brit named Emily Blunt, in her first big role), asks Andrea whether she is late for “some hideous-skirt convention.”
Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: The movie is no thigh-slapper, by any means, but veteran TV director David Frankel has given it a consistently whimsical touch. It has a couple of fine supporting performances (British actress Emily Blunt is particularly good as Miranda’s overeager first assistant) and that tour de force from Streep.
Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Wearing big, round glasses and getups that could double as screensavers, Tucci brings a debonair human touch to his unkind fashion queen. He and Blunt are very good at walking the tightrope between tangy hauteur and downright nastiness.
Todd McCarthy, Variety: Also impressing is Blunt as Miranda’s more senior assistant, whose emotional, physical and psychic deterioration over the course of the year presents the most vivid manifestation of Miranda’s toxic influence.
Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: Miranda’s newly promoted first assistant, Emily (the scene-stealing Emily Blunt), despairs when Miranda unpredictably hires the hopelessly style-challenged and contemptuous Andy to take over her old job. Emily’s year-end perk of attending the Paris couture shows is contingent on Andy’s being able to keep it, and the precariousness of the situation turns her into a font of wry despair.
Dana Stevens, New York Times: Ms. Hathaway, even made over with shiny bangs, flawless makeup and toe-squeezing footwear, is nowhere near as interesting to watch as Mr. Tucci, who has never been better, or Ms. Streep, whose perfectionism has rarely seemed so apt. Nor, for that matter, does Ms. Hathaway hold the screen against Emily Blunt, the British actress whose portrayal of Emily, Miranda’s senior minion and Andy’s office rival, is a minor tour de force of smiling hostility.
Awards and Nominations
Below is a list of all accolades Emily has received for her role in the film.
NOMINATED: Awards Circuit Community Awards – Best Actress in a Supporting Role (2nd place)
NOMINATED: BAFTA Awards – Best Actress in a Supporting Role
NOMINATED: Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards – Best Supporting Actress
NOMINATED: Golden Globes – Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
NOMINATED: London Critics Circle Film Awards – British Supporting Actress of the Year
NOMINATED: MTV Movie Awards – Breakthrough Performance
NOMINATED: MTV Movie Awards – Best Comedic Performance
NOMINATED: Teen Choice Awards – Choice Movie Breakout (Female)