Meryl Streep almost wasn’t cast in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ for a ridiculous reason


She may have won an Oscar for “Sophie’s Choice,” but Meryl Streep was not everyone’s first choice when it came to casting for “The Devil Wears Prada.”

The actress has received a record-breaking 21 Academy Award nominations and played impeccably dressed boss-from-hell Miranda Priestly expertly in the 2006 fashion comedy, but according to the film’s producer Wendy Finerman, Streep wasn’t a shoe-in for the role.

“And Meryl, people thought we were crazy. I mean, I had people call me up and say, ‘Are you out of your mind? She’s never been funny a day in her life,’ ” Finerman told host Daniela Taplin Lundberg on an episode of the “Hollywood Gold” podcast, which dropped on Wednesday.

“She has been funny, and they were wrong,” Finerman added about the “Death Becomes Her” star. “But this was clearly a different kind of role for her.”

Back in 2006, Streep was known more for her dramatic roles like that of Sophie Zawistowska in the post-World War II Brooklyn film “Sophie’s Choice” and as Joanna Kramer in “Kramer vs. Kramer.”

However, she was also expanding her résumé with parts in the musical comedy “A Prairie Home Companion” and the fantasy adventure “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.”


Meryl Streep played impeccably dressed boss-from-hell Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada.” ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

Finerman, who won a producing Oscar for “Forrest Gump,” decided to stick to her instincts and hire the now 74-year-old three-time Oscar winner.

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

Streep went on to earn her 14th Academy Award nomination for the film, playing the character many believe to be inspired by notoriously imperious Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

The “Mamma Mia!” actress recently admitted that she was miserable while filming because she attempted Method acting.


Meryl Streep played impeccably dressed boss from hell Miranda Priestly expertly in "The Devil Wears Prada."
Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt were a holy trinity of comedy in “The Devil Wears Prada.” ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

“It was horrible! I was [miserable] in my trailer. I could hear them all rocking and laughing,” Streep said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly of her co-stars Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt and Stanley Tucci. “I was so depressed! I said, ‘Well, it’s the price you pay for being boss!’ “

The actress added, “That’s the last time I ever attempted a Method thing!”

Blunt, 40, also recalled that Streep often isolated herself during filming.

“Meryl is so gregarious and fun as hell, in some ways it wasn’t the most fun for her having to remove herself,” said Blunt. “It wasn’t like she was unapproachable; you could go up to her and say, ‘Oh my God, the funniest thing just happened,’ and she’d listen, but I don’t know if it was the most fun for her to be on set being that way.”



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