Don’t get us wrong, actor Stanley Tucci did a fine job playing a fabulous gay editor in Devil Wears Prada. That being said, I think we can all agree Simon Doonan, he of the Liberty print shirts and endless quips, would have done a much better job.
It turns out that’s no coincidence. According to Barneys’ creative ambassador at-large, Tucci based his character partly on Doonan.
Doonan explains in his new book The Asylum: A Collage of Couture Reminiscences…and Hysteria (that WWD excerpts today) how he read for the part of Nigel–and wound up (allegedly) getting used as a research tool:
“Was there a pansy alive who had not read for this part? The whole audition charade was nothing more than a carefully orchestrated piece of unpaid research. We gays had been dragged in to swish it up — on camera no less — for the delectation of some precast, overpaid straight actor. This thespian would then create his characterization based on our uncompensated-for mincings.
These dark suspicions were confirmed when the movie began lensing, just days after, with Stanley Tucci playing the part of Nigel.”
It all makes sense now!
Obviously that’s not the only quotable bit that WWD had to offer. According to Doonan, “Average-looking people, squat people, homely people are always much smarter, more competent and more fun than fashion models.”
As for if it’s unfair to generalize fashion models in such a way, Doonan says, “Of course it’s not fair, but who said life was going to be fair or even remotely fact based. Isn’t it more fun to exaggerate?”
Now those are words to live by.
The Asylum: A Collage of Couture Reminiscences…and Hysteria hits shelves September 3.