After taking on the role as one of the most intimidating, cutting antagonists in a recent comedy history, Meryl Streep decided that “method acting” crap was not for her. In Entertainment Weekly’s oral history of The Devil Wears Prada, Streep shares how she dug her designer heels into playing Miranda Priestly, the high fashion magazine editor who had a tendency to hit right where it hurts. Turns out, it was no fun at all.
“It was horrible! I was [miserable] in my trailer. I could hear them all rocking and laughing. I was so depressed!” Streep tells EW. “I said, ‘Well, it’s the price you pay for being boss!’ That’s the last time I ever attempted a Method thing!”
“Meryl is so gregarious and fun as hell, in some ways it wasn’t the most fun for her having to remove herself,” Blunt says. “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.”
Streep helped Hathaway snag her role as fashion newbie and Priestley’s co-assistant Andy, and she struck a balance between support and coldness on set.
“I did feel intimidated, but I always felt cared for,” Hathaway says. “I knew that whatever she was doing to create that fear, I appreciated [because] I also knew she was watching out for me.”
Following the release of The Devil Wears Prada, Streep received the Oscar nomination for Actress in a Leading Role and won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Motion Picture: Musical/Comedy. Proving you don’t really need to be an asshole to your co-stars and crew for months to reign in success as an actor, she’s raked in 9 more Golden Globe nominations and three wins, as well as 7 more Oscar nominations with one win–and that’s just post-The Devil Wears Prada. Eat your heart out, Joaquin Phoenix.