Music is in Emily Blunt’s veins and, throughout her illustrious career, the actress has continued to show her affinity for song and dance, especially with her roles in two major Disney musicals, 2015’s Into the Woods and 2018’s Mary Poppins Returns. For her latest role, she plays a fiery Irish redhead in John Patrick Shanley’s Wild Mountain Thyme. In the escapist romance, she gets to bring her vocals to a rendition of the famed Irish folk song the movie’s title gets its inspiration from.
After the pressure of following Julie Andrews’ iconic and practically perfect Mary Poppins role, you’d imagine standing up in the Irish pub to sing the song would be easy breezy. When CinemaBlend spoke to Emily Blunt, she talked about preparing for her Wild Mountain Thyme performance following the experience of these high-profile numbers:
The good news is that I didn’t have to dance, that was kind of a welcome relief. I think that doing Mary Poppins and Into the Woods was helpful because I still find it really nerve-racking to sing in front of people and it kind of helped me get over that a little bit… I was more nervous to sing for Christopher Walken, who we were all madly in love with and it was quite an experience for me to sing in his iconic blue eyes and then see him start to cry. It was just one of the best days ever, really.
Emily Blunt was alleviated by the lower pressure of simply singing the song on the stage after some seriously huge movie scenes on her shoulders. In our interview, she talked about how Mary Poppins and Into the Woods were helpful in terms of her easing some nerves she used to have about singing on film. Though she did get nervous about performing in front of Christopher Walken, a giant among actors. Blunt talked more about singing “Wild Mountain Thyme” in the emotional scene with these words:
I think what I like about the scene in Wild Mountain Thyme is it’s not a big show stopping number, it’s literally rather this imperfect version of a song. We did a pre-record, we did that on the day, but then Shanley ended up just using the live version, because it sounded imperfect and it sounded real like you were just singing a song in a bar.
What’s different about Wild Mountain Thyme is it’s not a musical, it’s a movie that just happens to have Emily Blunt’s Rosemary Muldoon singing. It’s a change of pace from her other singing credits, but it's refreshing to see the actress use her singing talents in a different context. Wild Mountain Thyme’s central story revolves around Rosemary and Anthony Reilly (played by Fifty Shades of Grey’s Jamie Dornan), as she gets in the middle of some family drama between Reilly and his father, played by Christopher Walken. Check out the trailer here:
During CinemaBlend’s interview with Emily Blunt and Jamie Dornan, the actor also talked about the loads of livestock they worked with while shooting the film in Ireland. Both the actors are actually allergic to many of them and were plagued with hives for most of the shoot. Wild Mountain Thyme also stars Jon Hamm and is based on a Broadway play by John Patrick Shanley. The new release is available to see in select theaters and to rent on demand.