The Devil Wears Prada is best known for Meryl Streep’s scary turn as Miranda Priestly, a fashion magazine editor widely believed to be a spoof on Vogue editor Anna Wintour. But it turns out, however, that Streep didn’t base the character off of Wintour at all. She actually modeled the character off of two formidable men: Clint Eastwood and Mike Nichols.
Streep spoke to Variety about the seminal film for the 10th anniversary of its release. She revealed that she cribbed Miranda Priestly’s mannerisms from both Eastwood and Nichols:
“The voice I got from Clint Eastwood,” Streep says. “He never, ever, ever raises his voice and everyone has to lean in to listen, and he is automatically the most powerful person in the room. But he is not funny. That I stole from Mike Nichols. The way the cruelest cutting remark, if it is delivered with a tiny self-amused curlicue of irony, is the most effective instruction, the most memorable correction, because everyone laughs, even the target. The walk, I’m afraid, is mine.”
That explains the brilliance of Streep’s performance as Priestly. Take the non-obvious cues from two exceedingly talented and formidable men, both of whom she has worked with. As a result, Miranda Priestly commands fear and authority, but in a way you wouldn’t necessarily expect. Plus, it takes the heat off of poor Anna Wintour.
Who else is staying home tonight to watch The Devil Wears Prada again?