Meryl Streep obviously secured the role of Miranda in the end, but it’s patently ridiculous that anyone thought she couldn’t play the part. Miranda Priestly is an incredible character — even her entrance, where people scatter out of her way and her employees rush to make themselves and the office look exactly perfect, is completely iconic — and Streep manages to find the nuance in this powerful and intimidating character.
In the hands of a lesser actor, Miranda could have been completely two-dimensional, but when Miranda breaks down in front of Andy near the film’s climax over an impending divorce and her reputation, you truly feel for her despite the fact that she’s spent the entire film soundly abusing everyone.
Her co-stars agree, and when Emily Blunt and Anne Hathaway recently reunited for the Actors on Actors series presented by Variety, they even gave a shout-out to Streep’s improvisational skills. “I remember seeing Meryl come up with 18 different lines on the spot,” Hathaway said to Blunt — although apparently, Streep wasn’t the only one. “Stanley Tucci was doing the same, and you. I was just like this kindergartner who was like, ‘How are they all so good?'”