The actor, who famously played aspiring-journalist-turned-personal-assistant Andy in the 2006 film, disagrees with a fan theory that her character’s boyfriend Nate, played by Adrian Grenier, was the real villain in the movie.
“I think that they were both very young and figuring things out, and he did behave like a brat, but I also behaved like a brat in my 20s and I hopefully grew out of it and I think that that’s what we all do,” she said during Tuesday’s episode of “Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen.” “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.”
The theory about Nate is, of course, a departure from the more obvious takeaway from the film that Andy’s boss Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) — the icy, cruel and demanding editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine — was the real villain.
But Grenier’s character has faced public scrutiny before.
A 2016 BuzzFeed article accused Nate of being an unsupportive boyfriend who holds Andy back from advancing in her career. Grenier even called out his character for being “selfish” and “self-involved” during a reunion interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2021.
The actor said he began to reflect on his character’s behavior more deeply after seeing memes and various analyses about Nate on social media. Naysayers of Nate often cite a scene in the film during which the character is disappointed that Andy missed his birthday celebration due to her job demands as Miranda’s assistant.
“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,” Grenier said during the EW interview.
“At the end of the day, it’s just a birthday, right? It’s not the end of the world,” he continued. “I might’ve been as immature as him at the time, so I personally couldn’t see his shortcomings. But after time to reflect and much deliberation, I’ve come to realize the truth in that perspective.”
Hathaway weighed in on Nate’s behavior a bit then too. “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?” she told EW.
Thankfully for Nate, Hathaway doesn’t think those moments should define him.