Anne Hathaway

06/30/2006 at 06:00 AM EDT

Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway
ANDREA REANULT/GLOBE
As if working with Meryl Streep wasn't enough, The Devil Wears Prada star Anne Hathaway also got some one-on-one screen time with another legend: Chanel. "I'm so at the mercy of that brand and I love it," says Hathaway, 23, who plays Andy, the assistant to Streep's fictional Runway fashion magazine editor. "They're so nice to me and give me free stuff." The actress (The Princess Diaries, Brokeback Mountain) fills us in on her other fashion favorites and the sacrifice she made for the movie.

Have you drunk the designer Kool-Aid since being in the movie?
I will say that I've always loved high heels. My first pair of high heels I put on was a pair of my mom's, which were great. They were like faux-lizard beige sling backs, wooden heels, stilettos. I was 3, and I didn't take them off for three weeks and I never fell down.

Did you have a favorite piece of clothing you were dying to take home from the set?
I really wanted to keep the Chanel boots. Just amazing – I loved them.

Do you have a favorite fashion designer?
I'm not a brand person for everything, but the one fashion label that I swear is out of my control is my love of Chanel. I will look at a dress and say, "Oh, I really don't like that," then I'll find out it's Chanel and be like, "Oh, it's kind of cute."

Was there a brand you got turned onto by working on this film?
I really, really love Valentino. And now I'm getting to an age where I can wear it without looking like I'm raiding my mother's closet, which is nice.

What was it like working with costume designer Patricia Field (who dressed the cast of Sex and the City)?
Pat was really open to collaboration. She was really kind in the way she let me make suggestions and always let me have input as the actor. But her instinct for the character was better than mine.

You lost weight over the course of the movie. Were you asked to do that?
They actually asked me to gain weight for the movie. I had just recovered from surgery and I couldn't eat anything and I'd lost all this weight. I was really, really a twig.

Anne Hathaway| Anne Hathaway

Hathaway in her favorite Chanel thigh-highs – which cost $2,950.

20th Century FOX / ZUMA

How did you put on the pounds?
Just pizza, beer – just trying to condense your freshman year into four weeks. So then I go to my first costume fitting and Pat Fields goes, "Not gonna work." I'm like, what do you mean? And she's like, "You have to wear couture. You need to be 120." And at the moment I was 130. So I was like, "For the love of Pete!"

So then what?
It took about six weeks to lose, and it was actually easy because I was in Europe and I was just kind of living on fruits and vegetables and I really cut out pasta, cut out drinking, made the huge sacrifice of going out dancing every night. (In the movie,) we padded me for the earlier scenes because we wanted to show Andy losing weight. That was my really traumatic weight loss/gain story.

For more talk from Anne Hathaway, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

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