Emily Blunt: A star who’s about to be born
Despite indelible performances as Anne Hathaway’s tormentor in “The Devil Wears Prada” and as Tom Hanks’ seductress / underwear model in “Charlie Wilson’s War,” Emily Blunt remains a household-name-in-the-making probably because she’s such a chameleon.
But the star, as they say, is on the rise: The London-born actress can now be seen as a savvy publicist in “The Great Buck Howard”; as Amy Adams’ lost-soul sister in “Sunshine Cleaning”; and, soon, as “The Young Victoria.”.
Q. The character-driven “Sunshine Cleaning” seems neither comedy fish nor dramatic fowl. How do you see it?
A. I certainly signed on to do an upbeat drama, so it’s pretty much what I expected. But it’s tonally complicated, and quite melancholy. The girls are going through a crisis; it involves a catharsis. They’re looking for escape. And they’re survivors in very different ways.
Q. Both Norah in “Sunshine Cleaning” and Valerie in “Buck Howard” do not seem to be easy characters to wrap your head around.
A. I’m drawn to any character who strikes me as being complicated and a challenge, because I feel people are complicated. They’re not easy to sum up. And I don’t want to pigeonhole myself. Norah’s an American girl, vulnerable, curious – there was lots to play with.
Q. How was it playing the world’s coolest aunt to little Jason Spevack in “Sunshine Cleaning”?
A. We worked a lot together, hung out, played games – he’s a sweetheart. By the time we got on camera, he was comfortable leaning on me.
Q. Were you as comfortable with Amy Adams?
A. We both understand sisters – they can be your best champion, and they can also break your heart. Amy’s also the best playmate. She’s not self-conscious, doesn’t mind making an idiot of herself, and we pushed each other. We also laughed a lot.
All About Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt is a British actress best known for her roles in The Young Victoria (2009) and The Devil Wears Prada (2006).
She was born Emily Olivia Leah Blunt on February 23, 1983, in Roehampton, South West London, England, the second of four children in the family of a teacher mother and barrister father. She received a rigorous education at Ibstock Place School, a co-ed private school at Roehampton. However, young Emily Blunt had a stammer, since she was a kid of 8. Her mother took her to relaxation classes, which did not do anything. She reached a turning point at 12, when a teacher cleverly asked her to play a character with a different voice and said, “I really believe in you”. Blunt ended up using a northern accent, and it did the trick, her stammer disappeared.
From 1999 – 2001, Blunt went to Hurtwood House, the top co-ed boarding school where she would excel at sport, cello and singing. She also had two years of drama studies at Hurtwood’s theatre course. In August 2000, she was chosen to perform at the Edinburgh Festival. She was signed up by agent, Ken McReddie, who led her to the West End and the BBC, scoring her roles in several period dramas on stage as well as on TV productions, such as “Foyle’s War”, “Henry VIII”, and “Empire”. In 2001, she appeared as “Gwen Cavendish” opposite Dame Judi Dench in Sir Peter Hall’s production of “The Royal Family” at Haymarket Theatre. For that role, she won the Evening Standard Award for Best Newcomer. In 2002, she played “Juliet” in “Romeo and Juliet” at the prestigious Chichester Festival.
Blunt’s career ascended to international fame after she starred as “Isolda” opposite Alex Kingston in Boudica (2003). A year later, she won critical acclaim for her breakout performance as “Tamsin”, a well-educated, cynical and deceptive 16-year-old beauty in My Summer of Love (2004), a story of two lonely girls from the opposite ends of the social heap. Emily Blunt and her co-star Natalie Press shared an Evening Standard British Film award for Most Promising Newcomer. In 2005, she spent a few months in Australia filming Irresistible (2006) with Susan Sarandon and Sam Neill. Blunt gave an impressive performance as “Mara”, a cunning young destroyer who acts crazy and surreptitiously provokes paranoia in others. She also continued her work on British television, starring as “Natasha” in Stephen Poliakoff’s Gideon’s Daughter (2005) (TV) opposite Bill Nighy, a role that won her a 2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.
She continued the line of playing manipulative characters as Emily, a caustic put-upon assistant to Meryl Streep’s lead in The Devil Wears Prada (2006). Blunt’s performance with a neurotic twist added a dimension of sarcasm to the comedy, and gained her much attention as well as new jobs: in two dramas opposite Tom Hanks, then in the title role in period drama The Young Victoria (2009). Her most recent works include appearances as antiques dealer Gwen Conliffe in The Wolfman (2010) and as ballerina in The Adjustment Bureau (2011).
Emily Blunt is a highly versatile actress and a multifaceted person. Her talents include singing and playing cello; she is also skilled at horseback riding. She was in a relationship with Canadian singer Michael Buble, whom she met at the Australian Logie Awards in 2005, and again a few months later backstage at his Los Angeles concert. Their relationship ended in 2008. Blunt’s friend, Anne Hathaway, introduced her to John Krasinski, and they have been together since November 2008. On August 28, 2009, Blunt and Krasinski announced their engagement. The couple married On July 10, 2010, at the estate of their friend, George Cloony, on Lake Como in Italy. Emily Blunt and John Krasinsky are living in Los Angeles area, California.