Yes, Adrian Grenier Now Knows Nate Was the *Real* Villain in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’

In hindsight, Nate was the worst.

In the 15 years since The Devil Wears Prada first hit theaters, it’s practically become a phenomenon. Even now, when someone says “florals for spring? Groundbreaking,” you know exactly what they’re quoting, right? But over time, fans’ analysis has changed the way we see the movie, and now, that analysis is affecting how the cast themselves saw the characters they played, too.

Recently, the cast of the movie reunited to chat with Entertainment Weekly about what filming The Devil Wears Prada was like, and that means that Adrian Grenier has finally had the chance to reevaluate what his character’s true motives were.

For years, fans have believed that Grenier’s character, Nate, was the true villain of the movie, and now, it sounds like Grenier finally agrees.

For those of us who may not have watched the movie in awhile, Grenier plays the boyfriend to Anne Hathaway’s character, Andy, and the movie shows us how Nate becomes lower and lower on Andy’s priority list as she gets wrapped up in pleasing her impossible-to-please boss, Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) at her flashy new magazine job. Andy even ends up missing his birthday party, and her career starts affecting their relationship.

But over time, fans have recognized that maybe it’s Nate who isn’t supportive enough of his girlfriend following her dreams and paying her dues in the magazine industry, and now, it sounds like Grenier can understand where they’re coming from.

“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,” he said, adding, “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.”

At the same time, though, Grenier said that the way Nate behaved is what made his character human.

“Nate was pouty on his birthday because his girlfriend wasn’t there! In hindsight, I’m sure he wishes he made a different choice, but who doesn’t?” he said. “We’ve all been brats at different points. We all just need to live, let live, do better!”

In the end, he did admit that Nate should have been less selfish and more supportive—AKA what fans have been saying for years.

“[Andy] needed more out of the world than Nate, and she was achieving it. He couldn’t support her like she needed to because he was a fragile, wounded boy,” he said. “There’s a selfishness and self-centeredness in that, and I think Andy needed to be held by a man who was an adult. 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!”

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