Meryl Streep is done with method acting. In a new interview that brought together the cast of The Devil Wears Prada 15 years later, Streep opened up about being miserable channeling the role of Runway editor and mean boss, Miranda Priestly, in the iconic film.
And according to the actress, the 2006 film marked the last time she tried her hand at method acting.
“It was horrible! I was [miserable] in my trailer. I could hear them all rocking and laughing. I was so depressed! I said, ‘Well, it’s the price you pay for being boss!,'” Streep told Entertainment Weekly. “That’s the last time I ever attempted a Method thing!”
The consummate professional followed the work of Clint Eastwood and the advice of a former drama school teacher to take on the role of the ice queen, inspired by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.
“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 shared. “In drama school [a teacher] said, ‘How you play a king has nothing to do with you — you’re just you — it’s how everybody else in the room acts when you enter it that makes you the king.’ It was all up to them to have this reaction. I could just speak and be slightly nastier than I normally am.”
Streep’s bossy behavior was felt on and off set by her co-stars, who said it wasn’t fun to have the award-winning actress remove herself to dive into the mind of the now-infamous character.
“Meryl is so gregarious and fun as hell, in some ways it wasn’t the most fun for her having to remove herself. 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,” said Emily Blunt, who played Streep’s senior assistant in the film.
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But for the subject of Streep’s meanest jabs, Anne Hathaway, all that intimidation and fear helped her break through her own barriers to better portray Miranda’s assistant turned protegé, Andy Sachs.
“I did feel intimidated, but I always felt cared for. I knew that whatever she was doing to create that fear, I appreciated [because] I also knew she was watching out for me,” Hathaway explained.
“There’s this scene where [she says], ‘You’re just as disappointing as the rest of those silly girls.’ I remember when the camera turned on me, the pressure really got to me, and I’d had such emotional fluidity in the day up to that point, but it just wasn’t there anymore,” she continued. “I remember having the experience of watching [her] watch me, and [she] altered [her] performance ever so slightly, and just made it a little bit different, and brought more out of me and got me to break through whatever barrier I had.”
For more on the famous film, watch the video below.
Anne Hathaway Reveals She Was 9th Choice for 'Devil Wears Prada' Role
André Leon Talley on New Memoir and What 'The Devil Wears Prada' Got Wrong About Anna Wintour (Exclusive)
Anne Hathaway ‘Really Bonded’ With Emily Blunt on ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ (Exclusive)
Emily Blunt Is Down for a 'Devil Wears Prada' Sequel (Exclusive)
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