During a recent oral history of 2006's The Devil Wears Prada in Entertainment Weekly, Grenier talked about how his perception of his character changed as the years went by — the kind of growth that he felt benefitted him and would've similarly benefitted Nate. In the film, Nate is an up-and-coming chef whose girlfriend Andy (Anne Hathaway) is struggling to please her incredibly demanding Anna Wintour-esque boss Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). However, as she commits to her exceeding at her career, Nate resents the fact that Andy seems to have less time for him, and tells her how much he thinks she's losing her "integrity" due to the demands of her job.
Following the film's release, fans began to realize that Nate was their least favourite character — more so than the "devil" Miranda herself — because he wasn't a source of support for his girlfriend.
Grenier said during the roundtable that at first he "couldn't get [his] head around" the criticism of Nate.
"I didn't understand it," he said. "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…. "
He then directly addressed men who have a similar mindset: "On behalf of all the Nates out there: Come on! Step it up!"
Hathaway added that she agrees that Nate is "pouty," but offered that many people could have reacted the way Nate did when he was stood up on his birthday or when Andy was always on her phone.
"I don't think everybody's being completely honest with themselves about their own poutiness," Hathaway told EW. "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!"
As long as we can agree that everyone was a brat except Stanley Tucci's character Nigel, we're here for this development.