Emily Charlton, nicknamed Em, was originally Miranda Priestly's junior assistant before being promoted to senior assistant sometime prior to the start of The Devil Wears Prada. She met with Andrea Sachs and at Miranda's orders hired her at the start of the novel and film.
In the novel, Emily clearly idolizes Miranda and rebuffs anyone who has anything critical to say of her. She scolds Andrea on more than one occasion for her not doing her job as second assistant efficiently enough, and Andy later realizes Emily only does this because she is left alone to deal with Miranda most of the time. At certain points in the novel, Emily becomes frustrated and complains about the cons of her job as an assistant to Miranda, but later ignores these criticisms and continues to overlook her boss's toxic and abusive behaviors. Near the end of the novel, Emily catches mono, which forces Andy to travel to Paris with Miranda, costing her relationship with her longtime boyfriend, Alex, due to being unable to go on a vacation the couple had been planning in advance. Emily slowly softens up to Andy and the women strike up a friendship, leading to Emily saving her from being fired at one point and reluctantly firing her near the book's conclusion, though she is lighthearted about the reasons behind Andy's firing.
In the film adaption of the novel, Emily is depicted as a much crueler and arrogant individual and is implied to be a workaholic, taking her job very seriously. Throughout the film, Emily is constantly seen running around in the background doing something, which was something her actress, Emily Blunt, came up with, as she thought Emily would always be busy with some sort of task. When Emily meets Andrea Sachs for the first time, she is initially dumbfounded by her lack of fashion sense, believing that Human Resources was playing a joke on her. During the majority of the film, she continuously makes fun of Andy for her fashion sense, and later just in general, possibly due to jealousy or resentment over how well Andy becomes at her job as Miranda Priestly's first assistant, eventually usurping her position.
Near the end of the film, Emily softens a little bit towards Andy, due to her kindness and for helping her at a work event when she forgot the name of an important guest and his wife. Miranda shifts all of her menial errands to Emily, such as fetching coffee, which eventually leads to her being struck by a taxi while in a rush to get back to the office. Emily's attitude towards Andy soon shifts back to dislike, due to Andy's betrayal of agreeing to go to Paris with Miranda, even though the latter had threatened to fire her. Emily is obsessive over her job and the few benefits that come with it so much so that she starves herself before Paris every year, staving off hunger with a cube of cheese when she feels faint. At the end of the film, Emily is still working for Miranda, though her leg is in a cast and she is on crutches, and she receives a call from Andy, who offers to sell her the clothes she had received while on the Paris trip. Emily agrees, though begrudgingly, and warns the new second assistant that she has very big shoes to fill.
Revenge Wears Prada
In the second novel, it is revealed that Emily was fired without explanation several months after Andrea quit, leaving her bitter towards Miranda. Although still angry at Andrea for the way she left, after they run into each other in a cooking class they begin to become friends and eventually go into business together running their own bridal magazine. When Elias-Clark offers to buy them out, putting them under the control of new Director of Editorial Content Miranda Priestly, Emily jumps at the chance and doesn't understand Andrea's refusal. Eventually, she goes behind Andrea's back and has Andrea's husband Max, who owns part of the magazine, join with her to gain controlling interest and sell it. She genuinely believed that she was doing the right thing for both of them, and is devastated when Andrea is furious and ends their friendship. Emily goes with the magazine to Elias-Clark, only to be unceremoniously fired by Miranda again a few weeks later. At the end of the novel, she opens her own hair-styling salon for celebrities in Los Angeles. Category