Emily Blunt: ‘Don’t Be Led By Fear’

Jeanne Wolf

December 10, 2009

Article taken from Parade.

Emily Blunt already has a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress for the TV drama Gideon’s Daughter, as well a nomination for The Devil Wears Prada. Now, she may be chasing Oscar gold for her performance in Young Victoria, revealing the teenage years of the queen who ruled Britain for 63 years.

Blunt told Parade.com’s Jeanne Wolf how the role gave her a new perspective on the real woman behind the legend.

What surprised her.
“The only thing I knew about Queen Victoria was that old lady that got wheeled around looking miserable. So when I got the script about this rebellious young girl and it was all about the love and the passion of her life, I thought, ‘My God, this is such an intimate portrait of a girl who’s a real person rather than just a royal.’ I was really amazed by her strength after a lonely oppressive childhood. She was such a fighter. She knew she would be great and she was such a modern thinker.”

Connecting with a queen-to-be who rebelled as a teen.
“I was definitely a rather unpleasant teenager at times. From the time I was 14 to about 16, I was no fun for my parents. Then, when I turned 18, I was just going to those stupid parties where no one is actually having a good time and everyone’s sitting around and drinking cheap vodka or something. Then you realize that’s no fun.”

Having a real royal on the set.
“Sarah Ferguson was one of the producers. She may be the Duchess of York, but she doesn’t really give you any reason to feel nervous. I mean, she’s like, ‘Call me Fergie.’ She’s honestly the kind of person you would want to go and have a drink with. She’s really a lot of fun. Fergie was the one who could pull strings to get us into royal locations, so she was vital to the whole look of the film. But, she said, ‘What the hell do I know about making films? I’ll pop in and make tea now and then.’ And she did. She came in and served tea.”

Her real-life royal memory.
“I presented Princess Margaret with a bouquet of flowers when I was four-years-old. I remember I had my toy with me, this heinous looking little duck that was probably reeking because I’d slept with it every day since I was born. I remember like shoving it in her face and saying, ‘This is my ducky.’ And she went, ‘Oh, I can see he’s very well loved.’ Actually, I thought she was sweet.”

Don’t talk to her about Oscar buzz.
“I cringe so hard at it. I hope people see the film. If it’s getting that kind of buzz, then maybe that’s a good thing because then more people will go and see it. Otherwise a movie like this could easily sit on a shelf gathering dust compared to what New Moon is doing. So I hope at least any kind of buzz around it will get people to go and see it.”

What’s guiding her career.
“Don’t be led by fear. Making films is like a fear-led industry where everyone’s like, ‘If we don’t do this, we’re going to miss out on this and then we’re screwed.’ It’s that sort of attitude that I really want to fight against. It’s just never been important to me to make a big splash. If I’m in a movie, I don’t care whether it’s two scenes or the whole deal or whether it’s a big budget. The fame thing seems to be the whole deal in Hollywood and the reason why people take on these huge movies to maintain it. I keep hearing, ‘You have to have staying power.’ I believe that comes from doing good work.”

Don’t expect to see her on the Tinseltown scene.
“I don’t go to the clubs. I think in this town, particularly at those parties, everybody’s so busy being seen that you don’t actually see anyone. I really think it’s as simple as choices. This job can enrich your life in so many ways, but I think it can limit you as well if you become insulated like that in a celebrity bubble.”

The message she’d like the media to stop sending.
“I am from a family of thin children, so I have always been OK with that. I’ve only lost weight for The Devil Wears Prada and that was because my character was supposed to be on the edge of anorexia. But I think the pressure is so huge on young girls right now to lose weight and it needs to diminish. It is becoming worrying how many super thin girls we see walking around, and they are so obviously ill. It is kind of accepted and it is glamorized more than it should be.”

Her next big challenge.
“I’m playing a ballerina in The Adjustment Bureau. Dancing is probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. But, I think it’s probably good sometimes to be put in situations which are so frightening and to have to try to overcome them. I think it helps you overcome your fear.”

Script developed by Never Enough Design