It's been 11 years since the premiere of The Devil Wears Prada and fans are still finding opportunities to recite the iconic quotes any chance they get. ("Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.") But do you know what went into the iconic movie? Here, 50 things you never knew about the making of the film. That is all.
The movie is based on a book written by Lauren Weisberger, the former assistant to the editor-in-chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour.
Before the book even hit the shelves in 2003, many studios were fighting over the rights to turn it into a film. They only had 100 pages to go off of, but were confident in the book's premise. Fox's former president, Carla Hacken, told Variety, "I was the first person to read it at Fox 2000. I thought Miranda Priestly was one of the greatest villains ever. I remember we aggressively went in and scooped it up."
However, after the book was published, they started over in order incorporate key details they missed.
At first they tried to adapt the film straight from the book, going through four writers trying to do so. Then they realized they needed to manipulate the story for film. "If you study the book," said Carla Hacken, "There is not a strong narrative that propels the plot forward. That required quite a bit of invention and trial and error. And since there wasn't a strong third act in the book, we needed to invent that."
"It seemed undirectable to me," said Frankel. "It was a satire rather than a love story."
"Miranda was a witch, and Andy's motivation was to get her revenge," said Frankel. "There was a lot of conflict that ended with Miranda being humiliated. I felt that wasn't satisfying. My view was that we should be grateful for excellence. Why do the excellent people have to be nice?"
Rather than emulate the theme of the book, the writers decided that the film's theme would be about everything women needed to forfeit in order to achieve success at a fashion magazine.
The crew went through hundreds of twins before they found the right pair for the roles.
She was mentioned in the book for giving Miranda a Christmas present.
Gisele would act in the film as long as her character was not a model.
Lennon had to turn down the role due to conflicts with filming Reno 911.
For months, the team struggled to find an actor fit to play Nigel. At the very last minute, they came across Tucci. He was on set playing Nigel only seventy-two hours after his audition.
The production team apparently felt she wasn't fit to play the part.
The crew decided that Lewis wasn't quite right for the role.
Sykes is now a writer and was a former assistant to Anna Wintour.
Emily was in Los Angeles auditioning for Eragon when Prada auditions were taking place. At the last minute, her agent put her on a tape for Prada. She flew home thinking all of her auditions were unsuccessful. But Frankel loved her, and called her house to offer her the part. Her mom picked up and said she was out at a bar (she was upset about the audition). "I was in some dive club in London," Blunt said. "I called him back from the bathroom. He said, 'Listen I would have cast you off the tape, but the studio wants to see you one more time. Can you do what you did but dress the part more?'"
They dreamed of having Meryl Streep, but didn't think it would actually happen. "We had talked about Meryl a little bit, but I dare not allow myself to dream," said writer, Aline Brosh McKenna.
"The offer was to my mind slightly, if not insulting, not perhaps reflective of my actual value to the project," said Streep. "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."
Prior to The Devil Wears Prada, Anne starred in Ella Enchanted and The Princess Diaries. This role helped to shift the direction of her career.
Following her major success in The Notebook and Mean Girls, the team pushed hard for McAdams. She turned them down, saying that she wanted to take a break from mainstream material.
Right after her meeting with the Executive Vice President of Fox, Anne wrote the words in the sand of a zen garden to express her passion for the role.
Anne felt that she need real experience as an assistant to get into character. She volunteered at an auction house.
In Ella Enchanted and The Princess Diaries, Anne's best friend's character was also named Lily.
Remember the montage of Miranda slamming her coats down on Andy's desk? "It was a hard day for Meryl," Blunt recalls. "There were probably 30 takes where either her arm got stuck or the coat didn't hit the desk at the right time. That was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen."
Given their very tight budget, the production team couldn't get permission to film at the MoMa or Bryant Park, which were integral locations to the script.
The front of the Elias-Clarke building (the home of the magazine in the film) was filmed at the McGraw-Hill building in Manhattan.
Ultimately, the townhouse that was used as Miranda's home belonged to a friend of the producer.
In a moment of true desperation, the directors and producers sent Fox a sizzle reel to convince them to fund the trip. Thankfully, it was met with a positive response, and they were able to fly to Paris.
While Anne Hathaway and Simon Baker flew out to Paris, Fox thought it would be too expensive to fly Streep out. Instead, her "Paris" scenes were filmed in the U.S.
Patricia Field designed all the outfits and all the pieces came from major designers.
"She was living with a guy who was a felon and embezzler. He didn't want her to be working at all; he hated that she worked night," said Frankel. "She was always fragile when we shot late."
This cover of Runway was based off of Vogue's August 2004 issue that featured Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, and Riley Keough.
In the last scene, Andy receives a call from Miranda. However, if you look closely at the phone, you'll see that the call on the screen is actually outgoing rather than incoming.
While the characters wore pieces from many other designers in the film, Valentino was the only one with a cameo. Some speculate that Anna Wintour threatened to ban any designers who made an appearance from being featured in the pages of Vogue.
Streep's daughter, Mamie Gummer, played a Starbucks barista in a scene that was eventually cut.
"I think we all had an idea of what Miranda would sound like," Hathaway said. "It was a strident, bossy, barking voice. So when Meryl opened her mouth and basically whispered, everybody in the room drew a collective gasp. It was so unexpected and brilliant."
"The voice I got from Clint Eastwood," Streep said. "He never, ever, ever raises his voice and everyone has to lean in to listen, and he is automatically the most powerful person in the room. But he is not funny. That I stole from Mike Nichols. The way the cruelest cutting remark, if it is delivered with a tiny self-amused curlicue of irony, is the most effective instruction, the most memorable correction, because everyone laughs, even the target. The walk, I'm afraid, is mine."
Streep feared that close relationships with her costars would jeopardize the icy rapports she hoped to maintain between Miranda and the other characters. On the first day of filming, she said to Anne, "I think you're perfect for the role. I'm so happy we're going to be working together. That's the last nice thing I'll say to you."
Before fans traveled to Paris, Milan, and New York, fashion week was generally limited to members of the fashion industry. Some credit Prada for the newfound obsession.
Miranda's high-end outfits were worth a hefty sum, which Streep chose to donate instead of keeping for herself.
"Everybody has a story like this," she said, referring to her character's experience with her boss.
The Devil Wears Prada ended up doing better than Superman at the box office.
The film's budget was 41 million and it went on to earn 326 million in box office sales.
"I never had any idea that my lines would get quoted to me every single week of my life since the movie has come out," she said.
The challenges the team faced on a daily basis filming the movie further enforced their fears. "For a lot of us, it was our first big thing," Frankel said of the film's struggles. "We knew we were on very thin ice. It was possible this could be the end of the road for us."