I will unashamedly admit that I can recite the entire script of The Devil Wears Prada. I was obsessed with the glamorous world of fashion magazines as a budding pre-teen and even now I revisit the film on a quiet Friday night in. The cast reunited this week thanks to Entertainment Weekly for its 15th anniversary to reflect on the fashion-fuelled chick flick.
For a number of years, the internet has believed boyfriend Nate (played by Adrian Grenier) was the real villain to the story line. Not Meryl Streep’s character and editor-in-chief of Runway, Miranda Priestly. According to Grenier, his opinion was swayed.
“When that whole thing [about Nate being the ‘real villain’ of the film] first came out, I couldn’t get my head around it. I didn’t understand it,” he told the publication. “Perhaps it was because I wasn’t mature as a man, just as Nate probably could’ve used a little growing up. I was just as immature as him at the time, so I couldn’t see his shortcomings, but, after taking time to reflect and much deliberation online, I can realise the truth in that perspective. Nate hadn’t grown up, but Andy had…. she needed more out of life, and she was achieving it. He couldn’t support her like she needed because he was a fragile, wounded boy…. on behalf of all the Nates out there: Come on! Step it up!”
Anne Hathaway who plays the film’s lead character, Andy, agreed but noted that we all make mistakes.
“I don’t think everybody’s being completely honest with themselves about their own poutiness,” Hathaway said. “Nate was pouty on his birthday because his girlfriend wasn’t there! In hindsight, I’m sure he wishes he made a different choice, but who doesn’t? We’ve all been brats at different points. We all just need to live, let live, and do better!”
The particular birthday scene in question was written differently according to screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna. Due to time and budget constraints, the crew opted for something more simple and more realistic to the couple’s young age.
“The scene where Andy missed Nate’s birthday and comes in with a cupcake, we originally had 20 things there,” she said. “It was going to be that they were all going to a concert and she shows up late, but that stuff was too expensive. The cheapest way that she let him down was by missing his birthday and coming into that apartment set with the cupcake. We had many versions of that. The movie used to end with a slightly more upbeat scene with Nate, more of a reconciliation. They’re so young and they’re choosing spouses for their life, but we know that 25-year-olds are not in that position…. I had written a more conventional ending where they run through the park together or something.”
Grenier also revealed that the final scene in the film where Andy and Nate meet following the breakup was supposed to involve a kiss. But Hathaway asked for it to be changed. “We forwent that intimacy for something more familial,” he said.
We wouldn’t have it any other way. Be right back, I’m off to watch The Devil Wears Prada… again.