Emily Blunt is the cover feature of UK Vogue “The Real Issue”. Here are digital scans:
Emily is the cover feature of November issue of InStyle, here’s the article, and scans will come soon!
Girl on the Train Star Emily Blunt on Playing a Drunk, Overcoming a Stutter, and Keeping a Low Profile
It wasn’t easy transforming Emily Blunt into a bloated alcoholic for her starring role in the highly anticipated thriller The Girl on the Train. First, there were the cheek plumpers. “The prosthetic people created these molds that clipped onto my teeth to make my face seem puffy,” says Blunt, who, along with her makeup artist, Kyra Panchenko, studied mug shots of drunk drivers to get the look just right. “When we were filming, we were very specific about where she was during the day: how drunk she was, whether or not she was hungover,” says Blunt. “Kyra is so talented. She used gray eye shadow under my eyes to bring out the circles and a little brush to paint spider veins all over my face.” And perhaps the strangest act of makeup subterfuge? A series of bloodshot contact lenses that were switched based on her level of intoxication (pink for tipsy, red for drunk, yellow for hungover). “She’s beautiful, so it was quite hard to make her look horrible,” says Tate Taylor, who directed the film. “I kept saying to the crew, ‘All right, can we get them back in here and make her look a little more drunk and ugly?’ ”
At first, Blunt admits, it was challenging to wrap her mind around the character, a depressed alcoholic who is obsessed with her ex-husband and his new wife (not to mention a random couple who lives a few doors down from them). “The way I live my life is just so dissimilar,” says the actress, who was pregnant with her second daughter, Violet, during filming. To prep for the role, she watched episodes of the documentary series Intervention. “I needed to understand what addiction does to you physically and mentally and how it affects your self-esteem. This woman I play onscreen is so damaged, so broken down, that people don’t even want to breathe the same air as her.”
The exact opposite could be said for Blunt. When we meet for lunch at a cozy local restaurant near the new Brooklyn home she shares with her husband, actor John Krasinski (The Office), and daughters Hazel, 2, and Violet, 5 months, she radiates a kind of low-key, self-deprecating charisma that is hard to resist. Glowing with the flush of new motherhood and fresh off a round of publicity and photo shoots tied to The Girl on the Train, she breezes into the restaurant like some sort of Hollywood unicorn: an actress who is utterly enchanting yet completely unaffected. “I’m still breast-feeding, so I am hungry all the time,” she tells me as she scans the menu. Dressed in cream culottes and a transparent black blouse from Maison Scotch, she looks like a slightly grown-up and more sophisticated version of her famous Devil Wears Prada character. Imagine Emily as an upgraded Miranda Priestly, editor-in-chief of Runway, all clean lines and sumptuous fabrics. “I love a high-waist slouchy trouser,” she says, casually regarding her outfit. “I’m off jeans at the moment.” As she speaks, she runs her hands over a gold Jennifer Fisher necklace that dangles from her neck. “I have a J and an E, and I’m going to get the girls’ names engraved on this,” she says, pointing to a blank gold bar. She and Krasinski chose the names Hazel and Violet because they liked their “antique” British vibe. “They sound like two little old ladies,” says Blunt with a laugh. “They should be playing bridge or something.”
Eight weeks postpartum, Blunt is still adjusting to the reality of having a newborn again. “After we got home from the hospital, I didn’t shower for a week, and then John and I were like, ‘Let’s go out for dinner.’ I could last only about an hour because my boobs were exploding. When the milk first comes in, it’s like a tsunami. But we went, just to prove to ourselves that we could feel normal for a second.” Transitioning from one to two kids hasn’t been easy. “It’s a zoo!” Blunt says. “When there was just one kid, somebody would get to sit down. Now nobody gets a break. But John is the most unbelievable daddy. He prioritizes Hazel so she doesn’t miss me too much because I’ve been so consumed with the baby.” Hazel is slowly getting used to having a little sis. “There have been no physical attacks or suffocations,” Blunt says dryly. “She fluctuates between complete disinterest and moments of sheer passion.”
