VARIETY – As soon as her husband finished describing the story, which centers on a family struggling to stay alive in a world in which lethal creatures hunt down anyone who makes noise, Blunt was convincing him to slide behind the camera, as well as star in the picture. After reading his re-write of the script, she realized that “A Quiet Place” should be their first on-screen pairing. She wanted to play Krasinski’s wife in the film, a pregnant mother desperate to keep her kids safe in a menacing world. But there was a catch.
“I read his version of the script and after previously saying he should cast a friend of mine, I was like, ‘you probably should call her,’” remembers Blunt. “I need to play this part.”
Critics loved the finished film, praising its thrills and scares, and audiences agree. “A Quiet Place” dominated the box office last weekend, picking up a mighty $50 million. Two weeks before the film premiered, Blunt braved a storm to sit down with Variety in New York to talk about the film, her upcoming role in “Mary Poppins Returns,” and how she’s navigating Hollywood in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Why did you want to play the part?
It represented my deepest fears in real life. It was something incredibly close to home for me, being a mother. I’m scared of being in a brutal world and not being able to protect my children.
Do you like horror films?
I never watched them. John did his research. He watched so many, and I was like I will not be watching any of them. I watched most of “Get Out” and then I panicked and couldn’t watch any more. I loved it, but films like that keep me up at night.
Here’s yet another enjoyable feature with Emily for BuzzFeed UK–and the interview itself is also available in video form at the source. As you’ll see from the gifs, there’s many memorable moments with Emily here. I’ve also added some lovely photos of her taken for the website to the gallery. Enjoy.
BUZZFEED – Emily Blunt has been a constant on our cinema screens for over a decade now. She’s tried her hand at everything from comedy (with her iconic role in The Devil Wears Prada) to action (with Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario) to period drama (she played Queen Victoria in The Young Victoria) and even musicals (with 2014’s Into the Woods). With her latest role, she’s once again taking on something completely different: classic horror.
A Quiet Place, directed by and costarring Emily’s husband, John Krasinski, is not for the faint of heart. It’s a horror movie in the purest sense – so terrifying that you’ll be holding your breath and watching from behind your hands for the full 90 minutes – but at its core it’s also a heartbreakingly emotional story about parents just trying to do what’s best for their kids.
When we got the chance to chat with Emily in London recently, we jumped at the opportunity to talk about A Quiet Place, as well as a few other very important things…
Tea or coffee?
Emily Blunt: I have to say coffee now.
Because you’re American now?
EB: No, because I have children now and I need it! It used to be tea, but I’m going to go with coffee. I’m unable to get through the day without it.
How do you take it?
EB: Just with some milk. Regular milk.
Puppies or kittens?
EB: I’m allergic to cats, so it’s puppies.
INDIEWIRE – Good things take time. Nearly 55 years after the original “Mary Poppins” dropped into theaters, care of Julie Andrews and her iconic umbrella, the film is finally getting a sequel, this one starring Emily Blunt as the eponymous nanny with a magical way of doing things. The film, “Mary Poppins Returns,” reteams Blunt with her “Into the Woods” director Rob Marshall, hinting that there will be no shortage of large-scale musical set pieces. Still, the biggest challenge for Blunt was the most obvious one: taking over such a beloved character, who also happened to be played by an equally as beloved actress.
“Rob Marshall sort of protected me from the idea that I felt like I was moving a boulder out of the way of this iconic role played by someone as iconic and as brilliant as Julie Andrews,” Blunt told IndieWire. “Ultimately, he allowed it to feel like an intimate process where I could just make her my own. It will be my interpretation of her, for better or worse.”
Set in Depression-era London, the film reintroduces the Banks kids — Jane and Michael, now adults — and picks up after a “personal loss” that has impacted both the siblings and Michael’s own trio of kids. Per the official synopsis, Mary uses her “unique magical skills” to help “the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.”
The film stars Ben Whishaw as Michael and Emily Mortimer as Jane, along with Meryl Streep as Mary’s own “eccentric cousin” and Lin-Manuel Miranda as a lamplighting apprentice. Angela Lansbury, Julie Walters, and Colin Firth also appear, and original star Dick Van Dyke is reportedly on board for a cameo appearance.
“It’s beautiful. I’ve seen it,” Blunt said. “It’s absolutely magical, yet grounded and I think will hopefully stand alone as an independent feature. It’s the next chapter of Mary Poppins and I absolutely adored doing it.”
The actress didn’t rematch the original film during the process of making her own “Mary Poppins,” all the better to allow the character to become her own. “I tried not to be swayed by the details of what Julie did, so that I could really just have my own impression of her from the books,” she said.
METRO – The casting of Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns was met with universal approval. That was hardly a surprise, as not only does the 34-year-old bear a striking resemblance to Julie Andrews but she possesses the same spirit and presence, too.
