In My Summer of Love, British actress Emily Blunt plays Tamsin, a beguiling young woman who engages in a shatteringly intense relationship with a local girl while spending the summer at her wealthy family’s country house.
Rather than sticking to a conventional script, director Pawel Pawlikowski preferred to simply use an outline, rehearsing his actors and then giving them lots of time to improvise once the camera was rolling, creating a languid, unhurried atmosphere on the set.
“I was used to a tight schedule,” explains Blunt, 22. “You get your lines, you learn your lines, you turn up and you have two takes and you’re out. With Pawel, you had all this time to find things, really find things. There were a couple of scenes where I really surprised myself. You just hit a zone. And he knew, he knew what he wanted the whole time. You just trust Pawel, and when he says, ‘I have it,’ you know that he does.”
Along with co-star Natalie Press, Blunt received a number of awards and nominations in Britain for her performance, and she is excited by the attention the film has brought.
“I’m proud that the film is the reason all this has been happening. It wasn’t that I was in some crappy blockbuster that I thought was terrible and all of this came from that. I’m in something I have such pride for. I think it’s a very unique film.”
Nothing captures the spirit of the film quite so much as a scene in which the two girls dance around the drawing room to the rousing “La Foule” by Edith Piaf. The scene is sexy, enigmatic and on edge, with a touch of rebellion and danger, and Blunt’s character sets the tone by describing in detail how the legendary French chanteuse once stabbed her husband with a fork.
“I made that up!” exclaims Blunt, laughing. “Everything I say in that scene I made up.”