If Blunt seems refreshingly unassuming, it may have something to do with her background. As a child, the actress suffered from a stutter. “I think whatever you have to overcome in life ultimately paves the way [for whom you become as an adult],” she says. “I got teased a lot, and to this day, I hate unkindness in people and bullies.” When Blunt was little, she used to tell people that her name was something other than Emily because, like many stutterers, she had a hard time saying her own name. “Names are always tricky because you can’t substitute a different word and there’s so much pressure attached to it. Even nowadays, when I’m tired or I feel put on the spot, I still sometimes struggle to get the words out. When I make a phone call—especially if I’m calling someone I don’t know—I have to mentally prepare myself. There’s always a big pause between when they ask ‘Who’s calling?’ and when I say ‘Emily Blunt.’ ”
The actress, who believes performing in school plays as a child helped her overcome her fluency issues, is now an outspoken advocate for the American Institute for Stuttering’s annual gala. “Bruce Willis basically strong-armed every famous stutterer I know into being a part of it,” she says. Vice President Joe Biden, Samuel L. Jackson, and Harvey Keitel have all been honorees. You never truly outgrow a stutter, she says. But most people learn to adapt. Take Willis. “He has always had a stutter. But he makes it work for him. You know how he speaks kind of quietly in a halting way?” It may seem counterintuitive that so many actors struggle with the disorder, but Blunt says it makes perfect sense. “If you speak to any actor, they will tell you that they never stutter when they act. Acting is a way of removing yourself from yourself.” In becoming somebody else, she says, you escape the self-reflection that often gets in your way.
The same skills that allowed Blunt to overcome her stuttering have helped her forge a reputation as one of the most versatile actresses of her generation. “No one can put her in a box, because she’s done so many different movies,” says Girl on the Train cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen. “Some actresses make a career out of playing themselves. But with Emily, it’s true talent. She can act any part.” Taylor agrees: “She really gets to the depth of what a character is on an intellectual level.” In addition to her scene-stealing performance opposite Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada, Blunt has earned critical praise for her roles in period biopics (The Young Victoria), sci-fi thrillers (Edge of Tomorrow), and dramas such as the BBC TV movie Gideon’s Daughter, for which she earned a Golden Globe and a Peabody Award. But with her starring role in The Girl on the Train, which promises to be this fall’s box office equivalent of Gone Girl, Blunt is about to be catapulted to a whole new level of stardom. “It’s a hell of a performance,” says Christensen. “If she doesn’t get nominated for an Oscar, I don’t know … she should be!”
For now, as she awaits the October release of the film, Blunt is lying low with her family. On weekends they sometimes escape to visit friends in Connecticut, New York’s Westchester County, or Martha’s Vineyard, where they recently stayed with close buds Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen. “It’s hard to really travel much with a newborn,” she admits, tucking into a warm bowl of ricotta cavatelli with tasso ham. Fortunately, she doesn’t mind staying close to home. “Most people who live in Brooklyn are very respectful of our privacy, so I feel protected here,” she says. “You don’t get screamed at in the street. If anything, people are like, ‘Oh, I love your movie,’ and that’s it.” In L.A., where the couple recently sold their house to Kendall Jenner, it’s a very different scene. “Famous people are everywhere, so there’s a more cavalier attitude toward celebrities. There’s an expectation. ‘You’re going to take a picture with me’ is a phrase I’d hear a lot.”
As you might have guessed, the actress is not big on selfies. In fact, she is quite happy to completely eschew the entire social-media circus. “To be honest, I’m crap at all of it. I can barely keep up with email and texts, let alone send out a public account of what I’m doing all day.” Though she does maintain a private Instagram account (“The only people I follow—besides my friends—are Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer because they make me laugh”), she doesn’t feel any obligation to go public. In fact, quite the opposite: “You’ve got to draw the line somewhere,” she says. “My job is to persuade people that I’m somebody else and allow them to go on that journey with me. If you share too much about yourself, people’s interest becomes about you as opposed to the roles you have played.” Blunt is nostalgic for Hollywood’s Golden Age, when the absence of social-sharing platforms such as Instagram and Twitter let movie stars maintain a sense of mystery. “There used to be such mystique to actors—you’d see them, and they were like rare birds.”
