You Won’t Believe Which A-List Actress Turned Down the Leading Role in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’

The Devil Wears Prada may be over a decade old, but the film is still quoted this day. Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep played two of the most iconic characters in movie history. However, one A-List actress turned down Hathaway’s role for a surprising reason.

Anne Hathaway played Andy Sachs in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’

Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway
Deauville, FRANCE: US actresses Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway arrive for the screening of their movie ‘The Devil wears Prada’ | FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP via Getty Images

Loosely based on the book, The Devil Wears Prada follows personal assistant, Andy Sachs, played by Anne Hathaway. Her job is to relentlessly revolve around her boss, Runway Editor-in-Chief, Miranda Priestly.

Runway is of course based off of Vogue, and Editor-in-Chief, Dame Anna Wintour, who’s been at the helm since 1988. In The Devil Wears Prada, Andy is at the beck and call of Miranda’s every fancied whim.

Whether it’s obtaining a not-yet-released Harry Potter manuscript, or having a steak on Miranda’s desk within 15 minutes, there’s no limit to what Andy is expected to do to keep her job.

At the time of casting, Hathaway was fresh off of The Princess Diaries, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, and Ella Enchanted (among others). The role of Andy Sachs helped Hathaway transition away from saccharine roles into adult characters.

The choice must’ve worked because once The Devil Wears Prada released, Hathaway pivoted into movies such as Becoming Jane, Rachel Getting Married, and Love & Other Drugs.

Which actress turned down the role of Andy Sachs?

The movie is based on the book, The Devil Wears Prada, by Lauren Weisberger, who is Wintour’s former personal assistant. There’s more truth to the film in that Emily Blunt’s character, Emily, is also based on Wintour’s alpha former assistant.

The role of Andy is central to unearthing the quiet cruelty of Miranda Priestly. The studio put on the pressure to find an actress who could stand up to Streep’s acting chops.

Hathway wasn’t the first choice. Streep was already on board (as the only actress in mind for Miranda), but they didn’t have Andy’s part filled. According to Variety, Hathaway fought for the role. She even wrote “hire me” in Fox 2000 former studio executive Carl Hacken’s zen garden.

The studio asked The Notebook star, Rachel McAdams if she’d play the part of Andy. She turned the offer down “multiple times,” saying she wanted to “step away from mainstream material.”

Here’s what McAdams worked on instead

Around the time The Devil Wears Prada released, McAdams worked on projects like State of Play, The Lucky Ones, and Married Life. Soon after came smash hits like The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Vow, and many more that are just as mainstream as The Devil Wears Prada.

McAdams is now a mother of one son, with two more projects slated for future release.

DoesMcAdams regrets turning down one of the most memorable movies in cinematic history? We don’t know. But hey — she’ll always have Mean Girls and The Notebook.