How hot is Emily Blunt’s career?
Nuclear reactor red.
Hard to believe the first time American audiences saw her was only five years ago as a totally amoral rich teen in the Brit import “My Summer of Love.”
Since then we’ve seen Blunt as a cutthroat fashionista in “The Devil Wears Prada,” as a neurotic high school French teacher with a crush on a student in “The Jane Austen Book Club,” as Steve Carell’s hot blind date in “Dan in Real Life,” and as a rich Texas girl with a thing for congressmen in “Charlie Wilson’s War.”Last week she stole “The Great Buck Howard” from John Malkovich and Colin Hanks, playing a tart-tongued publicist in the great screwball comedy tradition.
This week she stars in “Sunshine Cleaning,” in which she and Amy Adams play sisters who start a business to remove blood and other bodily fluids left behind after suicides, “undiscovered” deaths and violent crimes.
“It was gross,” Blunt, 26, said in a recent phone conversation.
“It was awful working in these crime scenes, even if it wasn’t real blood and guts. I mean, there were real flies. We had a fly wrangler. The flies behaved, so I guess they were well wrangled.”
In the film, which mixes drama and comedy, Blunt plays a 20-something slacker girl. Her Norah seems like a quintessentially American character, until Blunt reveals that the character was based on an acquaintance in England.
“That’s my usual process … I try to borrow elements of someone whom I know or know of. And then you act.
“This person I stole from is left of center and smokes pot and is as much an escapist from reality as Norah is. And I hope she never knows I used her as a model for the character.
“But there are a lot of people like that in London. This particular girl is marvelously quirky and not necessarily all that happy, both things that apply to Norah. What interested me about this character is that despite her deep sadness, she’s very curious. And there’s a fundamental honesty about her … she wants to live her life without regret.
“I could completely relate to that.”
At one point in “Sunshine Cleaning” Norah shares a relationship with a nurse played by “24’s” Mary Lynn Rajskub.
“The weird thing is, Norah’s straight. Or at least I think she is,” Blunt said. “But she’s yearning for emotional connections. I don’t think she’s a lesbian at all. Just bored and compulsive.”
Working with Amy Adams was a bit like frolicking in a sandbox, Blunt said.
“Amy is the greatest playmate. Really funny and willing to make a complete idiot out of herself. But her character, Rose, is unlike anything she’s done before. She’s very hardened yet very sad.”
And having veteran Alan Arkin around to portray the girls’ father was a plus.
“Alan’s the best. He was a great sounding board for all of us. He’s been doing this for so long and there’s not an ounce of BS with him. And he’s really funny.
“He’s also really deaf, but Amy and I think he might be putting us on about his hearing so he doesn’t have to listen to directors.”
Everything Blunt has done up to this stage seems like training for her next role as a young Queen Victoria in “The Young Victoria,” opening later this year.
“It was really challenging and daunting at first. I read everything I could find on her, and I’m excited because the film will alter people’s image of her.
“You say ‘Victoria,’ and people imagine a sour-faced, repressed old lady with a hanky on her head.
“But as a young woman she was rebellious and feisty. This script offers a very intimate portrait of her and her family, without the stuffiness you find in lots of period films. That stuffiness keeps audiences at arm’s length. This Victoria is flesh and blood.”
After that we’ll see her opposite Benicio Del Toro in “The Wolf Man” and as a thief who interrupts the retirement of a veteran hit man (Bill Nighy) in “Wild Target.”
Like we said … hot.
Source: Kansas City