Despite indelible performances as Anne Hathaway’s tormentor in “The Devil Wears Prada” and as Tom Hanks’ seductress/underwear model in “Charlie Wilson’s War,” Emily Blunt remains a household-name-in-the-making probably because she’s such a chameleon.
But the star, as they say, is on the rise: The London-born actress can now be seen as a savvy publicist in “The Great Buck Howard”; as Amy Adams’ lost-soul sister in “Sunshine Cleaning”; and, soon, as “The Young Victoria.” We recently spoke with the 26-year-old actress:
Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Jason Spevack, Steve Zahn, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Clifton Collins, Jr.
(Overture Films; US theatrical: 13 Mar 2009 (Limited release); 2008)
Q. The character-driven “Sunshine Cleaning” seems neither comedy fish nor dramatic fowl. How do you see it?
A. I certainly signed on to do an upbeat drama, so it’s pretty much what I expected. But it’s tonally complicated, and quite melancholy. The girls are going through a crisis; it involves a catharsis. They’re looking for escape. And they’re survivors in very different ways.
Q. Both Norah in “Sunshine Cleaning” and Valerie in “Buck Howard” do not seem to be easy characters to wrap your head around.
A. I’m drawn to any character who strikes me as being complicated and a challenge, because I feel people are complicated. They’re not easy to sum up. And I don’t want to pigeonhole myself. Norah’s an American girl, vulnerable, curious - there was lots to play with.
Q. How was it playing the world’s coolest aunt to little Jason Spevack in “Sunshine Cleaning”?
A. We worked a lot together, hung out, played games - he’s a sweetheart. By the time we got on camera, he was comfortable leaning on me.
Q. Were you as comfortable with Amy Adams?
A. We both understand sisters - they can be your best champion, and they can also break your heart. Amy’s also the best playmate. She’s not self-conscious, doesn’t mind making an idiot of herself, and we pushed each other. We also laughed a lot.