‘Devil Wears Prada’ director reveals Rachel McAdams turned down Anne Hathaway’s role three times

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It’s impossible to imagine “The Devil Wears Prada” without Anne Hathaway.

But if film studio executives casting preferences would’ve worked out, the movie — which celebrates its 15th anniversary this year — would’ve been quite different.

According to the film’s director, the Academy Award winner only got the role after another actress turned it down — three times.

While the film’s cast reunited for a reunion for Entertainment Weekly, David Frankel revealed that prior to casting Hathaway, 20th Century Fox initially wanted to cast a well-known actress to play the part of fashion industry movie Andy Sachs.

“We started negotiating with Annie to make a deal, and that didn’t go well with the studio,” Frankel, who adapted Lauren Weisberger’s novel about her stint as Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour’s real-life assistant, dished during the virtual gathering. “We offered it to Rachel McAdams three times. The studio was determined to have her, and she was determined not to do it.”

More established actresses of the era like McAdams, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Kate Hudson and Kirsten Dunst were all on the studio’s wish list.

Hathaway, who had “The Princess Diaries” and “Ella Enchanted” under her belt, campaigned for the role, calling and visiting studio executives to try to convince them to give her the part.

“It spoke to me. It made me feel. It was about a subject that I take very seriously, but in such a wonderfully joyful and lighthearted way,” Hathaway said of the character who plays opposite of Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly.

Frankel said it was the revered Academy Award winner who convinced everyone Hathaway had what it took to pull it off.

“Meryl was eager to make the movie, and she said, ‘Let me meet with her.’ ‘Brokeback Mountain’ was about to come out,” he recalled. “Annie had a wonderful, small role in that. And Meryl watched that scene from the movie, she met with her and called up Tom Rothman at Fox and said, ‘Yeah, this girl’s great, and I think we’ll work well together.”

Hathaway said accepting the offer was a no-brainer.

“I patiently waited until it was my turn, and I got the call. It was the easiest yes in the world. I remember the moment I found out I got the part, I just ran screaming through my apartment. I had a bunch of friends over at the time, I just jumped up in the living room and screamed, ‘I’m going to be in The Devil Wears Prada!’” she recalled.

Produced by Wendy Finerman, “The Devil Wears Prada” was released June 22, 2007 and went on to become a box office juggernaut, raking in a reported $326.7 million in its theatrical release.

The movie, which also starred Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker, Emily Blunt and Adrian Grenier, gained a cult following and made Hathaway a household name.

The New York City native went on to win an Oscar and Golden Globe award for her performance as Fantine in the filmed adaptation of “Les Misérables.”

Meanwhile, McAdams — who was a hot streak with roles in “Mean Girls,” “The Notebook” and “Wedding Crashers” — took a sabbatical shortly after “Prada” was released. She returned a few years later, going on to star in “Sherlock Holmes,” Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” and Marvel’s “Doctor Strange.”

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