Sundance Interview With Emily Blunt

By Steve West 2008-01-20 09:25:29discussion comments
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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 didnít laugh at meÖ 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. Sheís now a player in town, and people are quite aware of her presence. As they should be, sheís 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 characterÖ

What possessed you? (laughs)

Why would you ever play the part of Norah?

Sheís awesome! I loved her, she was so eccentric. Kind of wacky, and smoked a lot of pot. So, you knowÖI was stoned. (laughs) No, Iím just kidding. I always go for characters who are kind of conflicted in some way. And I think sheís 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 wouldnít leave him alone, he was just fantastic. I think he has the preconception of being a crank, and heís just the biggest goof. We loved him.

I havenít had a chance to see the film yet, but I hear Alan is phenomenal in it.

Heís wonderful.

Working with someone like that, youíve worked with the likes of Meryl Streep. And phenomenal older actresses.

Yeah.

Youíre part of the younger crowd coming up. Whatís 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 theyíve started. So I feel very responsible to the business, and to choosing the right things. Because I think in this day and age weíre overwhelmed by the blockbusters Ė the special effects Ė 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. Iím all for that.

Is that one of the reasons you chose this movie? It is a comedy.

Yeah, but itís a dark comedy. The toneís unusual, and itís kind of complicated. The characters are so rich.

And real.

And real. Itís moving, with this kind of funny dark edge to [the characters]. Itís a comedy about crime scene cleanup, cleaning up blood and guts up off the ground. You know?

Yeah, thatís a ďuniqueĒ job.

Yes. (laughs) I wouldnít want to do it.

Your job is pretty unique. Not many women get to do what you do. And I know youíve mentioned before this kind of fell into your lap.

Yeah.

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 donít really mix withÖlisten: I donít like watchful women. Iíve never been good with that; Iíve never been good in a gaggle of girls. Itís never appealed to me. Thereís people I mind missing out on parts to, but thereís people Iím 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 donít care, because sheís so bloody good. I donít pay attention to it. I donít go to the scenes; I donít go to the clubs. So, thatís how you avoid it.

Did you just get here today?

Yesterday.

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?

Itís kind of nuts, you know. I love that everyone is in their Ugz and hats, and so unglamorous. So itís kind of nice. I donít have to wear high heels all the time.

Is there anything youíre interested in checking out while youíre here?

Good luck. Iíve got two films here, so itís naps and press. Thatís my Sundance experience.

Your other film here is The Great Buck Howard, correct?

Yes.

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. Johnís 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 itíd be fun.

Well, youíve 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. Iím about to do a kind of horror-drama with Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins called The Wolf Man. Thatís a period piece. I want to mix it up, the good thing about Sunshine Cleaning was that itís very upsetting as well. Itís quite moving, so we got to do both. We got to do drama and comedy.

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