After rising to stardom from playing Disney princesses, Anne Hathaway shifted to more adult-oriented projects in order to avoid being typecast, with one film being The Devil Wears Prada. And while she does a great job as the movie’s lead, it was Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly, who stole the spotlight whenever she was present onscreen.
Playing the role of the film’s antagonist, whose presence doesn’t fail to intimidate the fans, Streep ensured that Miranda Priestly wasn’t just another one-dimensional villain. And surprisingly, for her portrayal of the character, the Hollywood icon took inspiration from another Hollywood legend.
Meryl Streep Channeled Clint Eastwood to Assert Dominance
Meryl Streep took a more nuanced approach to her portrayal of Miranda Priestly. In her process of steering the character from the realm of parody, like the source material, the Oscar-winning actress took heavy inspiration from Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood. Considering Eastwood’s iconic characters like the Man with No Name don’t speak a lot of words and maintain a low-pitched voice, coming out as the most terrifying person in the room, the Mamma Mia! Star aimed for a similar effect.
“It was a direct steal from the way I saw Clint Eastwood run a set. He’s someone that guys really respect, and he never raises his voice, ever; the one time that he did, it so terrified people for two weeks, they were traumatized.” Streep explained.
Alongside Eastwood, the actress also took inspiration from director Mike Nichols’s works, in order to carry out the humor needed for her character’s monologues.
Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly Startled Her Costars
Following the inspiration from two Hollywood heavyweights, combined with Meryl Streep‘s exquisite skills, Miranda Priestly stood out as the best and the most intimidating character in the film. As a result, her costars, Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt, who were anticipating Streep’s character to be more in line with the novels, were staggered after witnessing what the Heartburn Star brought to the table.
“I’d read the script so many times, and I was expecting [Meryl] to come in imperious, loud, and barking orders, and [she] said [her] first line in a whisper and I almost fell off my chair.” Said Hathaway.
While Meryl Streep absolutely stole the show whenever she was onscreen, following her magnetic presence, her costars Hathaway and Blunt also did a great job with the material they were provided.
The Devil Wears Prada is available to stream on Disney Plus.