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David Frankel told Entertainment Weekly that the About Time star had declined the part three times before it was offered to Hathaway.
According to Frankel, Fox 2000 – the studio behind the 2006 film – had wanted McAdams to take on the lead role of Andrea Sachs due to her success in The Notebook and Mean Girls.
“We started negotiating with Annie [Hathaway] to make a deal, and that didn’t go well with the studio… We offered it to Rachel McAdams three times,” he recalled.
“The studio was determined to have her, and she was determined not to do it.”
It was not only McAdams who was in the mix for the role. Other actors, including Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman, Kate Hudson and Kirsten Dunst, were also considered.
Speaking about the script and her character, Hathaway told the publication: “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.”
The Les Misérables actor went to great lengths to convince the studio bosses she was the right choice.
Hathaway wrote the words “hire me” into the zen garden of then-Fox 2000 vice president Carla Hacken.
However, it wasn’t until co-star Meryl Streep put in a good word for Hathaway that she was seriously considered for the role, said Frankel.
The Devil Wears Prada was a critical hit and accrued a large fanbase.
The 2006 film follows an aspiring journalist Andy (Hathaway) who becomes an assistant to one of the city’s most ruthless magazine editors, Miranda Priestly (Streep). Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt also starred.