Emily Blunt and Natalie Press: Their Summer of Being Loved

IN the new film “My Summer of Love,” two teenagers experience together the highs and lows of adolescent passion. In New York this month the film’s two British stars, Natalie Press, 23, and Emily Blunt, 22, were experiencing together other kinds of highs and lows: flattering recognition and frenetic schedules.

“We have to get used to this,” Ms. Blunt said after a screening for NewFest, the New York Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, which capped off a day of 18 interviews. Ms. Press was quick to say, “We’re not complaining.”

“My Summer of Love,” which opened in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, brings together two film newcomers in a story of obsession and deception. Ms. Blunt plays Tamsin, a sophisticated brunette who lives in an ivy-covered mansion. She finds her muse in Mona, played by Ms. Press, a redheaded country bumpkin who lives above a pub. Tamsin teaches Mona about Nietzsche and Freud; Mona teaches Tamsin about sex and enjoying the moment.

The film won raves at the 2004 Toronto Film Festival, and it received a Bafta (the British equivalent of an Oscar) for best British film earlier this year. Ms. Press and Ms. Blunt won the best newcomers prize at the Evening Standard British Film Awards.

They are just starting to adjust to stardom.

“The last time I was home my mom was like, ‘Who are you, and why are you calling me Mom?”‘ Ms. Blunt said. Ms. Press cracked up: “Oh, that’s hilarious.”

After the screening they made their way in an S.U.V. to Flatotel on West 52nd Street for the NewFest afterparty. Ms. Blunt, in jeans, a crocheted sweater and Indian slippers, told Ms. Press that on her way to the car, a producer had approached her. He loved the film and was casting his next project.

“Peter Bogdanovich was his name,” Ms. Blunt said.

“He used to date Cybill Shepherd, right?” Ms. Press said.

Ms. Press, wearing green patent leather heels, a blue dress over jeans and a red headband by Miu Miu, sighed. “Now he’s going to think I am the girl with the Yorkshire accent,” she said. “Bummer.”

In reality Ms. Press, like Ms. Blunt, has a London accent. Since shooting the film in West Yorkshire in the summer of 2003, the two actresses have remained close, text-messaging each other from faraway lands. (Ms. Blunt just finished shooting a film in Australia with Susan Sarandon. Ms. Press was filming “Bleak House,” a BBC mini-series adaptation of the Dickens novel, starring Gillian Anderson.)

“We’ll be friends when we’re gray,” said Ms. Press, who is blond.

“Awww,” Ms. Blunt replied.

At the party a woman approached them and asked if they would autograph her work identification badge. They did, signing their names surrounded by X’s and hearts.

Not much later they hopped back into the S.U.V. and headed downtown to the Stanton Social, a new restaurant in the Lower East Side. Stuck in Times Square traffic, Ms. Press began to sing “Never Leave You” by Lumidee. “Uh-ooooh, uh-ooooh,” Ms. Blunt harmonized. “If you want me to staaay, I’ll never leave/If you want me to staaay, we’ll always be.”

At the restaurant, with clinking glasses, chattering and jazz in the background, the women talked about Benicio Del Toro (love him), “Star Wars: Episode III” (Ms. Blunt loathed it) and their families (miss them). They nibbled on duck empanadas.

“I’m not ready for the weekend,” Ms. Press said. “What should I do? I guess you get a Time Out and read it. And by the time you’re finished reading, it’s Monday morning.”