The Devil Wears Prada

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?

Production Info

  • Many fashion designers allowed their clothes and accessories to be used in the film, making it the most expensively costumed film in history. Only Valentino Garavani, who had designed the black gown Meryl Streep wears in the museum benefit scene, chose to make an appearance.
  • Meryl Streep donated her wardrobe to a charity auction.
  • In one of the original drafts, Miranda explains how she started out as an assistant and worked her way up. It is also revealed where she grew up: Pearl River, New York. The scene then continues on to the scene of Miranda confessing her divorce to Andy. This, however, is not true to the book as Miranda was born Miriam Princhek, to orthodox Jews, in the East End of London and started off as an assistant to an English designer. She became well-known in London fashion and started learning French at night to soon become junior editor of Chic magazine in Paris. At age 24, she changed her name to Miranda Priestly and replaced her rough, London accent with a sophisticated one before spending ten years at French Runway before she was transferred to New York.
  • Filmed in 57 days.
  • For the photo of Andrea with her parents, Anne Hathaway posed with her own mother Kate McCauley Hathaway and David Marshall Grant.
  • The character of Emily Charlton was not originally intended to be British in the script.
  • The newspaper that hires Andrea is the New York Mirror. The Mirror was a real newspaper that ended in 1898 and often published first editions of Edgar Allan Poe.
  • Helen Mirren and Kim Basinger were reportedly considered for the role of Miranda Priestly.
  • Emily Blunt was cast before Anne Hathaway. In several scenes, she is seen running about in the background, though never written or directed; she felt her character should always be busy and wanted to bring this to life in the film. Most of the character’s wardrobe is from Vivienne Westwood.
  • Anna Wintour, the formidable editor of Vogue (and the rumored inspiration for Miranda Priestly), was not invited to the premiere. She did, however, attend an advance screening for the press (dressed, head-to-toe, in Prada).
  • On the first day of filming, Meryl Streep told Anne Hathaway, “I think you’re perfect for the role. I’m so happy we’re going to be working together.” Then she paused and followed it up with, “That’s the last nice thing I’ll say to you.” And it was.
  • Character Quotes

  • She’s on her way. Tell everyone!
  • Andrea, Miranda decided to kill the autumn jacket story for September… and she is pulling up the Sedona shoot from October. You need to come into the office right this second and pick up her coffee order on the way. Now, get a pen a write this down. I want one no-foam skimmed late with an extra shot, and three drip coffees with room for milk. Searing hot. And I mean hot.
  • I hope you know that this is a very difficult job–for which you are totally wrong. And if you mess up, my head is on the chopping block.
  • Remember, you and I have totally different jobs. I mean, you get coffee–and you run errands. Yet I am in charge of her schedule, her appointments and her expenses. And, um, most importantly, um… I get to go with her to Paris for Fashion Week in the fall. I get to wear couture. I go to all the shows and all the parties. I meet all of the designers. It’s divine.
  • This is the Book. Now, it is a mock-up of everything in the current issue. And we deliver it to Miranda’s apartment every night, and she returns it to us in the morning with her notes. Now, the second assistant is supposed to do this but Miranda is very private and she does not like strangers in her house. So until she decides that you are not a total psycho… I get the lovely task of waiting around for the Book.
  • I rarely say this to people who aren’t me but you have got to calm down. Bloody hell!
  • I love my job. I love my job. I love my job.
  • Face it, you sold your soul the day you put on that first pair of Jimmy Choo’s. I saw it. And do you know what really just kills me about this whole thing is the clothes that you’re gonna get. I mean, you don’t deserve them. You eat carbs, for Christ’s sake.
  • You have some very large shoes to fill. I hope you know that.
  • Emily: Andrea Sachs?
    Andrea: Yes.
    Emily: Great. Human Resources certainly has an odd sense of humor.
  • Emily: Okay, so I was Miranda’s second assistant… but her first assistant recently got promoted and so now I’m the first.
    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.
  • Emily: Okay. First of all, you and I answer the phones. The phone must be answered every single time it rings. Calls roll to voicemail, and she gets very upset. If I’m not here, you are chained to that desk.
    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.
  • Andrea: She needs skirts from Calvin Klein. And, uh, there was something about a pony.
    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.
    Andrea: Eh–Me?
    Emily: Oh, I’m sorry. Do you have some prior commitment? Some hideous skirt convention you have to go to?
  • Andrea: It really wasn’t that big a deal. I promise. The twins said hello, so I said hello back. And then I went up the stairs to give her the Book and–
    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.
  • Andrea: How’s the cold doing?
    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.
  • Emily: Oh, oh, my God. Andy, you look so chic.
    Andrea: Oh, thanks, Em. You look so thin.
    Emily: Do I?
    Andrea: Yeah.
    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.
  • Emily: I don’t care if she was gonna fire you or beat you with a red-hot poker! You should have said no.
    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!
  • Emily: Miranda Priestly’s office.
    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.

    Critical Response

    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)