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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

December 10, 2009 at 11:43 AM

On the phone with Emily Blunt

That’s why I’m a little tardy in getting something on the blog today; I had a scheduled interview with Emily Blunt this morning, to talk about her new movie “The Young Victoria” (which I’ve seen, and which is a wonderfully intimate story of Queen Victoria’s early years, with Blunt giving a performance both imperious and vulnerable). (It’ll open in Seattle December 25. Enough parentheses.) Telephone interviews, particularly with famous folk, are always odd: you don’t get much time; you’re always aware of publicists lurking on the line; and usually you don’t feel like you’ve established much rapport, which is much easier to do in person. But Emily was upbeat and charming (she’d just had a delicious turkey burger, she confided) and happy to talk about the role. Here’s her response when I asked about the importance of the costumes for a performance like this — if something, when the costumes go on, finally clicks into place:

I think that’s exactly what it is — something finally clicks into place, as well. Even when we rehearsed in our Ugg boots and jeans, it didn’t feel the same as when you’d get into the corset and the costume. You just feel different. I think that’s as much as I can express, it’s just more about a visceral feeling, they’re transporting in how they make you walk and move, I always find that very helpful. . . . I wanted it to be that [Victoria] would kind of bob a little bit, she’d turn quickly and she moved quite quickly. I wanted her to fidget a bit and not to glide as well as I’m sure our historical advisor would have liked me to. He was encouraging me to try to glide more!

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In other important costume matters, Blunt said that no, she wasn’t able to keep her chic outfits from “The Devil Wears Prada” — they were auctioned off for charity. “I wish I had! It would have been great!”
And, for today’s good read, Blunt is part of an actress roundtable at the Hollywood Reporter, featuring the splendid sixsome of Blunt, Patricia Clarkson (Oscar-buzzed for “Whatever Works”), Mo’Nique (“Precious”), Vera Farmiga (“Up in the Air”), Carey Mulligan (“An Education”) and Robin Wright Penn (“The Private Lives of Pippa Lee”). I loved reading that Wright always wanted to be a Red Cross nurse, Mulligan used to work as a barmaid, and Farmiga came into acting in an unexpected way:

Vera Farmiga: Acting was one of those forks in the road for me, where I hung an extreme right in high school. Until then, I imagined my life as either an opthamologist or as a shepherdess. Just sort of roaming about and having my own tranquil lifestyle and aligning my spirit with nature. I think what happened is, I was benched playing varsity soccer in high school and it coincided with a heartbreak and I was sitting there bored and frustrated and bereft of love. So, someone asked me to audition for the school play and I did.

A fun group of gals to hang out with, I imagine.

Emily Blunt in “The Young Victoria” (Photo credit: Liam Daniel, copyright GK Films LLC, 2008)

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