Meryl Streep admits The Devil Wears Prada role left her feeling "so depressed"

Meryl Streep has revealed the real reason she was "so depressed" when filming The Devil Wears Prada

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 12: Meryl Streep attends the 70th EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) at Royal Albert Hall on February 12, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)
(Image credit: John Phillips/Getty Images)

Meryl Streep has admitted she felt "so depressed" while filming The Devil Wears Prada in a recent interview. 

The Hollywood heavyweight received widespread acclaim for her iconic role in the 2006 film, in which she starred as the formidable Miranda Priestly alongside Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt. The performance even earned her an Academy Award nomination, with critics and viewers alike praising her convincing portrayal of the Anna Wintour-inspired character. 

However, it seems that playing the ruthless fashion magazine editor on-screen had some serious off-screen side effects. Meryl opened up about how the experience impacted her in real life when The Devil Wears Prada cast reunited to celebrate the film's 15-year anniversary earlier this week, and it's a lot less glamorous than you might think. 


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Speaking with her former costars in the Entertainment Weekly virtual meetup, the Doubt actor admitted that the challenging role only isolated her from others on set. 

Meryl Streep, Stanley Tucci and Anne Hathaway during The 63rd International Venice Film Festival - "The Devil Wears Prada" - Arrivals at Veneto Italy in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Niki Nikolova/FilmMagic)

(Image credit: Niki Nikolova/FilmMagic)

"So I was in my trailer and I could hear them all rocking and laughing out there, and I was so depressed," she said. Meryl had decided to try method acting when playing Miranda, a drama technique that involves fully inhabiting the character. While the strategy certainly paid off on camera, it didn't do any favors for the Oscar-winning actor when the director yelled cut. 

 "That's the price you pay for being boss," she added, much to the amusement of her castmates. 

It looks like Meryl isn't willing to compromise her mental health for her career anymore though, confirming she's now abandoned the exhausting practice. 

"That's the last time I ever attempted a method thing," she said. 

Luckily, Meryl didn't create any enemies with her behind-the-scenes antics. Anne Hathaway, who recently revealed she was ninth choice for The Devil Wears Prada lead, emphasized that the Hollywood legend was never rude to her during filming. 

"I always felt cared for," she said. "I knew that whatever she was doing to create that fear, I appreciated [because] I also knew she was watching out for me." 

DEAUVILLE, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 09: Meryl Streep (L) and Anne Hathaway pose at the photocall for The devil wears Prada at the 32nd Deauville Festival Of American Film on September 9, 2006 in Deauville, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway in 2006 

(Image credit: Francois Durand/Getty Images)

Anne recalled one scene, in particular, where Meryl guided her through a difficult moment. 

"There’s this scene where [she says], 'You’re just as disappointing as the rest of those silly girls," she said, referring to the moment when her character, Andy Sachs, receives a brutal scolding from Miranda. "I remember when the camera turned on me, the pressure really got to me, and I’d had such emotional fluidity in the day up to that point, but it just wasn’t there anymore. I remember having the experience of watching [her] watch me, and [she] altered [her] performance ever so slightly, and just made it a little bit different, and brought more out of me and got me to break through whatever barrier I had."

This isn't the first time the Mamma Mia star has been praised by a fellow actor for supporting them through a grueling filming schedule. Amy Adams recently revealed the surprising hobby Meryl Streep taught her to help ease her ‘energetic’ disposition on-set of Doubt, prompting her interviewer Kelly Clarkson to recoil with hilarious envy. 

"I learned to knit, Meryl Streep taught me," the Disenchanted star said during the virtual appearance last month. The revelation took Kelly, a superfan of the silver screen vet, by surprise—so much so that she leaped out of her hosting seat to take a brief walk. 

"Did you just say Meryl Streep taught you how to knit?" she exclaimed. "I learned how to quilt on Youtube, Amy!"

We get it, Kel—we're pretty jealous too.

Emma Dooney
Emma Dooney

Emma is a news writer for woman&home and My Imperfect Life. She covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health or lifestyle story. When she's not reporting on the British monarchy and A-list celebs, you can find her whipping up vegan treats and running the roads to cheesy '90s pop music...but not at the same time, obviously.