Meryl Streep told Entertainment Weekly during an oral history for “The Devil Wears Prada” that playing fashion magazine icon Miranda Priestly was the last time she attempted Method acting. Streep was an icy presence on set during the entirety of principal photography on “The Devil Wears Prada,” so much so that she removed herself from all group activity when the cameras weren’t rolling.
“It was horrible! I was [miserable] in my trailer,” Streep said about the experience. “I could hear them all rocking and laughing. I was so depressed! I said, ‘Well, it’s the price you pay for being boss!’ That’s the last time I ever attempted a Method thing.”
Anne Hathaway said Streep never made her feel “intimidated” despite the Method acting, adding, “I always felt cared for. I knew that whatever she was doing to create that fear, I appreciated [because] I also knew she was watching out for me.”
“There’s this scene where [she says], ‘You’re just as disappointing as the rest of those silly girls,'” Hathaway added. “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.”
Reflecting on Streep’s Method acting, “Prada” co-star Emily Blunt told Entertainment Weekly, “Meryl is so gregarious and fun as hell, in some ways it wasn’t the most fun for her having to remove herself. It wasn’t like she was unapproachable; You could go up to her and say, ‘Oh my God, the funniest thing just happened,’ and she’d listen, but I don’t know if it was the most fun for her to be on set being that way.”
Clearly it wasn’t the most fun for Streep, as she decided not to attempt Method acting to such an extreme again on future productions. Streep most recently appeared in Ryan Murphy’s “The Prom” and Steven Soderbergh’s “Let Them All Talk,” both of which launched on streaming in December 2020. Next up for the Oscar winner is Adam McKay’s comedy “Don’t Look Up.”