Seven years after her debut, The Devil Wears Prada, became a smash film starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, Lauren Weisberger, 36, discusses the return of her impeccably heeled characters in Revenge Wears Prada (out June 4).
The movie version of The Devil Wears Prada is still so popular, and it was different from the book in many ways. Did that influence the sequel?
Yes! I wrote the first book 10 years ago, and I’ve definitely seen the movie more recently than I’ve read the book. It’s on late-night television constantly, and I can’t not watch it. It confused me a lot of the time – I had to ask, “Did that happen in the book?”
Did you picture Hathaway as Andy or Streep as Miranda while you were writing?
For the most part I didn’t. I think of Andy as Andy and Anne as the phenomenally talented performer and the sweetheart I met on set. And as amazing a job as Meryl Streep did playing Miranda, I don’t picture her while I’m writing, either. I’d say the only actress who really influenced my writing this time was Emily Blunt as my Emily. For some reason, I was picturing her the whole time I was writing this book.
What made you want to write a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada?
This is my fifth book – I’d never written a sequel before, and I always wanted to. So much changes in everyone’s lives in 10 years, especially in your 20s. This book doesn’t pick up right where we left off, with Andy’s big “f— you” moment in Paris. It’s a full 10 years later, and it was fun to create what happened to her over that decade. Andy has become best friends with Emily, her former Runway arch-nemesis, and they’ve founded The Plunge, an upscale bridal magazine. And Miranda is now operating from a much greater power than editor in chief of Runway, so now she can properly terrorize Andy.
Miranda’s real-life inspiration, Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour, recently got a big promotion as well.
Life imitates art! Revenge was signed, sealed, and delivered before I heard about that, but it’s funny that something similar actually happened.
You often touch on celebrity gossip in your books, including this one. Are you addicted to tabloids?
I want to say no, but I am. I know the world above 25. If they’re under 25, unless they’re Justin Bieber, I’m starting to get confused with all the Teen Moms and who’s a reality star and who’s on The Hills and who’s a singer. But all the tried-and-true actual celebrities, I’m pretty into.
A lot of fans are hoping for another movie—did you feel any pressure to make Revenge cinematic?
Well, Miranda is the devil of the book, so the scenes with her were especially fun to write – the pace quickened. But I really didn’t think that way, mostly because I don’t understand writing for movies – I’m not of that world. Of course it’d be amazing if they made another movie, but… What are the chances of getting all those actors in the same place at the same time again?
But the first movie launched or revitalized a lot of careers. There must be talk about it.
[Smiles] People talk. They always talk.
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