English actress Emily Blunt says she was attracted to starring in the film Arthur Newman after reading the script and realising that her character’s desire to reinvent herself, everyone relates to.
“I think, when I read it, there is something recognisable [about the character] in that everyone, at some point in their lives, has wanted to be someone else and wanted to escape,” the actress says. “I understood that thing of wanting to escape and be someone else.”
In Arthur Newman, Emily is joined by fellow Brit actor and Dubai Film Festival regular Colin Firth, who plays Wallace Avery. Wallace is a failed golf pro, a divorced man and a disappointing father, so he decides to fake his own death and reinvent himself as Arthur Newman.
Hitting the road as Arthur, his new life is derailed with the entrance of the unstable Michaela Fitzgerald (Blunt), who quickly busts his identity scam. Firth wants the audience to not just relate to Arthur and Michaela’s plight but take a look at their own priorities.
“To say that [Wallace] is nothing special is an understatement, but then he starts to find out by coming up against certain things, things that for him are pretty extreme, he actually starts to come into focus. This isn’t some fortune cookie morality thing… it is just a very truthful study of how life happens and just finding out what matters to you,” says Firth. “And that is a very, very big deal, people need as much courage sometimes to reflect on yourself in a way that is challenging in the same way that it [takes courage] to go into outer space and travel great frontiers.”