Emily Blunt Reveals The Real-Life Origins Of Her Devil Wears Prada Character

Photo: Jonathan Hordle/BEImages.
Emily Blunt's role as an FBI agent in Sicario is getting rave reviews — and the movie is taking over the box office in its first weekend of wide release. And yet, in every interview, Blunt still gets asked about her breakout role in The Devil Wears Prada, seven years after its release. It's no wonder: Her namesake character was brilliant — she was supremely bitchy but ultimately sympathetic as the frazzled, ambitious lead assistant to Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestly.

Earlier this week on Howard Stern, Blunt explained how she picked up the other Emily's mannerisms by watching people on the street. "I saw a mother speaking to her child in a supermarket when we were shooting that film...and it's a line that gets quoted back to me now," she said. "She yelled at her kid in a supermarket and she went like this with her hand...she opened and she closed her hand and she goes, 'Yeah. I'm hearing this and I want to hear this.'"

Stern asked if this kind of mimicry of the general public is the secret to being a good actor. "For me, that's what helps me, to feel what other people would feel like in my skin. That's the trick. Other times, I think it's about the ultimate expression of empathy."

In another interview on Entertainment Weekly's Sirius XM show, Blunt told Jess Cagle, "I based [my Prada character] on someone I knew who will remain nameless, but I don't think people ever know themselves, so that's my theory."

Though she was channeling those mean girl vibes to play the role, she admitted to Cagle that it was still hard to snap at Anne Hathaway's Andy throughout the movie. "Very. With those lovely doe eyes of hers? Very hard."

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