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Devil Wears Prada producer reveals shocking reason Meryl Streep almost wasn’t cast

The Devil Wears Prada producer has opened up about casting for the classic 2006 comedy, revealing the surprising reason Meryl Streep was nearly passed on.

Streep, 74, starred as the hellish magazine editor-in-chiefMiranda Priestly opposite Anne Hathaway’s aspiring journalist Andrea Sachs.

Speaking on Wednesday’s (6 December) episode of the Hollywood Gold podcast, the film’s Wendy Finerman revealed that Streep almost wasn’t cast.

“People thought we were crazy. I mean, I had people call me up and say, ‘Are you out of your mind? [Streep’s] never been funny a day in her life,” Finerman said.

“She has been funny, and they were wrong,” Finerman said of the Mamma Mia! star. “But this was clearly a different kind of role for her.”

At the time, Streep had mostly featured in dramatic titles, including the 2002 psychological thriller The Hours, 1985’s romance thriller Out of Africa and the 1982 war romance Sophie’s Choice.

“I think that [casting Streep] was part of the fun of the unexpected,” Finerman added.

Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly is surrounded by fellow fashion mavens in ‘The Devil Wears Prada' (Shutterstock)
Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly is surrounded by fellow fashion mavens in ‘The Devil Wears Prada' (Shutterstock)

Streep’s role as the maniacal Runway boss – thought to be inspired by Vogue chief Anna Wintour – went on to earn her, her 14th Oscar nomination for Best Actress (Streep now holds the record for the most Academy Award nominations of any actor, having been nominated 21 times). Fellow acting legend Helen Mirren beat Streep to the win that year for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen.

It’s been 17 years since The Devil Wears Prada’srelease, and in a recent reunion for Variety’s Actors on Actors series, Hathaway and co-star Emily Blunt reflected on their time working alongside Streep.

As the pair quoted several of the film’s most memorable lines of dialogue, Blunt, 40, confessed that she couldn’t stop laughing while making the film as her character “was so horrible” to Hathaway’s “most of the time”.

The A Quiet Place actor added: “It was your little face – this beautiful, slightly baffled face.” Hathaway, 41, said that she thought Streep “always wanted to join in the fun with us” but abstained from doing so as “she kept herself so in character”.

Oppenheimer actor Blunt then pointed out that Streep, who, at that time, would often adopt the Method style of acting while starring in films, decided to abandon that going forward as she felt so glum about missing out on the laughter.

“She said it made her so miserable on this one, because we were all having a party on the other side of the set. And she was like, ‘I won’t do this again’,” Blunt recalled.