Entertainment

Why Rachel McAdams turned down Anne Hathaway’s role in The Devil Wears Prada

Fifteen years on from The Devil Wears Prada first hitting screens, it’s impossible to imagine anyone but Anne Hathaway in the leading role of Andy Sachs.

As it turns out, she was far from the first choice, and had to ruthlessly campaign for the part given the studio had a different actress in mind: Rachel McAdams.

Director David Frankel, who adapted Lauren Weisberger’s massively successful book of the same name, told Entertainment Weekly this week that the studio was desperate for McAdams to play the part, but she was “determined” not to do it, turning down the offer several times.

“We started negotiating with Annie to make a deal, and that didn’t go well with the studio,” Frankel told EW of Hathaway’s audition.

“We offered it to Rachel McAdams three times.

“The studio was determined to have her, and she was determined not to do it.”

According to Variety, McAdams was looking to play more low-key roles after the global success of The Notebook and Mean Girls.

After those two films, the actress ended up taking on smaller roles in Wedding Crashers and The Family Stone.

Along with Hathaway, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Kate Hudson and Kirsten Dunst were all on the list to replace her, but Hathaway had her heart set on the role.

“It spoke to me. It made me feel,” Hathaway said of the film.

“It was about a subject that I take very seriously, but in such a wonderfully joyful and lighthearted way.”

Eventually, it was Meryl Streep who convinced them Hathaway could pull it off after seeing the actress in Brokeback Mountain.

“Meryl was eager to make the movie, and she said ‘let me meet with her’,” Frankel said.

“Annie had a wonderful, small role in (Brokeback Mountain).

“And Meryl watched that scene from the movie, she met with her and called up Tom Rothman at Fox and said, ‘Yeah, this girl’s great, and I think we’ll work well together’.”

Recalling the moment she got the call, Hathaway said it was “the easiest yes in the world”.

“I remember the moment I found out I got the part, I just ran screaming through my apartment.

“I had a bunch of friends over at the time, I just jumped up in the living room and screamed, ‘I’m going to be in The Devil Wears Prada!'”

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