Author Lauren Weisberger discusses ‘Devil Wears Prada’ sequel

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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About 10 years ago, a little book called The Devil Wears Prada took the chick-lit world by storm.

After all, a former assistant to the famous Vogue editor Anna Wintour was writing a fictional novel loosely based on her time at the prestigious glossy. And we don’t need to remind you about the blockbuster 2006 movie based on the book.

The way Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) punctuated her demands with a simple “That’s all” sent shivers down the spines of anyone who’d ever held an entry-level job.

Now Lauren Weisberger is bringing her characters back for a sequel. In Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns (Simon & Schuster, $25.99), released June 4, readers catch up with Andy, Emily (yes, they’re friends!) and Miranda a decade later. After almost a decade between books, we had so many questions for the author, from why she chose to pen a sequel, to the one thing everyone is wondering: Will there be another movie?

When did you decide to write a sequel?

I thought about writing it for years now, and every time I sat down to write another book, I thought about writing a sequel. This was the right time, though. A decade is a nice symmetrical number. A lot has happened for these characters, and I’m happy to look back.

The first book was influenced by personal experiences; can the same be said of the second book?

I think so. I’m always pulling from my own life and my own experiences. [Andy and I] both live in New York, we’re both writers, I got married since the last book, and I won’t give too much away, but I’ve got two kids now and motherhood plays a role in this book, as well. I definitely took a lot from my own life again.

In Revenge, Andy is now editor-in-chief of her own magazine. How did you decide this is where her life was headed?

I think that Andy grew up in 10 years. She loved writing, and I think she realized it’s not necessary to be writing for The New Yorker, but it’s writing anywhere. It’s important to write and do what you love. Andy loved magazines and I wanted her to stay in that world, but now she’s the editor-in-chief, she gets to travel, write and she’s doing what she loves.

Miranda Priestly is now editorial director of all titles at Elias Clarke; meanwhile Anna Wintour now holds the same position at Conde Nast — coincidence?

It sure was! I think it’s a case of life imitating art. I needed Miranda in a great position of power to properly intimidate Andy and Emily. This book was at the printer already by the time news of Anna’s promotion came out.

For many people, the movie is much fresher in their mind than the first book (it’s on television all the time!). What would you say to them when it comes to picking up the sequel?

I think they’re going to find all of the same characters they loved in the book and movie. Emily Blunt as Emily was so fantastic, and she plays a much bigger role in this book partly because I loved her character in the movie. I hope they connect with this book as much as they did the first book and movie.

Did the movie and its portrayal of your characters have any effect on you when you sat down to write Revenge?

Not so much. But a little bit of the Emily character did; I started to see [Emily Blunt] in my mind when I wrote Revenge. There was a lot of sorting out what happened in the book versus the movie, because I had seen the movie much more recently, too. I actually went back and re-read it for the first time.

Which character do you have the most fun writing?

In this case, because the Miranda character isn’t in every page every minute every day ... it was more fun to write her scenes. When she comes on the page, the pace picks up, and I got to revive more devious ways for her to torment the girls.

Do you think she’s more evil in this book?

Not more evil, but just as evil. While Andy and Emily have moved on with their lives and have evolved, she does not evolve as a character.

Since The Devil Wears Prada, you’ve written a few other books, but this is your first sequel. How is writing a sequel different from the other titles you’ve written?

It was different and it was different in that I already knew my characters and I wasn’t looking at an empty computer screen. I had fun filling in their backstory — a lot happened in 10 years! People connected with them, but [the characters] have grown up and changed.

And now the million-dollar question: Would you want to see these characters make it to the big screen again?

Oh, I would love that! I would absolutely love that! I adored what they did with the first movie and it would be fantastic if it happens again.

In this book there are some new characters, notably Andy’s husband, Max. Who would you want to see cast as Max?

I am really bad at this casting thing. Probably someone tall, dark and handsome; there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of those!

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