The Devil Wears Prada is known for its humorous, yet accurate portrayal of the fashion industry. Starring Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, and Stanley Tucci, the movie is loosely based on fashion icon Anna Wintour and her lifestyle as the head of the international fashion magazine Vogue.
Even though The Devil Wears Prada was a huge success commercially and critically, the film’s production team had a very hard time getting information about the inner workings of Vogue. Many of the fashion industry professionals they reached out to refused to consult with them for the project out of fear of being blackballed by Wintour. In fact, many of the locations that the crew had in mind for filming were also off-limits, as property owners didn’t want to be associated with the movie.
15 years after the 2006 release of The Devil Wears Prada, the production team discussed just how hard it was to get the movie made because of all of the red tape.
Fashion industry professionals stayed away from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ because they feared being blackballed
When the time came to start developing The Devil Wears Prada, the creative team couldn’t find anyone willing to assist with developing the story. Screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna revealed the challenges she faced during production in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“I will tell you that I had an enormous trouble finding anyone in the fashion world who would talk to me because people were afraid of Anna and Vogue, and not wanting to be blackballed,” McKenna admitted.
When Brosh McKenna finally did find a consultant for the movie’s script, they immediately told her that all of The Devil Wears Prada’s characters were way too nice.
“There was one person who spoke to me, whose name I will never divulge, who read it and said to me, ‘The people in this movie are too nice. No one in that world is too nice. They don’t have to be, and they don’t have time to be,’” McKenna said.” And so, after that, I did a pass to make everyone a bit busier and meaner.”
‘The Devil Wears Prada’ production crew couldn’t find anywhere to film scenes
Unfortunately, production issues went beyond just finding people to provide fashion world insight. None of the locations that Vogue is associated with were willing to be involved with the movie.
“Location-wise, Vogue has the Met Ball—[which] meant that the Metropolitan Museum wanted nothing to do with us,” director David Frankel said. “And it sort of went on and on.”
The production struggles went beyond just getting access to Vogue venues, though. Even the popular residences that many Vogue employees and associates live in opted not to allow the Devil Wears Prada crew to film on site.
“And even at some of the iconic apartment buildings, the co-op boards of the buildings wouldn’t let us in,” Frankel said. So we went for weeks unable to really secure location.”
The Devil Wears Prada cast and crew celebrates the 15th anniversary of the movie’s release on June 30.