Emily Blunt recently attended a showing of The Young Victoria at The Grove in Los Angeles, and stayed after to answer some questions from the audience. She touches on a lot of great point throughout, including bringing the film to America, and the difficulties of connecting to the character. It’s really a nice, intimate discussion, and having seen great work from her in more than one film last year, it’s nice to get this kind of format. Especially considering that her performance here is certainly in the top three of the year.Enjoy the interview, and below you can also get some clips in video.
Q: What makes this film’s portrayal of the queen unique?
EB: When I was first reading up about this film, I had no idea that there was this feisty, remarkable girl beneath the black, dour, sour-faced exterior that I’d become aware of in history class at school. So I think I was as surprised as everyone else. I think that everyone knows about the mourning and the grief and the unhappiness, but no one knows about the love and the passion [of Victoria]. Hopefully this film, if it does anything, will help people understand why she mourned [Prince Albert] so ferociously.
Q: What was the biggest challenge in portraying this character?
EB: As much as I could, I tried to approach her as the girl rather than the queen because she’s a teenage girl, who is in love and in a job where she’s in way over her head. And, at the end of the day, that’s at least a starting point that I can understand. But subconsciously, the more I read about her, the more I absorbed about her, I think I understood Victoria more than any other character I’ve played. (more…)
Emily Blunt, who was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance in The Young Victoria, is going to have a little face time with a few moviegoers in Los Angeles tonight. She will be having a Q&A session after the 7:15 screening of her film, The Young Victoria, at the Grove in Los Angeles on Thursday, January 14. She will, presumably, be answering questions about her role in the film, her experience filming, or anything else the audience decides to throw her way. If you are in the greater Los Angeles area, you can purchase tickets on the Grove website for the screening.
In case you’re interested in going to the screening, here’s a bit more about the film….
Directed by: Jean-Marc Vallée
Starring: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent, Thomas Kretschmann, and Mark Strong.
Official Synopsis: In The Young Victoria, Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada) delivers an incredibly appealing performance as Queen Victoria in the turbulent first years of her reign. Rupert Friend (Pride & Prejudice) portrays Prince Albert, the suitor who wins her heart and becomes her partner in one of history’s greatest romances. This love story, set amongst all the intrigue of the court, also features Paul Bettany (Iron Man, The Da Vinci Code), Miranda Richardson (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Jim Broadbent (The Damned United, The Chronicles of Narnia), Thomas Kretschmann (Valkyrie), and Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes, Tristan & Isolde).
The Young Victoria is written by Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park, Vanity Fair) and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y.). Producers on the film are Graham King, Martin Scorsese, Tim Headington and Sarah Ferguson.
Recalling Cate Blanchett’s emergence in “Elizabeth” (1998), Emily Blunt turns in a star-makingly regal performance in the first-rate period drama “The Young Victoria.”
The film, directed by Quebecois filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallee, scripted by Julian Fellowes (“Gosford Park”) and produced by Martin Scorsese and Sarah Ferguson, is a smart portrait of the 19th century chess game that is European royal political maneuvering. In particular it reveals the brokering of brides and grooms (I get it, Duchess), that goes on as the continental powers wane and the British Empire newly rises. (more…)
This holiday season, make way for the Queen. Queen Victoria, that is — and not the sour, black-clad matron you think you know. In The Young Victoria, Emily Blunt plays the monarch before she took the throne — as a beautiful, sheltered teenager and then in the first flush of passion with her young husband, Prince Albert.
The actress tells NPR’s Linda Wertheimer that she got to know that younger Victoria through her diaries and her letters, and through accounts of court life that portrayed “this vibrant girl” — a budding woman who danced late into the night, and who was in all ways much in love with life.
“There were anecdotes from people at court who would say that she would laugh so hard at dinner that food would fall out of her mouth,” Blunt says. “She was a party girl — she was rebellious.”