Blunt’s peppermint tea arrives. “Nobody in this town knows how to make a proper tea,” she jokes, ripping open the tiny sealed pouch and dunking her tea bag into the cup of lukewarm water in front of her.
This fall, when the actress and her clan temporarily relocate to London for her upcoming role in the remake of the classic film Mary Poppins, Blunt will have no problem finding a decent cup of tea. Her entire family lives there (including her oldest sister, who is married to actor Stanley Tucci—the two met at Blunt and Krasinski’s wedding at George Clooney’s estate on Lake Como), so she is thrilled to return home. Equally exciting to the theater buff, who made her début at 18 on the London stage opposite Judi Dench? Appearing as Mary Poppins with Hamilton star Lin-Manuel Miranda. “I saw his show on Broadway three times, like a stalker,” she explains when asked whether she knew him personally before they started filming. “It’s heart-racing, the whole project.” In the new movie, Poppins comes back after the Banks kids have grown up and now have their own children. “And miraculously, Julie Andrews has turned into me,” Blunt says. “But she’s not as good of a singer.” Truth be told, the actress—who had extensive lessons before she sang in the musical fantasy film Into the Woods—is no slouch when it comes to vocals. In fact, she has been quietly making money off her voice for years, playing parts in animated films such as Gnomeo & Juliet and the upcoming adaptation of the popular children’s TV show My Little Pony. “It’s nice to do these films, because my kids will be able to see them one day,” she says. “That and I like to show up for work in my pajamas.”
When not wearing her PJs, Blunt leans toward more structured silhouettes. “For the red carpet, I like formfitting clothes,” she says. “I’m not so good with the sort of ethereal, girlie, whimsical things. I tend to go for dresses that have bold cuts and strong colors.” After Blunt leaves the restaurant this afternoon, she is heading home to try on a bunch of dresses for The Girl on the Train première. “My friend is coming over with a nice bottle of pinot noir, so it might be a pump-and-dump night,” she says. But first she will tend to priorities: feeding Violet and putting on a fashion show for Hazel. “My daughter thinks it is thrilling when my stylist comes over with racks of clothes. I always let her try on the stilettos.”
Emily Blunt and Paula Hawkins are the cover feature of the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter, it has a new interview and photoshoot. Here are digital scans:
Emily Blunt’s metamorphosis into Rachel Watson, the physically ravaged, emotionally shattered alcoholic in “The Girl on the Train” (out Oct. 7) burrowed deeper than a mere Hollywood make-under.
“I don’t have an addictive personality whatsoever, so it was like wearing somebody else’s skin,” Ms. Blunt said of portraying the New York City suburbanite obsessed with a seemingly perfect couple she glimpses each day on her soused commute — just two doors down from where her ex-husband lives with his new wife and baby. And when her fantasy woman goes missing in this feverishly anticipated adaptation of the Paula Hawkins literary sensation, Rachel, her memory failing, fears she is responsible.
“As alien as this person is to who I truly am, I had to understand her and empathize and get into that mind-set,” Ms. Blunt added. “The thing I found most helpful was watching ‘Intervention’ on a loop until I had seen every type of addiction in action.”
Since snap-snapping her fingers into stardom as Miranda Priestly’s senior assistant in “The Devil Wears Prada,” Ms. Blunt has revealed an impressive range, veering from an alien-battling warrior in “Edge of Tomorrow” to the barren Baker’s Wife in the screen musical “Into the Woods” to an F.B.I. agent stalking a Mexican drug cartel in “Sicario.”
Offscreen, she’s the mother of 2½-year-old Hazel and 3-month-old Violet, her daughters with her husband, John Krasinski. In a phone interview from their Brooklyn home, the London-born, crisply funny Ms. Blunt, 33, talked about filming while pregnant and life with another actor. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Were you a fan of the book before you took on the role?
I was determined not to read the book initially because I saw everyone else and their auntie reading it. Then the producer called me and said, “We’re really interested in you for it, and do you want to have a read and see what you think?” I could quickly see why it became the phenomenon that it did. These domestic thrillers are quite tantalizing for readers. You can see yourself in these people. And that idea of danger being close to home is exciting.
