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Emmys 2017
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Movies

Devil Wears Prada: 12 fascinating details from its final script

Gird your loins

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Everett Collection

Yesterday, screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna tweeted out the last iteration script of the iconic and endlessly rewatchable film, The Devil Wears Prada. As an endlessly devoted DWP scholar, I took it upon myself to read through the script and find its hidden secrets.

1. Emily is described as “propelled by a core of barely tamped down anxiety,” which… same.

2. Was “gird your loins” improvised? Nigel’s written line when Miranda Priestly shows up to the office was originally “Man your battle stations!”

3. Andy’s “hideous skirt convention?” Originally a “hideous pants convention.”

4. The 15 Calvin Klein skirts were originally even more trouble for Andy. A deleted bit of dialogue shows Emily teaching Andy that they go to showrooms, not stores, for clothing, and that Runway girls always take chauffeured cars.

ANDY
So I just, what, go down to the Calvin Klein store and ask them—

EMILY rolls her eyes so hard they almost eject from her head.

EMILY
You’re not going to the store.

ANDY
Of course not. I’m going… to his house.

EMILY (oh god why me?)
You are catching on quickly. We always send assistants to a designer’s home on their very first day. You’re going to his showroom. I’ll give you the address.

ANDY
Sorry. Got it. What’s the nearest subway stop?

EMILY
Good God. You do not. Under any circumstances. Take public transportation.

5. The iconic “cerulean” speech had a few minor differences. In the movie, the speech was streamlined and Miranda decided that the fashion spread would need a jacket halfway through talking.

MIRANDA
This… stuff? Okay. I understand. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and select, say, that lumpy blue sweater because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what’s on your body. What you don’t know is that your sweater is not blue. It’s not even sky blue. It’s cerulean. You also don’t know that in 2002, De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns, Yves St. Laurent showed a cerulean military jacket, Dolce did skirts with cerulean beads, and in our September issue we did the definitive layout on the color. Cerulean quickly appeared in eight other major collections, then the secondary and department store lines and then trickled down to some lovely Casual Corner, where you no doubt stumbled on it. That color is worth millions of dollars and many jobs. And here you are, thinking you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry. In truth, you are wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff.

6. We learned Andy was accepted to Stanford Law. Out to dinner with her dad, he asks her why someone who could have gone to such a good law school would settle for glorified secretary work.

7. The script has Andy cutting lit-boy Christian down to size the first time they met after she mentions she wrote about his work while she was in college. “I did point out some factual errors and a penchant for confessional semi-fiction that borders on self-indulgent,” she says. “You and the Times,” Christian responds.

8. Nate was sometimes the absentee in the relationship, too. The script had him skipping out on spending time with Andy to go hang out with a friend after the dinner where their friends played keep-away with her phone.

ANDY (surprised)
Where are you going?

NATE
Doug and some of his banker buddies are playing Texas Hold ‘Em at his apartment. Gonna go get me some of that Wall Street cash.

ANDY
But I came back so we could hang out.

NATE (lightly)
Man, I’m sorry. You didn’t make that crystal clear when you stormed off after calling me an asshole.

9. The now-infamous gala scene, in which Miranda publicly fought with her husband only to be rescued by Andy, was cut (thank goodness—Miranda would never say, “Thank you!”).

10. Gisele is name-dropped as a model in one of their shoots. Clearly before she was cast in the film as Emily’s friend.

11. Miranda’s final speech to Andy in Paris had a little bit more heft:

MIRANDA
People think success happens to you. It doesn’t. You choose it. Every day, I choose excellence. Who else does what I do, at my level? Nobody. They don’t even understand what it takes, the days, measured in milliseconds… But now you know –and I know – that you have it in you. That you can see beyond what other people want and choose for yourself.

12. Emily’s advice to Miranda’s newest second assistant, “Why can’t you be more like Andy?” was ultimately replaced with the line “You have big shoes to fill.” And thus ends an iconic film, carried by a brilliant script.