Emily Blunt re­veals a new tough­ness — and gets to up­stage Tom Cruise in her new film

The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - MOVIES - Words sandy co­hen

“be­cause now I know what I’m ca­pa­ble of.” Di­rec­tor Doug Li­man said Blunt’s char­ac­ter is “the hero of the movie”.

“Emily’s per­for­mance is even more im­pres­sive when you step back and see that she dom­i­nates the screen against the big­gest movie star in the world whose char­ac­ter also hap­pens to have a su­per­power,” he said.

Blunt’s next role de­manded a dif­fer­ent sort of brav­ery: singing on screen. Blunt, Streep and Depp star in Rob Mar­shall’s dark mu­si­cal fairy­tale, Into the Woods, due in the­atres on New Year’s Day. She worked with a singing coach to pre­pare for her role in the Stephen Sond­heim adap­ta­tion. Be­sides train­ing, Blunt draws on her deep love of people to in­form the char­ac­ters she plays. An avid reader, she finds that dis­cov­er­ing char­ac­ters on the page in­spires her when she cre­ates them on the screen.

“When I choose to play a char­ac­ter, it’s be­cause I love that hu­man heart­beat that they have and I’ve found an ‘in’ with them,” she said. Dis­con­nect­ing from Hol­ly­wood is part of the process. Blunt recharges at home with her hus­band, ac­tor John Krasin­ski, and their 3½-month-old daugh­ter, Hazel. The cou­ple likes to en­ter­tain, and Blunt cooks Ital­ian dishes, and a few from her home­land (“English food is un­der­rated,” she said).

That source of off-cam­era love and sta­bil­ity al­lows Blunt to weather Hol­ly­wood’s whims and fol­low the but­ter­flies when a chal­leng­ing role beck­ons.

“It’s such an un­known, this busi­ness,” she said. “You don’t know when you’re next work­ing, you don’t know who you’re next play­ing, you don’t know who you’ll next be work­ing with, so I do be­lieve you’ve got to walk into each day with great hope.”

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