BEAUTY IN THE FRIDGE

The Devil Wears Prada’s Anne Hathaway and Adrian Grenier Discuss Nate Being the Real Villain of the Movie

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Entertainment Weekly got the Devil Wears Prada cast back together to reflect on the film on its 15th anniversary—and Anne Hathaway (who played Andy) and Adrian Grenier (who played her boyfriend Nate) directly addressed the internet’s belief that Nate was the real villain of the film, not Meryl Streep’s character Miranda Priestly.

Grenier didn’t agree initially, but he does now: “When that whole thing [about Nate being the ‘real villain’ of the film] first came out, I couldn’t get my head around it. I didn’t understand it. Perhaps it was because I wasn’t mature as a man, just as Nate probably could’ve used a little growing up. I was just as immature as him at the time, so I couldn’t see his shortcomings, but, after taking time to reflect and much deliberation online, I can realize the truth in that perspective. Nate hadn’t grown up, but Andy had…. she needed more out of life, and she was achieving it. He couldn’t support her like she needed because he was a fragile, wounded boy…. on behalf of all the Nates out there: Come on! Step it up!”

Hathaway was a little kinder in her evaluation of Nate and his reaction to Andy not making it to his birthday dinner because of work: “I don’t think everybody’s being completely honest with themselves about their own poutiness,” she said. “Nate was pouty on his birthday because his girlfriend wasn’t there! In hindsight, I’m sure he wishes he made a different choice, but who doesn’t? We’ve all been brats at different points. We all just need to live, let live, and do better!”

anne hathaway and adrien grenier at the devil wears prada red carpet
Anne Hathaway and Adrien Grenier at The Devil Wears Prada’s red carpet in 2006.

L. CohenGetty Images

The film’s screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna revealed that multiple scenes between Nate and Andy were initially written differently. “The scene where Andy missed Nate’s birthday and comes in with a cupcake, we originally had 20 things there,” she said. “It was going to be that they were all going to a concert and she shows up late, but that stuff was too expensive. The cheapest way that she let him down was by missing his birthday and coming into that apartment set with the cupcake. We had many versions of that. The movie used to end with a slightly more upbeat scene with Nate, more of a reconciliation. They’re so young and they’re choosing spouses for their life, but we know that 25-year-olds are not in that position…. I had written a more conventional ending where they run through the park together or something.”

Grenier revealed that the two’s final scene, where Andy and Nate met up at the end of the film to discuss their relationship, was originally supposed to have a kiss in it. Hathaway pushed to change it. “It was a testament to Anne: [she and I were supposed to kiss in the grilled cheese] scene that she worked through, saying, ‘I just don’t think it’s right…just doesn’t feel like we’re at that point in our relationship. There’s too much history.’ She was right. We forwent that intimacy for something more familial,” he said.

You can read the cast’s full conversation here.

News and Strategy Editor Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton).

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