You could say that author Lauren Weisberger has “the job a million girls would kill for,” to borrow the oft-repeated phrase from her wildly successful first novel, The Devil Wears Prada.
The just-released sequel, Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns, follows former fashion assistants Andy and Emily as they navigate work and love 10 years later. And of course, she’s back: Miranda Priestly, the formidable editor in chief of Runway magazine and Weisberger’s embodiment of hell in heels, forces her way once again into Andy’s life—along with the immaculate fashion, panic-inducing demands, and elevator-eye glares.
The Devil Wears Prada threw open the doors for an inside peek at the cutthroat, catty world of fashion. Forever immortalized by Meryl Streep in the 2006 movie version, Miranda—with a simple spine-shuddering dismissal of “That’s all”—probably made readers a bit more appreciative of their own bosses.
Weisberger told The Daily Beast that The Devil Wears Prada changed her life in many ways, but most important, it enabled her to focus solely on being a writer. She had the idea for a sequel for years, but wrote three other books during that time. She decided to set the book in real time instead of just picking up where the first one left off to explore how much people change in their 20s and 30s. In Revenge, readers see how Andy’s character has emerged from her chaotic 20s to find confidence and success with her own magazine in her 30s. Even though Andy faces her fair share of ups and downs, by the end of the book, Weisberger said Andy stays “true to herself.”
Weisberger said this definitely reflects on her own personal growth as she’s gotten older—and gotten married and had two kids. Even though Weisberger said her “friends would not say I’m a laid-back person by any means,” she never experienced any of the same anxieties that haunted Andy after her fashion-assistant stint. And throughout the success of the books or movie, Weisberger said she never heard a peep from her former employer, Vogue (which Runway has long been rumored to be based upon).
Weisberger said she loves the movie version of The Devil Wears Prada, starring Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt alongside Streep. “Every time I catch it on TV, I have to watch it,” she said. Weisberger never even expected it to be made into a movie, so when she heard about the casting, she was ecstatic—and she particularly loved how Streep took the character of Miranda Priestly and made it her own. The first time Weisberger saw her characters brought to life on screen, there wasn’t even music set to the movie yet, but she said it was an incredible, dreamlike experience nonetheless.
Weisberger maintains that she was able to keep the movie characters and book characters separate while writing the follow-up, with one exception. She found herself incorporating Blunt’s portrayal of the character Emily, because her mannerisms, accent, and one-liners were so perfect, she said.
And for fans who are crossing their fingers for a movie sequel, Weisberger thinks it’d be hard to get the actors together in one place again, but even she admits, “I would love nothing more.”