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.
What animal are you most similar to?
EB: [laughing] Can you imagine if people were like, “a fox”? I’m gonna say a sloth.
Have you ever been mistaken for another celebrity?
EB: Yes, many times. Katy Perry–[At this point, someone hits their head on a lamp and it makes a huge noise.] Ooooh, someone just killed themselves. That was Katy Perry. [laughs] I also get – what’s her name, she’s fabulous – the girl in Gilmore Girls. Alexis Bledel!
What’s one thing you miss about living in London?
EB: I think in general just the attitude. The irreverence. And the people, I miss the people.
And what’s your favourite thing about living in New York?
EB: I love the energy of the place. It’s kind of electric. And the fact that I don’t need a car. We walk everywhere.
What was the best thing about working with your husband, John Krasinski, on A Quiet Place?
EB: There were many great things, actually. Do you know what the coolest thing was? I’ve always known about him that he’s so awesome, so bright, and so exciting, and I knew on the film that everyone else was starting to find that out. Everything that I have always known about him. That’s been the most thrilling thing.
What was the worst thing?
EB: The worst thing about him being on set… [thinks hard] There wasn’t anything, really. Pass.
What was the most challenging scene to film?
EB: The birth scene.
I heard that you filmed that in one take.
EB: Well, not the whole thing. The scream was one take, partly because I blew my voice out. The whole thing took about five days, and that was tough.
The ending is left open to interpretation – do you think there’s any chance of a sequel?
EB: I mean, people are talking about it, but I don’t know. I almost worry, sometimes, that sequels can take away from that first experience people have of something. But who knows?
Where is your favourite place in the world?
EB: Do you mean like a city? I loved Amsterdam.
And where’s one place you’ve never been but would love to visit?
What’s your favourite pizza topping?
EB: Just straight cheese. Don’t be putting any pepper or pineapple on it. Ever. Straight, boring margherita.
What is your drink of choice?
EB: Tequila on the rocks with limes.
What’s your favourite drunk food?
EB: I quite like a chip sandwich. [laughs] Just a beige-coloured sandwich, you know. Is it a chip butty? I’m going to go with that.
Have you ever freaked out about meeting a celebrity?
EB: Yes. I just met Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, and I was pretty lame around her.
I feel like she’s probably used to that. She seems like someone who has that effect on people.
EB: I think she is. She can’t go anywhere in the Hamptons, guys. Nowhere.
Who’s one actor you’d love to work with that you haven’t yet?
EB: I would love to work with Gary Oldman.
Do you have a secret talent? If so, what is it?
EB: [immediately starts laughing] This is where I’m going to get in trouble. I do a weird trick with my tongue. Do you want to see it? Mine’s better than most. There was a kid in my class when I was a young kid called Lysander, and Lysander could do that with his tongue, and I practised… [thinks for a second]. This is not a sexual trick, guys. I practised and practised until I got that tongue thing down. I tried to teach my daughters the other day.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
EB: I like “Try a Little Tenderness”.
What was the last movie you saw?
EB: Without falling asleep? Oh, I saw my brother-in-law, Stanley Tucci’s film, Final Portrait. It’s beautiful, and everyone should see it.
What movie never fails to make you cry?
EB: Kramer vs. Kramer.
What’s the most challenging role you’ve ever played?
EB: The Girl on the Train role. Just full-blown alcoholism. I think that character is so different from me and how I live, and to get into that mindset – it was a very dark sort of mindset. I was also pregnant during the shoot, so I’d say in general that whole experience was more challenging than most.
And what’s the most fun you’ve ever had playing a role?
EB: It’s a combination. I mean, The Devil Wears Prada was crazy fun. We wept with laughter. We found ourselves way too funny. That was so much fun. And I absolutely loved playing Mary Poppins.
What’s your biggest phobia?
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Who was the last person you texted?
EB: My nanny. [laughs]
What’s your most-used emoji?
EB: I quite like the poo one. [laughs] That one is so wrong, I just love it.
What job would you want to do if you weren’t an actor?
EB: Be a chef. Be Ina Garten’s best friend.
What’s your proudest achievement in your career so far?
EB: Meeting Ina Garten. [laughs]
And what’s one ambition you have yet to accomplish?
EB: My friend just climbed Kilimanjaro and I felt like that was something I should maybe do one day. Did you mean in acting? Or in hiking?
What’s one thing that’s guaranteed to make you happy?
EB: My children laughing and being happy.
OK, final question: What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
EB: I play the cello. Not terribly well any more. Are you surprised?
I am surprised.
EB: I played it as a kid, and I was quite good as a kid. Although I wasn’t very happy whenever I had to carry it on the bus. I was always jealous of the kids who played the flute.