Emily Blunt, young Victoria in the film “The Young Victoria,” which the Cinema Society screened to VIPs last night, told me the rigors of play ing Her Majesty the Queen.
“Between the gown and the crown, it was so restricting. Especially when I remember how difficult it was for me the first time I wore a bra. And now these costumes! I wish the public had been able to see behind the scenes in the dressing room getting into those tightly corseted Victorian outfits. I learned how to survive when they lace you tight. It takes getting used to. You must inhale so your rib cage expands. This way, after you’re all done up you can have room to breathe. Any other way, and there’s no wiggle room.
“We wore flats under those huge, voluminous gowns, which, in fact, they actually did in the early period. They wore ballet boots.“And the tiara. It was my real hair, not a wig. The thing was so heavy, so huge and pinned onto me so tight that I think they must’ve used duct tape.
“After a day’s shooting, I’d instantly put on sweat pants. I needed something comfy. I needed to feel my inner organs working again.
“There was also the posture. I’m slouching right now, my feet on the couch as you and I are speaking on the phone. Playing Queen Victoria, I always had to sit straight up, stand straight up. The balance, the posture had to be absolutely correct.
“At the end of a day in her life she’d often collapse. She had no life. It was all restriction. The duress, the pressure, ridiculed publicly in cartoons, much as our politicians are today. She’d see herself in the paper being made fun of, see the whole country turn against her, people standing on pedestals speaking out against her in public. It was too much for her to bear.”
And then said Emily Blunt: “Everyone thinks royalty is so grand. It’s really hard. I wouldn’t want to live with that protocol, being on all the time, constantly under watch. She was acquainted with grief. I’ve read her actual diaries, seen what she writes about the manipulation. I read about her dreams and how she hated this person or that. It was quite emotional. She was a young girl and in way over her head.”
Source: NY Post