Emily Blunt is as genuine and nice as you probably imagine. The Golden Globe winning British actress was gracious enough to sit with Cinema Blend and discuss her new dark comedy, Sunshine Cleaning. And throughout it all she didn’t laugh at me… well, too much. Blunt did however sit and joke around with costar Mary Lynn Rajskub during our time together. The two appear to have an easy friendship.
Coming off a captivating, and hilarious, role opposite Anne Hathaway and the venerable Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada Blunt is aware of her place in the Hollywood landscape. She’s now a player in town, and people are quite aware of her presence. As they should be, she’s a part of a select few young actresses who are commanding respect with their talent. Emily Blunt is too busy being good to bother with being an embarrassment.
What drove you to the character…
What possessed you? (laughs)
Why would you ever play the part of Norah?
She’s awesome! I loved her, she was so eccentric. Kind of wacky, and smoked a lot of pot. So, you know…I was stoned. (laughs) No, I’m just kidding. I always go for characters who are kind of conflicted in some way. And I think she’s yearning for more, and is kind of lost. She just made me laugh, she was very endearing.
I saw you having fun with Mary Lynn. What kind of set atmosphere was there, did you enjoy working with the girls?
I always have fun with the girls. These two (Mary Lynn Rajskub and Amy Adams) were great, and Alan was pretty much the love of my life. (laughs) We wouldn’t leave him alone, he was just fantastic. I think he has the preconception of being a crank, and he’s just the biggest goof. We loved him.
I haven’t had a chance to see the film yet, but I hear Alan is phenomenal in it.
Working with someone like that, you’ve worked with the likes of Meryl Streep. And phenomenal older actresses.
You’re part of the younger crowd coming up. What’s it like being the new women on the block?
Well, you try not to emulate someone. You try to draw from people that you love. I guess you can call me a thief. I steal from everyone. (laughs) But you do feel a sense of responsibility to keep this kind of legacy that they’ve started. So I feel very responsible to the business, and to choosing the right things. Because I think in this day and age we’re overwhelmed by the blockbusters – the special effects – and I think the craft of it has been lost a little bit. So as much as we can maintain that in films that really move people, rather than leave you feeling numb. I’m all for that.
Is that one of the reasons you chose this movie? It is a comedy.
Yeah, but it’s a dark comedy. The tone’s unusual, and it’s kind of complicated. The characters are so rich.
And real. It’s moving, with this kind of funny dark edge to [the characters]. It’s a comedy about crime scene cleanup, cleaning up blood and guts up off the ground. You know?
Yeah, that’s a “unique” job.
Yes. (laughs) I wouldn’t want to do it.
Your job is pretty unique. Not many women get to do what you do. And I know you’ve mentioned before this kind of fell into your lap.
With the way Hollywood is, and how some of the girls are. How do you deal with the cattyness, or do you just ignore it?
I don’t really mix with…listen: I don’t like watchful women. I’ve never been good with that; I’ve never been good in a gaggle of girls. It’s never appealed to me. There’s people I mind missing out on parts to, but there’s people I’m so happy to miss out on a part to. Amy and I go up for a lot of the same stuff and if she gets it I don’t care, because she’s so bloody good. I don’t pay attention to it. I don’t go to the scenes; I don’t go to the clubs. So, that’s how you avoid it.
Did you just get here today?
The entire main street was all clubs.
I know, it was nuts. But we were in the Zoom (restaurant in Park City), it was like the after party for Sunshine Cleaning. I think everyone came there because the power cut; suddenly our party was the place to be because there was light.
Is this your first time at Sundance?
Yeah, first time.
How are you enjoying the festival so far?
It’s kind of nuts, you know. I love that everyone is in their Ugz and hats, and so unglamorous. So it’s kind of nice. I don’t have to wear high heels all the time.
Is there anything you’re interested in checking out while you’re here?
Good luck. I’ve got two films here, so it’s naps and press. That’s my Sundance experience.
Your other film here is The Great Buck Howard, correct?
And you play a PR Person. How did that come about?
I knew that John (Malkovich) was attached, and Colin (Hanks) was attached, and I just wanted to work with those guys. The script was hilarious, and I really wanted to see what John would do with this complete socially hopeless idiotic guy. John’s known to play kind of predatory, sort of dark, people. I wanted to see him be a goof. I was really intrigued. The PR girl was just very neurotic, funny, and I kind of knew someone like her. I just thought it’d be fun.
Well, you’ve played a lot of funny roles lately. Any interest in doing something really dramatic in the near future?
I did Young Victoria, about Queen Victoria. That was a drama. I’m about to do a kind of horror-drama with Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins called The Wolf Man. That’s a period piece. I want to mix it up, the good thing about Sunshine Cleaning was that it’s very upsetting as well. It’s quite moving, so we got to do both. We got to do drama and comedy.