‘He Was By Far Her Greatest Achievement’
Rebellious, because although Victoria was heir to the throne, her ambitious mother kept her isolated and largely friendless, hoping to consolidate her own influence. The princess was in many ways a prisoner of the life she was born into.
“I think it was incredibly lonely,” Blunt says. “She wasn’t allowed any privacy; she wasn’t allowed to play. She slept in the same room as her mother until she was 18. … But she was one of these very resilient girls, and I don’t really understand how she was able to be that strong in wanting what was rightly hers — which was to rule independent of anyone who had been trying to handle or control her for all those years.” (more…)
‘We didn’t want people to be rolling their eyes at the opulence of the costumes,’ ‘Young Victoria’ star says of modern spin on lead role.
Born in London, Emily Blunt was discovered by an agent at 16, overcame a stuttering problem to make her stage debut at 20, won a Golden Globe at 24 and has had high-profile relationships with Michael Bublé and current fiancé John Krasinski. Also born in London, Queen Victoria ascended to the throne at 18, overcame multiple attempts to take her birthright away, reigned over England for 63 years and married her husband and soul mate at 21.
Despite nearly 100 years of separation, there are some links between the 19th-century monarch and the 21st-century Hollywood star. So when Emily Blunt set out to make her new film “The Young Victoria,” she was determined to give the character a modern-day interpretation. And based on the Golden Globe nomination she received earlier this week, Blunt is clearly doing something right.
“[Stuffy period films] are not up your street, I get it,” Blunt recently explained. “That’s not what we were trying to make. We didn’t want people to be rolling their eyes at the opulence of the costumes, [which] swallows up any sort of accessibility. We didn’t want that, and I certainly did not want that for her.”
“I tried to approach it as the girl rather than the queen,” she said of her portrayal of the historical figure as a fun-loving teen who is legitimately scared of the people (including her own mother) planning to usurp her power. “Reading so much about her, you really see the human side of that person who’s just a girl completely in love, and in a job where she feels overwhelmed.
“That’s how I approached it,” continued the actress, who broke out in the U.S. when “The Devil Wears Prada” made her a household name. “Hopefully you can identify with [my Victoria], and it has a contemporary flair to it.” (more…)
“This is honestly the first bad thing I’ve had to eat in a long time,” she says, slathering Devonshire cream on a scone during afternoon tea at The Peninsula hotel. “You can see why it’s become an all-you-can-eat buffet for me. I’ve been so starved.”
The 26-year-old star of The Young Victoria (in select theaters tomorrow)also reveals a set of newly sculpted arms that could rival Michelle Obama’s. “I’ve got guns now,” she says, with a mix of pride and embarrassment. “It’s kind of gross.”
And not very queenly. These tweaks to her physique and diet are the result of her upcoming turn as a ballerina in The Adjustment Bureau, not her Golden Globe-nominated performance as Queen Victoria.
“I was really surprised” by being nominated Tuesday for best actress in a drama. “I try hard to ignore any whispers of that. It’s kind of a meat market. You never know and it’s hard to predict. I just wanted any kind of buzz for a film like this. It’s hard in this climate for these kinds of films to get seen.”
The film shows how the friendship between Victoria and her first cousin, Prince Albert, deepens and eventually leads to marriage after Victoria inherits the throne at the tender age of 18 upon the death of her uncle, King William, in 1837.
Blunt says she had a preconception of Victoria.
“I only knew the image of her as the grizzled old woman,” she says. “To read about this spicy, spunky girl who said no to the world, it was really exciting and revealing to read her diaries and her letters. She was a modern girl, refusing to conform. And I loved that. She had this incredibly oppressive, lonely childhood, and yet she had the steeliness to rise above it all and become a success.”
