Miranda Priestly may have been the one cloaked in Prada, but diehard The Devil Wears Prada fans have concluded that the real devil was hiding somewhere else in the hit 2006 dramedy. In the years since the fashionable film premiered, it feels like not a month will go by without there being a viral tweet claiming Andy’s controlling boyfriend Nate was the true villain of the movie. It’s a theory pretty much everyone seems to agree on... except the movie’s star. Anne Hathaway finally responded to that Devil Wears Prada theory about Nate being the villain, and surprisingly, she came to her on-screen ex’s defense.
If you asked the internet, The Devil Wears Prada should really be renamed The Devil Cooks Grilled Cheese. Countless viral tweets, listicles, and thinkpieces have made the point that Andy’s passive-aggressive chef boyfriend Nate (Adrian Grenier) was the movie’s real antagonist. Yes, Miranda Priestly may have been a cruelly over-demanding boss, but there was no denying her strength and passion for her career — and in the end, Andy understood that Miranda actually pushed her to become a better version of herself, it just wasn’t the version Andy wanted to be. Nate, however, only provided Andy with demeaning insults about her career, passive-aggressive fits about her schedule, and an admittedly delicious-looking grilled cheese with $8 worth of Jarlsberg in it.
The Nate hate has convinced most The Devil Wears Prada fans, but Anne Hathaway herself isn’t as easily swayed. During her Oct. 24 appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Hathaway revealed why she doesn’t subscribe to the popular reading of Nate as a villain.
“I think they were both very young and figuring things out,” Hathaway said. “He did behave like a brat, but I also behaved like a brat in my 20s, and I hopefully grew out of it. I think that's what we all do. I wouldn’t want to be defined by my worst moment in my 20s, certainly, so I don’t hold Nate as a villain actually.”
Hathaway may be willing to give Nate the benefit of the doubt, but the actor who actually played him has come around to the idea that the pouty BF really was the bad guy in the movie. Back in 2021, Grenier told Entertainment Weekly that the overwhelming hatred for Nate helped illuminate for him just how toxic the character was.
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“I didn't see some of the subtleties and the nuance of this character and what it represented in the film until the wisdom of the masses came online and started to push against the character and throw him under the bus, and I got flak,” Grenier said. “All those memes that came out were shocking to me. It hadn't occurred to me until I started to really think about it, and perhaps it was because I was as immature as Nate was at the time, and in many ways he's very selfish and self-involved, it was all about him, he wasn't extending himself to support Andy in her career.”
It sounds like Hathaway and Grenier both have a similar read on Nate as a self-involved and immature guy, but that’s not enough for Hathaway to dub him a villain. And it sounds like fans will never get to see if Nate actually matures into a more supportive person or not because Hathaway also recently revealed there will never be a Devil Wears Prada 2. “There's not going to be a sequel. It's not gonna happen,” Hathaway told Entertainment Tonight on Oct. 12.
So, in the words of Miranda Priestly herself: That’s all.