finally admitting that Nate was the "true villain" in "The Devil Wears Prada
Grenier opened up about his character Nate's dynamic with Andy (Anne Hathaway
) in an incredibly thorough oral history of the iconic 2006 film in Entertainment Weekly
. In case you fell down, smacked your little head on the pavement, and forgot: Nate and Andy were an on-and-off couple in the film, which is based on Lauren Weisberger's novel of the same name.
Nate is an up-and-coming, Jarlsberg-loving chef, while Andy is an assistant desperate to win the approval of Miranda Priestly, a ghastly but chic boss modeled after Anna Wintour. During Andy's quest to succeed in the cutthroat world of fashion
magazines, Nate grows increasingly frustrated with his girlfriend for things like missing his birthday and not answering the phone when her boss calls.
Nate says in one exchange, "I wouldn't mind if you were out there pole-dancing all night, as long as you did it with some integrity!"
Nate's lack of support for his girlfriend, as well as his constant whining about her doing her job, were unseemly, and people
had been complaining about Nate for years.
Now, 15 years later, Grenier has admitted that Nate was terrible — though it took him a while to realize it, saying he "couldn't get my head around it."
“Perhaps it was because I wasn’t mature as a man, just as Nate probably could’ve used a little growing up,” Grenier told Entertainment Weekly. “I was just as immature as him at the time, so I couldn’t see his flaws, but after taking time to reflect and much deliberation online, I can see the truth in that perspective.”
He continued by saying, "Nate hadn't grown up, but Andy had."
“She needed more out of life, and she was getting it,” he said, adding, “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 character was described as a "brat" by Hathaway.
“I don’t think everybody is completely honest with themselves about their own poutiness,” she said. “Nate was pouty on his birthday because his girlfriend wasn’t there! In hindsight, I’m sure he wishes he had made a different choice, but who doesn’t? We’ve all been brats at different points. We just need to live, let live, and do better!”