Blunt says she was “quite pushy” about nabbing the role and “demanded” that producer Graham King give her a shot. After French-Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée made the final decision to cast Blunt, Rupert Friend signed on as Prince Albert. “We had a great time on that film,” Friend, 28, says. “I had seen (Blunt’s) British indie film called My Summer of Love, and I thought it was wonderful. I had been watching her from afar, like a creepy stalker. I’ve been a fan and thought she was a great actress.”
Blunt says the film offers an escape and emphasizes commitment. (more…)
Emily Blunt shines as the tough-minded British queen in this lush, and even sexy, period romance
There’s a reason Queen Victoria, who ruled Great Britain from 1837 to 1901, inspired one of the Kinks’ most joyous songs: The band’s 1969 “Victoria” opens with the words “Long ago life was clean/Sex was bad and obscene,” a recognition of England’s stuffy, repressive past that sounds like a rebuke — until the point, in the next verse, where the songwriting brothers Ray and Dave Davies declare, with irony-free affection, “I was born, lucky me/In a land that I love.” Victoria, the country’s longest-reigning queen, spent much of the 19th century getting her country ready for the 20th, preparing, unwittingly but dutifully, for two destructive and horrific wars, for the collapse of the empire she herself helped build, even for free love and rock ‘n’ roll. No wonder the Kinks loved all she represented, flaws and attributes alike.
“The Young Victoria,” directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, with a screenplay by Julian Fellowes, isn’t technically a rock ‘n’ roll movie. But behind its historical-drama flourishes, its lush, painterly cinematography and its somewhat romanticized (but perhaps not too romanticized, at least in movie terms) love story, it has a rock ‘n’ roll heart. Emily Blunt plays the young queen, and the movie wastes no time outlining the challenges and power struggles that dogged her before and after her coronation. Her uncle, King William (played by Jim Broadbent, in a wonderful, woolly hairdo), isn’t going to be king forever, and Victoria is next in line for the throne. Her mother, the Duchess of Kent (a suitably thin-lipped Miranda Richardson), is scheming with her advisor, Sir John Conroy (Mark Strong), to seize whatever power Victoria will eventually have. (more…)
Emily blunt is nominated for Best Actress in 15th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards.
BEST ACTRESS • Emily Blunt – The Young Victoria
• Sandra Bullock – The Blind Side
• Carey Mulligan – An Education
• Saoirse Ronan – The Lovely Bones
• Gabourey Sidibe – Precious
• Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia
Lovers of pomp, pageantry and extravagant period detail will find themselves exceedingly well served by “The Young Victoria,” a visually arresting and sneakily engrossing film about the courtship of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The movie, which stars Emily Blunt in the title role and Rupert Friend as Albert, accomplishes what the best historical fiction does: It sends viewers so gracefully into the rites and habits and language of another era (in this case Victoria’s ascendancy to the British throne in 1837, at age 18, and her subsequent marriage) that they don’t realize how much information they’re absorbing.
More than anything, “The Young Victoria” deserves kudos for dispelling the common image of Queen Victoria — that rather plump, matronly widow with the dour hankie on her head — and presenting viewers with a beguiling young woman imbued with spirit, intelligence and observant wit. Blunt, who has provided brilliant comedic support in such films as “The Devil Wears Prada,” steps regally into the role as the teenage Victoria, who as heir to the British throne has been brought up by her mother, the Duchess of Kent (Miranda Richardson), in near-pathological protectiveness. Even as a teenager Victoria isn’t allowed to walk down a flight of stairs unattended. (more…)
Once you get past the fact that lovely Emily Blunt doesn’t look anything like the dour historical pictures of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, The Young Victoria is an appealing and well-crafted, if staid, portrait of a fascinating ruler.
Though the film moves at a stately pace, the production design and costumes are sumptuous and the ensemble cast is splendid. But the film belongs to the title character, and Blunt deftly conveys the young queen of England’s grace and burgeoning steely resolve.
When the proceedings feel muted, Blunt enlivens them. Still, the tenor is one of a dignified fresco rather than a stirring film. (more…)