“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.“I think it’s an important film to see — not to just learn about the history and be swept away into that other world. It’s also a film about real commitment,” Blunt says. “This is a day and age where people quit very readily on everything, relationships, jobs, marriage. It’s essentially a love story. It’s not trying to be a historical drama. If you want that, watch the History Channel.”
Blunt, who is engaged to John Krasinski of NBC’s The Office, says she found the love story “inspiring.”
“I thought the character of Albert was the picture of a real man, someone who loves selflessly and with great patience and fun and warmth,” she says. “I think it’s an important film for women to see and (know) what they should expect from a man. They should set the bar high. I say that to all of my friends.”
But that doesn’t mean she expects Krasinski, 30, to be her Albert.
“Can you imagine (me saying to him), ‘Model yourself on Albert?’ ” she says with a laugh. “No, John doesn’t need any help in that department.”
The couple started dating in November 2008 and were engaged in August. But they haven’t set a wedding date yet. “Oh, my God, I wish,” said Blunt, who wears a sparkling engagement ring. “We’re so badly organized.”
Up next for Blunt? Taking a break after shooting back-to-back movies, Adjustment and Gulliver’s Travels, out in December 2010. Blunt also stars opposite Benicio Del Toro in The Wolfman, opening in February.
“I think I’m going to take a few months off,” she said. “I want to find something really wonderful to do next and take my time to search through the dearth of great material, especially for women.”
Source: USA TODAY