Ben Whishaw, who is playing Michael Banks in “Mary Poppins Returns,” has now opened up about his original reaction to Blunt’s casting, while also explaining how the actress has somehow managed the impossible by both “honoring the folk memory of Julie Andrews” and making the character “her own.”
“I just thought it was a brilliant piece of casting. I think she’s going to be incredible in the film. She’s a brilliant actress full-stop, but she’s also a brilliant comedian and a brilliant singer.”
“From what I have seen, and what I can gather, she is doing that very difficult thing of honoring the folk memory of Julie Andrews that is in everyone’s childhood, and also really making it her own role. That’s going back to the P.L. Travers books.”
“I think she has found something really original. I’m really excited to see it.”
What a way to start the year! Emily is at last, after a relatively quiet 2017, back on the newsstands. She’s the cover star of the February issue of Vanity Fair, and is featured in a gorgeous new photoshoot. You can find the full interview below as well as photos from the shoot in the gallery. I’ll do my best to provide further coverage as soon as its available.
VANITY FAIR – Emily Blunt has sparred with Meryl Streep (twice), out-action-starred Tom Cruise, and ruled the British Empire on-screen. But on this blustery Brooklyn afternoon in November, the 34-year-old English-born actress—surprisingly delicate in person, given the strength she projects on film—is perched on a window seat in a Cobble Hill café, laughing about her first professional heartbreak.
Blunt was 18 and playing Judi Dench’s granddaughter in the 2001 West End production of The Royal Family. If this scenario sounds ludicrously heaven-sent, know that Blunt is the first to admit it. She never intended to act professionally (the hobby was an antidote to a childhood stutter), but there she was. Blunt, who was still living with her parents in London, had no formal training. And Dench—fresh off her Shakespeare in Love Oscar win—had kindly taken her under her wing.
“I was a kid and could have meant nothing to her, but every day after work she invited me to her dressing room,” says Blunt, giddily recalling backstage visits from Johnny Depp and Pierce Brosnan. “It was crazy to me. I was drinking champagne and pretending I knew what anyone was talking about.”
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – They threw the book at her.
By the time Emily Blunt agreed to a role in “The Girl on the Train,” the thriller by Paula Hawkins had already reached a full head of steam. It’s already sold 15 million copies worldwide in its first 19 months.
“I noticed everybody reading this book before I did,” Blunt told the Daily News. “I feel like I saw this title everywhere and it was on every subway, every plane I went on. We would go on holidays and you’d see people’s faces just buried into a copy of ‘The Girl on the Train.’”
And that meant all of those eyeballs would be glaring at any film adaptation of a novel that has drawn heady comparisons to both “Rear Window” and “Gone Girl.” That scrutiny would fall particularly hard on Blunt if she couldn’t properly play a perpetually drunk heroine, without stumbling into unintentional slapstick.
“That was my concern,” Blunt said. “I think there are pitfalls with it; that you can appear comical, lurching around like a drunk uncle. I think she needed to be frightening. It’s a very real disease and its claws are in her.”
NEW YORK TIMES – Emily Blunt’s metamorphosis into Rachel Watson, the physically ravaged, emotionally shattered alcoholic in “The Girl on the Train” (out Oct. 7) burrowed deeper than a mere Hollywood make-under.
“I don’t have an addictive personality whatsoever, so it was like wearing somebody else’s skin,” Ms. Blunt said of portraying the New York City suburbanite obsessed with a seemingly perfect couple she glimpses each day on her soused commute — just two doors down from where her ex-husband lives with his new wife and baby. And when her fantasy woman goes missing in this feverishly anticipated adaptation of the Paula Hawkins literary sensation, Rachel, her memory failing, fears she is responsible.
“As alien as this person is to who I truly am, I had to understand her and empathize and get into that mind-set,” Ms. Blunt added. “The thing I found most helpful was watching ‘Intervention’ on a loop until I had seen every type of addiction in action.”
Since snap-snapping her fingers into stardom as Miranda Priestly’s senior assistant in “The Devil Wears Prada,” Ms. Blunt has revealed an impressive range, veering from an alien-battling warrior in “Edge of Tomorrow” to the barren Baker’s Wife in the screen musical “Into the Woods” to an F.B.I. agent stalking a Mexican drug cartel in “Sicario.”
Offscreen, she’s the mother of 2½-year-old Hazel and 3-month-old Violet, her daughters with her husband, John Krasinski. In a phone interview from their Brooklyn home, the London-born, crisply funny Ms. Blunt, 33, talked about filming while pregnant and life with another actor. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Were you a fan of the book before you took on the role?
I was determined not to read the book initially because I saw everyone else and their auntie reading it. Then the producer called me and said, “We’re really interested in you for it, and do you want to have a read and see what you think?” I could quickly see why it became the phenomenon that it did. These domestic thrillers are quite tantalizing for readers. You can see yourself in these people. And that idea of danger being close to home is exciting.
Continue reading Emily Blunt Rides the Unnerving Rails of Addiction in ‘The Girl on the Train’