Adrian Grenier has recognised that his character in The Devil Wears Prada was the film’s real villain all along.
The actor discussed the theory, which has been a talking point among fans for years, during a recent roundtable with Entertainment Weekly.
Grenier portrays Nate, the boyfriend of Anne Hathaway’s character Andy, in the 2006 classic. As Andy’s career at the prestigious Runway magazine escalates, Andy and Nate grow apart, and Nate resents her for what he views as her decision to prioritise her career over her personal life, which includes him.
For that reason, some fans have come to view Nate as an antagonist of sorts for Andy, since he can’t bring himself to be supportive of her professional achievements – or to be there for her as she tries to keep up with her demanding job as a personal assistant to Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep).
“When that whole thing [about Nate being the ‘real villain’ of the film] first came out, I couldn't get my head around it. I didn't understand it,” Grenier said during the roundtable.
“Perhaps it was because I wasn't mature as a man, just as Nate probably could've used a little growing up. I was just as immature as him at the time, so I couldn't see his shortcomings, but, after taking time to reflect and much deliberation online, I can realise the truth in that perspective.”
According to Grenier, Nate is less mature than Andy in the film, hence the discrepancy between each of their attitudes.
“She needed more out of life, and she was achieving it,” Grenier added. “He couldn't support her like she needed because he was a fragile, wounded boy…. on behalf of all the Nates out there: Come on! Step it up!”
The roundtable marked the 15-year anniversary of the movie’s release. The Devil Wears Prada, directed by David Frankel, came out in the US in June 2006 and in the UK in October of that same year.
It earned Meryl Streep a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress, as well as a nomination in the Best Costume Design category.