C Magazine: Lady Of The House

As Emily Blunt takes her career to an adventurous new level—the actress fancies the comforts of home, now, more than ever.

“Is it weird to have scrambled eggs at five o’clock?” Emily Blunt asks as she orders eggs, spinach, toast and smoked salmon. After having spent the day practicing stunts and working out, it’s not weird at all. The protein load-up is for the action movie she’s filming with Tom Cruise, All You Need is Kill, that will keep her in London and away from her home in Los Angeles until early 2013.

  

It’s not the first movie she has had to train hard for; when she was shooting 2011’s The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon, she had to learn ballet, something she describes as “being like an alien language to me.” But the whole physical process of this, her first action role, has been so strenuous she admits, at times, the thought of stepping back into a corset and bonnet—the kind she wore in 2009’s The Young Victoria—is tempting.

“Tom was in today, and when he saw I had a bruise the size of an apple, he said”—she puts on a big, deep voice—“‘Yeah Blunt! That’s what an action movie’s all about!’ He thinks it’s fun that I’m losing my indie credibility. I hurt like hell!”

Putting on voices, or accents of all shapes and sizes, is what attracted Blunt to acting in the first place: “I had a really bad stutter as a kid, and the thing that got me out of it was to imagine I was someone else—to take on a new identity via silly voice or by mimicking. It was the only way I could speak fluently.”

She admits that in her early years she was occasionally teased for it: “Kids found it funny, and I can understand. There’s a frankness to the way they say, ‘What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you just say it?’” Fortunately, her parents—her father is a Queens Counsel barrister and her mother, a former actor-turned-teacher—knew she’d grow out of it. “They were there to catch us,” she says of herself and her three siblings, who grew up in Roehampton, just south of London. “Their presence and support was what allowed me to overcome and grow out of it. The stutter got left behind in the dust”—as did a career as a Spanish interpreter.

“I know! Can you imagine?” she laughs, then puts on a Spanish accent, “Me ll-am-o Em-i-lee!” Blunt deferred university—she had planned to study Modern Language—when she landed an agent at 18. That was only a year after a teacher cast her in a play in the Edinburgh Festival. A resounding success, the fledgling actress decided to work in television and theatre for a couple of years. Director Pawel Pawlikowski gave her a big break in 2004’s much revered art-house film My Summer of Love. For the audition, he asked her to imagine her father caught in flagrante with the secretary, then pretend the whole thing was just a joke—with all the crying and laughing that might ensue.

“I walked out and called my lovely agent Ken McReddie, whom I still have, saying, ‘Oh my god, I just made such a tit out of myself!’” It was but a hint of what was to come…

[Read more in the latest C, on newsstands November 27!]

Source: C Magazine

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