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Emily Blunt New York Mag Interview

Some celebrities walk the red carpet at fund-raisers to give a charitable boost to their public personas, or because they know that there will be cameras there. Not Emily Blunt, who showed up at the American Institute for Stuttering 5th Annual Benefit Gala at the Tribeca Rooftop last night because she’s got a very personal connection to the subject: She used to be a stutterer, too.It may be hard to believe that an actress so facile with accents could ever have had a speaking problem, but as Blunt told Vulture, stuttering was a major issue for her while growing up — and in a way, she’s got her acting career to thank for helping ease her out of it.

This cause has been a personal experience for you?
Very much, yeah. I’m actually on the board for the American Institute for Stuttering. They honored me about two years ago, and since then I’ve really been a very active member for it, because I think they’re using revolutionary techniques to help people get through this really anguished struggle of having a stutter. I think they’ve had huge success with the methods that they’ve used. I wish to God I’d known about them as a kid, because I maybe would have avoided eight to nine years of it not being an easy time.

Up until what age?
I think it started to eke itself out; between the age of 7 and 14 was when it was really bad. And around 12 it was at its worst. Not an awkward age at all to be unable to speak. Some people can grow out of it. It’s easier for girls, funnily enough. Genetically, it’s more common in boys.

So what happened? Did you grow out of it?
It was a combination of a few things. One was just growing out of it. Another one was gaining some kind of confidence. I had a really amazing teacher at that age, when I was 12, and he was really kind and helpful and encouraged me to be in the class plays, which previously I had no interest in being in ’cause I couldn’t talk. He said, “Well, why don’t you try it in a different voice? Try to do a funny voice or an accent. Maybe that would help.” But it really did, I was actually able to speak fluently. Once you’re able to hear yourself speak fluently, albeit in a ridiculous accent, you gain the confidence to think this could happen again and again. It was easier after that night, of that school play. It all became a bit easier.

You sawThe King’s Speech, no?
I did. I absolutely loved it. It was the most authentic portrayal of a stutterer I have ever seen. I spoke to Colin about it and was in wonderment how he managed to do it. Apparently the screenwriter had also had a stutter, which was really helpful. He really managed to capture that hesitancy, that vocal-cords-locking-out syndrome that happens. What’s exciting about what Colin did was he actually put a face to stuttering, actually opened up people’s minds around the world to the plight of someone who has one. So I think a lot of stutterers are very grateful to that film and the awareness he brought.

Anything in particular you could relate to?
Yeah. Public speaking, that kind of thing. In a smaller way, I was asked to read out a poem to my class, which was terrifying. And it’s all relative. I wasn’t reading a speech to the entire country, but I was reading a poem to my class. But, equally terrifying, in a way.

And you’re about to make a dark comedy with Colin?
This autumn, yeah. It’s a very strange, beautiful film. Just me and him, effectively. [Laughs.]

What’s it been like filming in Michigan?
I like it! I mean, we’re filming in Ann Arbor, which is a college town, so there’s lots of fun restaurants and bars, and it’s a sweet little place. I’ve actually really liked it. Midwesterners are very friendly. They’re nice peeps.

Someone on Twitter saw you on a moped earlier today.
Out on what? Yes, yes! God, Twitter isterrifying. It terrifies me in that way! We did. We went and got meatballs on our Vespa. This place is amazing, we’ve just discovered. The Meatball Shop. The Lower East Side. The best. So good.

Source: NY Mag

 

'The Adjustment Bureau' Interviews Recent Headlines

Emily Blunt Interview For ‘The Adjustment Bureau’

British actress Emily Blunt fully excels in George Nolfi’s romance thriller ‘The Adjustment Bureau.’ In the film she stars alongside Matt Damon as the beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas, who falls in love with ambitious politician David Norris (Damon). However just as the pair realize they’re falling in love with each other, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart, the agents of Fate itself, the Adjustment Bureau, who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together. The film is out in cinemas now.

A key scene in the film is when you and Matt’s character meet for the first time?

Emily Blunt: Yeah, I felt the pressure with that scene trying to get it right. We had to get it right because it’s so important for the rest of the film, it’s lucky we had George as director and writer because he understands that we had stretch it out, or change it. It had to be instantaneous, that spark had to work.

It was great to have a romance that felt particular, and unique, and not like the kind of romance you see when you watch too many movies, that was the key for us, to try and find something that felt like these two had this kind of secret language that seemed to have gone back years before they met. We wanted it to be instantaneous, I think it helped that we set it in the most unlikely and unromantic place, I thought it was a really cool setting for these two to meet, it takes the edge off for people who may think this type of thing is a bit smoltzy.  It was so funny it was in this men’s bathroom, and so weird (laughs). That really struck me about the movie, that it was an unlikely, a different take on a love story. Matt is an instantly likable guy, he’s awesome so that made it easier. Continue reading Emily Blunt Interview For ‘The Adjustment Bureau’

Interviews Recent Headlines

Matt Damon and Emily Blunt Chat Adjustment Bureau

Luckily, the duo just so happen to be starring in writer-director George Nolfi’s romance/thriller THE ADJUSTMENT BUREAU, which addresses the above questions directly. Based on the short story Adjustment Team by Philip K. Dick, the film centers on the seemingly forbidden relationship between politician David Norris (Matt Damon) and dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt). As the narrative continues, the two are kept apart by a mysterious team of adjusters (otherwise known as the adjustment bureau) who claim it’s in everyone’s best interest if they go their separate ways.

