Struggling actors, don’t give up on your dreams! Anne Hathaway doesn’t think you should, anyway. During her virtual appearance on a recent episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, the actress urged audiences to “Hang in there; never give up!”
And Hathaway knows a thing or two about never giving up. The actress revealed that she had to fight for many of her roles — including her iconic leading role as Andy Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada, a movie based on a novel by Lauren Weisberger.
Anne Hathaway was the 9th Choice for ‘The Devil Wears Prada’
In the now-beloved movie, Hathaway plays a new hire at Runway Magazine, a New York fashion magazine helmed by editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly (masterfully played, of course, by the marvelous Meryl Streep). But it turns out that Hathaway wasn’t the first or second or even eighth choice for the part. After a contestant asked her if she’d ever had to fight for a role, she replied, “a lot of them”.
“I will give you some tea,” she teased the audience, before confessing, “I was the ninth choice for ‘Devil Wears Prada’. But I got it!” In a previous interview about the film with Variety, Hathaway explained that she “had to be patient.” She remembered the moment she got the call saying she’d landed the role. “I had some buddies over,” she recalled. “I remember running out in my living room, half-dressed, screaming—I got ‘The Devil Wears Prada!’ I got ‘The Devil Wears Prada’!”
And lucky she did! A box office hit, The Devil Wears Prada was one of the highest-earning movies of 2006 and earned Hathaway’s co-star Meryl Streep an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe award. And while Hathaway had already made a name for herself in pop culture with successful flics like Disney’s The Princess Diaries, Ella Enchanted, and Brokeback Mountain, her performance in The Devil Wears Prada brought her to a new level of Hollywood renown. It was the film that helped pave the way for her future roles in The Intern, Oceans Eight, and The Witches, among many others.
So who was Before Anne Hathaway in Line for the Role?
Once we heard Anne Hathaway reveal she was the ninth choice, our immediate question was: Who were choices one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, and eight? Word on the street is that it was Rachel McAdams who was the first pick for the role. McAdams, who’d won over audiences in movies like The Notebook and Mean Girls, wasn’t interested.
In an interview with Elle, McAdams explained why she turned down the role: “I’m not going to make movies just to make movies. I have to be passionate about it. And at the same time, I can get very distracted when I’m working, and I like to get back to my life a lot.” In another interview with Variety, McAdams said she turned down the role “multiple times” because she wanted to “step away from mainstream material”.
Juliette Lewis and Claire Danes were also reportedly considered for the movie role.
The Devil Wears Prada was Just Really Hard to Cast
Andy wasn’t the only part that 20th Century Fox struggled to fill. Apparently, director David Frankel considered more than 100 actresses for the part of Emily Charlton, senior assistant to the editor-in-chief. Finally, he found a tape of Emily Blunt reading the role with a British accent, and knew he’d found his actress.
Similarly, the role of Nigel was apparently difficult to cast as well. It wasn’t until three days before the character was due to start filming that Stanley Tucci was finally chosen. Close call.