Never has an actress felt so grateful not to be the lead.
Because more than a decade-and-a-half later, Tracie Thoms can still recall the terror she felt when Meryl Streep spoke those first intently hushed words at The Devil Wears Prada table read. “We could barely hear her,” said Thoms, cast as grad student Lily, the loyal, tell-it-like-it-is best friend to Anne Hathaway‘s Andy Sachs.
At first, Thoms explained to E! News, she thought the three-time Oscar winner was simply getting through the material, still formulating how she wanted to play unapologetically demanding Runway editor Miranda Priestly, a not-all-that-loose interpretation of Vogue‘s Anna Wintour. “Some actors when they get to table reads, they’re still waiting to do the exploration process of the character,” she noted. “So they’re not trying to make decisions early.”
But, “maybe, a page-and-a-half in,” Thoms said of the script, adapted from Lauren Weisberger‘s wildly popular novel of the same name, a take on her time as Wintour’s assistant, “I was like, ‘Oh, no. That is the choice. Oh my god, this is the most genius thing I’ve ever seen in my life.’ Because it made everybody at the table have to lean into her, to Miranda.”