Was there ever a real-life moment where you felt fate was so strong that you could not ignore it?

Matt cunningly replied: “I think Emily’s chance to work with me, must have been one of those moments…”

Emily shares: “I have one story which is pretty cool. I remember I didn’t get into this very amazing school that my sister went to and I wanted to be just like my sister. It’s this school called Westminster in London which is fiercely competitive. She gets in because she’s a brainiac and I don’t because I’m obviously not. So I remember at 16 just being completely devastated and my life was over and this was so sad. I ended up at my second choice school which had a good drama department – I previously hadn’t considered acting. But, I did a play through my school that went to a festival, I got an agent, he’s still my agent – and now I’m here with you. If I had gone to the other school I wouldn’t be doing this job, guaranteed. Really, it was meant to happen that I never went there.” Continue reading Matt Damon and Emily Blunt Chat Adjustment Bureau

'The Adjustment Bureau' Interviews

The Adjustment Bureau: Emily Blunt interview

Emily Blunt’s latest film, ‘The Adjustment Bureau’, sees the British star join Matt Damon on the Hollywood A-list. John Hiscock met her in New York.

It feels a little like Emily Blunt Month here in the United States, where the cheery British actress is popping up all over the place. She is on magazine covers, talk shows, red carpets – and, for now, sitting opposite me in a Manhattan hotel.

She has just flown in from Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband John Krasinksi (a fellow actor, he plays the Martin Freeman role in the American version of The Office) for the premiere of The Adjustment Bureau, a new romantic thriller in which she stars with Matt Damon.

The once stammering actress has learnt to handle the demands of the promotional treadmill like a veteran. “When you’ve done it a few times it becomes less nerve-racking,” she says.

Now 28, Blunt made her film debut in 2004 in Pawel Pawlikowski’s dark coming of age tale, My Summer of Love, a daring performance that won her a British Independent Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer. She says it is the only one of her films she recommends people to see. It also happens to be the one in which she spends most time naked.

“I’m really proud of it,” she says. “It’s not like any other movie.” She thinks for a second and adds with a laugh, “I don’t know why I’m broadcasting my breasts to the world. It’s a bit worrying.”

Now there is The Adjustment Bureau, written and directed by first-time director George Nolfi. Based on a story by Philip K Dick, it asks whether we are in charge of our lives or whether unseen forces manipulate our destiny. Blunt plays Elise, a ballet dancer who falls for a charismatic politician (Damon) who is running for the US Senate. Agents of the shadowy Adjustment Bureau, led by Terence Stamp, are determined to keep them apart.

Nolfi had intended to cast a professional dancer in the role of Elise but, he says, “In one meeting Emily completely derailed my plans. I could tell immediately she was the one.”

Blunt was attracted by the script. “I’m not a fan of science fiction but Philip Dick does the sort of science fiction that feels close to home and creeps into your subconscious,” she says. “He targets that paranoia that we all live with. Are we being manipulated? Are we being watched? There’s something threatening about his science fiction that I really enjoy,” she says.

Her biggest challenge was achieving the precision and form of a dancer. “I had never danced in my life. I told George I’d work my arse off if he gave me the role but the training was unreal.

“I had eight weeks’ solid training before the movie and then throughout filming, anytime I could I was in the gym or the dance studio.”

In the past, in films such as 2008’s indie comedy Sunshine Cleaning, she has demonstrated that she is perfectly capable of pulling off an American accent. But, although the character of Elise was written as an American, in The Adjustment Bureau, she retains her English accent because Nolfi liked the way she speaks.

One of four children of an actress mother and barrister father, Emily was raised in Roehampton and began appearing in school plays because she discovered that acting helped her stammer. “I started stuttering when I was about seven and it started to get better when I was 14,” she recalls. “I found it very liberating to be someone else and talk in a different voice. It was miraculous how I never stuttered onstage, but if you’re a stutterer you always have it and I still have it – on the phone or if I’m really tired and trying to relate a story.”

A theatrical agent signed her when she was 16 and she went straight into the West End, appearing opposite Judi Dench in The Royal Family. In 2002 she played Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at the Chichester Festival.

After My Summer of Love and a Golden Globe win for her part in Stephen Poliakov’s TV drama Gideon’s Daughter, Blunt made her scene-stealing Hollywood debut in the role of the arrogant assistant to Meryl Streep’s fashion editor in The Devil Wears Prada.

“That role changed things in a huge way for me,” she says. “If you play such an off-the-wall character people see you can play a variety of roles. I never expected the reaction that film got.”

After that, she showed up briefly with Tom Hanks in Charlie Wilson’s War, co-starred with Steve Carell in Dan In Real Life and was the lead in The Young Victoria. Next month she will shoot Looper, a time-travel thriller set in New Orleans.

Through it all she has managed to remain down-to-earth, refusing to take her new Hollywood life too seriously. In fact, she still seems somewhat surprised at the turn her career has taken.

“I didn’t have a burning desire to act,” she says. “When I was three years I didn’t want to be an actress – I wanted to be the tooth fairy. So it is bizarre how it happened. But when it did I embraced it.”

Source: Telegraph UK