Live. Die. Repeat
Emily as: Rita Vrataski
Genre(s): Sci-Fi | Action | Thriller
Written by: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth
Directed by: Doug Liman
Other Cast: Tom Cruise, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson, Noah Taylor
Release Date: June 6, 2014
Production Budget: $178m
Total Worldwide Gross: $370.5m
Filming Locations: Hertfordshire, England, UK
The epic action of Edge of Tomorrow unfolds in a near future in which an alien race has hit the Earth in an unrelenting assault, unbeatable by any military unit in the world.
Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Cruise) is an officer who has never seen a day of combat when he is unceremoniously dro pped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage now finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop — forcing him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again… and again.
But with each battle, Cage becomes able to engage the adversaries with increasing skill, alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski (Blunt). And, as Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each repeated encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy.
Cage: You did. You did. Tomorrow. At the beach. Tomorrow. At the beach. We meet. You said to find you when I wake up. You do know what’s happening to me.
Rita: Come with me. Now.
Cage: That’s great. There’s a cure. How do I get rid of this?
Rita: First, I need your help.
Cage: Help with what exactly?
Rita: Winning the war.
Rita: I’ve tried everything. It doesn’t work.
Cage: I mean, have you… you know… tried all the options?
Rita: Oh, you mean sex. Yep. Tried it.
Rita: I’m not a fan.
Cage: Of talking?
Rita: Not a fan of talking. No.
Rita: How do you know that name?
Cage: You mentioned him.
Rita: That’s not possible.
Cage: Then how do I know his name?
Rita: When did I mention him? Under what circumstance?
Cage: Is he why you won’t talk to me?
Rita: Don’t ever mention his name again.
Cage: Why? Are you… in love with him?
Rita: He’s dead. And I watched him die 300 times… and I remember every detail. I remember everything. So I don’t need to talk about it.
Cage: I’m sorry.
Rita: It’s just war.
Cage: Whoa! It’s a dead end. If it’s all the same to you…
Rita: I’m tired. I’m in pain. I’d rather just start fresh.
Cage: Tell you what. Take a few minutes. Coffee’s ready. I’ll look around for the keys. That’s productive.
Rita: Ten minutes.
Rita: Then I’m killing you.
Rita: Not yet.
Quoting: Emily Blunt
On her character: Rita doesn’t even wear a helmet in the film because she knows it’s not going to help her. Now that is one tough lady. And there was something quite empowering about putting on that armor and marching along with 20 enormous guys behind me.
On her character: Her fight style is very aerial based and very martial-art based. So my character fights with an enormous helicopter blade that she salvaged from a crash. She believes that in order to kill them and actually cause some damage you got to get up close. You can’t shoot from a distance. You got to get inside the tentacles… and it’s a very brave, courageous way to fight.
On Rita and Cage’s relationship: She’s really using him because he’s able to reset the day, and she sees this as an invaluable weapon. Through his experiences, she can change tactics in order to get further along each time and hopefully go on to survive the battle and then win the war.
On the challenges of the role: She was always meeting Cage for the first time, so building a character whose interactions with another existed in an environment that was essentially the same again and again made it a challenge to progress the relationship. How does she change toward him, how does their familiarty grow if she can’t remember him? It was tricky for me to play that and to find the right measure of intimacy.
On preparing for the role: You can train all you want, run a million miles, and I don’t think anything quite prepares you. You just have to get used to it. And it’s hard. Rita’s fight style is very aerial-based-lots of sliding under alien tentacles, jumping, flipping over them, slicing as she’s in the air. We wanted it to look intense, but yet there was a kind of beauty to it. Trying to capture the choreography and the sheer skill with which she fights was a tremendous challenge.
On the wardrobe: These suits are supposed to make us fight harder and faster and that’s the whole illusion. There’s something really empowering about it.
On working with green screen: It took some getting used to, hurtling around on wires, swinging a huge sword but never actually impacting anything.
On working with the stunt team: I loved working with Simon Crane and Wade because they are always trying to stay away from the generic or something that you’ve seen in another movie. I had this fantastic guy called Liang teaching me martial arts with a sword.
On working with Doug Liman: Doug was exhilarating to work with, I never knew what he was going to throw at me or what shot he’d want to try next, and that made it possible for me to really find the different layers in Rita. He also veers away from things ever looking too perfected or glossy; instead, there’s a messiness and a humanity that allow him to capture very spontaneous moments, and I think audiences can feel the truth in that.
On working with Tom Cruise: I’ve never met anyone with such a commitment to making the best movie he can. Tom strived for the best version of every moment, every scene, every day. He played Cage in a way that wasn’t at all whiny or tedious; even though the character was useless and inept at first, he tried. I think that makes him all the more compelling to watch.
Quoting: Cast and Crew
Director Doug Liman: I’m committed to strong female characters, and I think Rita is the strongest in any of my films thus far. She is a true veteran combatant who has led the charge and killed thousands of Mimics. Now, she must also be a mentor to Cage, training him to be as strong a fighter as she herself is, or they’ll have no hope of winning the day. Emily came to the table with incredible strength of character and was every inch the warrior Rita was reputed to be.
Director Doug Liman: Tom and Emily began working out months ahead of shooting. They both took it very seriously. The first day of shooting, they were both ready for the action the film required, and that is a dream come true for any director. They are both fantastic actors. Despite all the dramatic elements surrounding the story, many of the film’s more humorous moments come from their great chemistry together.
Co-star Tom Cruise: Emily was terrific. I love what she did with Rita, it was perfect for this journey. You see and feel her humanity, and it’s quite moving. On top of that, Emily’s never done action, but you’d never know it. She was thrown into the deep end and it was no easy feat, but she was wonderfully uncompromising. She’s just a brilliant actress and she has a great wit. It was a pleasure to work with her.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Cage is forced to relive that same day until he gets it right. That means getting to Rita before the battle in question, persuading her to train him for combat and then, of course, falling in love. The cornball stuff never gets in the way, thanks to Blunt’s grit and grace. She’s a force of nature.
Richard Corliss, Time: In a complicated scenario with just four prominent roles (Cruise, Blunt, Paxton and Gleeson), the two leading players must radiate star quality and sex appeal. Solemn and toned to the max, Blunt proves a strong partner for an actor who can still earn the sobriquet Tom Terrific.
Justin Chang, Variety: Blunt is alert, energized and emotionally present in a none-too-taxing role; while a bit more action for Rita would not have gone awry, the pleasure of “Edge of Tomorrow” is that it’s not an action movie first and foremost, but rather a cheeky little puzzle picture in expensive-looking blockbuster drag.
Ann Hornaday, Wall Street Journal: The centerpiece of Edge of Tomorrow is the burgeoning relationship between Cage and Rita, whom Blunt invests with just the right mix of machisma and soulfulness. (Between this, The Adjustment Bureau and Looper, she’s apparently the go-to girl when it comes to busting the time-space continuum.)
Awards and Nominations
Below is list of all accolades Emily has received for her role in the film.
NOMINATED: Empire Awards – Best Actress
NOMINATED: London Film Critics Circle Awards – British Actress of the Year (also for Into the Woods)
NOMINATED: Saturn Awards – Best Actress
NOMINATED: Teen Choice Awards – Choice Movie Actress: Action Adventure
WON: Alliance of Women Film Journalists – Kick Ass Award for Best Female Action Star
WON: Critics Choice Awards – Best Actress in an Action Movie