What appealed about Rachel?
I don’t think I’ve ever played somebody who is living in such a dark place, who is truly in the depths of despair. And it was such an unusual element for your female protagonist, your heroine, to be a blackout drunk. In these movies that are expected to be blockbusters, women are usually held in some sort of feminine ideal, so that they’re appealing and likable and pretty. And I just thought, How fantastic that she looks like this and that she is your eyes and ears, the most unreliable witness, the most unreliable narrator in the world. It was a very easy yes.
Your Rachel is not the very overweight Rachel of the book.
Tate [Taylor, the director, whose credits include “The Help”] wanted it being less that she physically had let herself go and more a state of mind. She is not just an addict. She is compulsive and voyeuristic and damaged and self-loathing. Considers herself dangerous. I thought, What a thrill to play somebody who spends the entirety of the film living in fear of their own abilities and their own downfalls.
What are the hallmarks of her addiction?
Oh, huge guilt and huge regret — and regret is one of the most horrific emotions. She’s been spun a whole web of lies that she so readily believes about herself. She is certainly not somebody who walks into every room with great hope. She walks into every room with the idea that nobody wants to breathe the same air as her.
How far did Tate allow you to go in finding the character?
He gives you free rein, and I found that very helpful, to not feel straitjacketed or to conform to somebody else’s vision. She really needed to be my own, because it was such a stretch for me. The more I do this job, the more I realize that so much about performance is creating happy environments for people and making sure that they know that they can mess up and it doesn’t matter. You can always go again.
Did it bother you that the setting was moved from London to Ardsley, N.Y.?
In a way you can transplant this movie and put it anywhere, because that suburban commute is universal.
Did you actually shoot on a train?
We shot all of the interior stuff on this incredible rig that they made with green screen and plate shots. It was incredibly technical and complicated, and everyone just felt really seasick, because the train was jiggling around and moving but going nowhere. So it was like being in some weird twilight zone. And it was suffocatingly hot, and the poor extras were barely being offered a thimble of water.
And you were pregnant on top of it.
The only person who knew was Justin Theroux, because he’s my long-term friend. And he guessed, because I was being a bit of a wuss about some of the stunts. He was like, “You did ‘Edge of Tomorrow.’ What is wrong with you? Are you pregnant?” And I was like: “Yes, but shut up! Don’t tell anybody!” Then I had to tell Tate a little further along, because there was that scene in the bathtub, and I was like: “Here’s the deal. You have to shoot it from behind.” And he was like, “Why?” And I was like, “No. 1, because I don’t want to show everything, but No. 2, because of this.” I was like 20 weeks when we finished.
You’ve spoken out about the need for pay equity in Hollywood. Do you feel you’ve made a difference?
It is up to people like me, in my very fortunate position, to fight for equal pay, because that means that people who have less of a voice may receive the same. But I honestly don’t know if speaking out is the thing that makes the difference. I think it’s more in how I react when I’m making a deal.
You’ve been cast as Mary Poppins in a coming remake, and Julie Andrews has given you her stamp of approval.
Well, thank God! Can you imagine if she was like, “Oh God, not her”? I’d be devastated. But I’m very excited. My heart races about it, actually. And what a gift as a mom to have that for my daughters.
What’s it like being a working mother in a two-actor family?
[Laughs sharply] Sometimes actresses talk about being a working mother as if they’re the only working mothers in the world. My sister, for example, is a literary agent who literally wakes up to 800 emails in her inbox, and she has a 19-month-old. I don’t know how she does it. I actually get long chunks of time off that I take very seriously, because my kids are at very tender ages where they need me. And I’m very fortunate, because there are so many mothers who don’t get to be picky about when they work.
The two-actor family thing has always been something wonderful for John and I, because we deeply understand what each other do and have a shared love of it. Actresses say to me, “Oh I could never be with an actor.” But I think it depends on the actor. You know, I just happen to be with a very secure, wonderful one.
With great abs, according to People magazine.
With great abs. Exactly.
The World Premiere for The Girl on The Train was held in London earlier and here are some photos (more coming!)