Emily spoke with the Daily Express about her accent for her role in The Girl On The Train.
EMILY BLUNT has revealed the thinking behind her character’s British accent in The Girl On The Train, despite the movie being relocated to the US.
The 33-year-old is nominated for a BAFTA for her work in the Box Office smash, which is adapted from Paula Hawkins’ widely popular novel.
Although the book was set in the UK, the film takes place in New York – but lead character Rachel Watson remained British.
In an interview to promote its release on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download, she explained the very good reason behind the decision, saying: “It’s an homage to the book, and I also think the idea is to make her seem as isolated as possible.
“So [Tate] Taylor [director] said, ‘keep your accent, that might help’.”
Indeed, “isolated” is a very good way of describing Rachel – one of Emily’s most challenging roles to date.
“When you see the movie, hopefully you’ll see why!” she laughed.
“But she is a very damaged, dark, self-loathing character. I hope I’m none of those things! It was about getting into a completely different internal way of thinking.
“In quite a physically demanding part, she gets into a few tussles.”
In addition to a BAFTA nod for Best Actress In A Leading Role, Emily is also in line to collect the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role this Sunday, January 29.
The drama was also up for Favourite Thriller Movie at the People’s Choice Awards, which it ultimately won; although it ultimately was snubbed by the Oscars.
The Girl On The Train is available on Digital Download from January 28, and Blu-ray and DVD from February 6.
Emily did a new Q&A with Deadline on her film The Girl on the Train.
Emily Blunt practices what she preaches. As cinema is under increasing pressure to acknowledge and deliver work that appeals to more than white teenage males, so Blunt is using the profile she’s developed through roles like The Devil Wears Prada, The Young Victoria and Sicario to bring to the screen fully-rounded female characters. They’re present in everything she’s done lately, whether that’s Rian Johnson’s Looper, the Tom Cruise actioner Edge of Tomorrow, or Universal’s fairy tale The Huntsman: Winter’s War. The Girl on the Train, based on the publishing phenomenon of the same name, is the latest, demanding that Blunt lay bare the flaws of a deeply troubled and unreliable narrator.
Did you follow the book phenomenon with The Girl on the Train when it was first published?
I hadn’t read it, but I saw everyone reading it. I suppose I was being a bit contrary; I didn’t want to read the book that everyone was reading. Then, [producer] Marc Platt called me and said, “You probably should read it, because we’re really interested in you for it.” It’s easy to see why it became such a hit; that tantalizing idea of the danger being so close to home for people, and the underbelly of domestic life. These characters—these women—are flawed, and they are relatable. Finally there are women you can identify with to varying degrees. And how cool to have your protagonist be a black-out drunk?
Is there a thin line between getting that right and becoming some awful caricature of a drunken person?
Well, I was nervous, and I think there are pitfalls; that sort of drunken uncle act, and lurching about all over the place. I didn’t want it to be comical in any way; it has to be upsetting and embarrassing to be around her, and she has to appear dangerous in some capacity. When you’re around a true alcoholic, it’s ugly. It stops being funny.
I did have to do a huge amount of research and I found the most helpful thing was to watch documentaries about alcoholism. Louis Theroux did one recently, and there was a bit where this guy turns to him and goes, “Do you hate me, Louis?” I got goose bumps. Just the idea that you loathe yourself and you think others must loathe you too, and how lonely that must be.
But you also have to remember that this is a thriller and not just a portrait of alcoholism. You want to misdirect with it. The ambiguity of it is interesting to play with.
You mentioned the complexity of the women in this movie. Why do we still have to make a point of that? Shouldn’t we be there by now, across the board?
It is such a rarity, and you do still hear, batted around a lot about women, that they be likeable and approachable, because that equals bankable. I feel this movie is women’s right to be bad. It was so liberating and exciting to be able to dive headfirst into the reality, which is that women are flawed. We mess up every day, just like men. We can be aggressive and unfaithful and cruel, and it’s OK to present that to an audience.
It must still come down to the fact that most screenwriters are men.
That’s my feeling, and I think because this book was written by a woman, and adapted by a woman, there is just a different sensibility. I think it’s important we all talk about that, and how we can inject this industry with more respect for well-rounded characters for women. It really does start on the page, because inevitably a male screenwriter will have a different sensibility. I often find myself saying to male screenwriters, when I’m developing a script with them, “Just write me as you would write a guy and I’ll do the girl stuff.”
It’s crazy that you have to say that.
But it’s the easiest shorthand to getting to where I want to be. This change is very slow, but I do feel it’s moving. I feel like we’ve got a new wave coming in. And it’s not quite a tsunami, but it’s happening. I feel it starting to churn. I have faith.
I truly believe we’re so inundated and anesthetized by comic book movies and big blockbusters. They’re designed just to assault your senses and be entertaining. And they’re entertaining for sure. I like popcorn as much as I like steak, but I feel like people are yearning for a connection; to feel something. You just want people to walk out of the cinema and talk about what they’ve just seen. Not, “Where do you want to go for dinner?”
You’ve done popcorn films, but they’re films like Edge of Tomorrow, which is much more complex and cerebral than most aspire to.
I really love doing popcorn movies. I think that film in particular might be the movie I’m most proud of, actually. It was such an impossible feat. The mileage Doug Liman got out of the repeating day was insane. It was human, and funny, and not at all earnest. The stunts were in service to the story, and the story was rock solid. That’s why Tom [Cruise] is really smart. He makes sure his films are injected with a deeper meaning. We’re all so proud of how it turned out.
You’re next doing Mary Poppins. Isn’t that a little intimidating?
I’m aware she’s so iconic and emblematic of people’s childhood nostalgia. I’m just trying to allow all of that to be white noise and to do my version of her. I’ve been reading the books a lot, and that’s given me a different angle on it in some way. We start rehearsals this month.
Added a bunch of new stills to the gallery from Emily’s film The Girl On the Train
We reveal the talent in the running for this year’s Evening Standard British Film Awards
From Ken Loach’s latest passionate polemic to the feel-good return of Bridget Jones, 2016 has been a mighty year for British film across all genres. As always, London has led the way with its international, outward-looking approach. British talent also dominated Hollywood this year — Benedict Cumberbatch brought magic to the Marvel Universe as Doctor Strange, Mark Rylance joined forces with Steven Spielberg to breathe life into The BFG and Emily Blunt thrilled with her star turn in The Girl on the Train.
Our longlist for the London Evening Standard British Film Awards, revealed today, captures the unique sensibility of the capital, celebrating its diversity and creativity.
Films are eligible for consideration if they had a public screening in London between February 7 and October 21. This year’s advisory judging panel comprises Evening Standard film reviewers David Sexton and Charlotte O’Sullivan; Evening Standard film and TV writer Ellen E Jones; Kate Muir, chief film critic for The Times; Peter Bradshaw, Guardian film critic, and Tim Robey of the Daily Telegraph. The panel is chaired by Evening Standard editor Sarah Sands.
The shortlist will be announced in the paper next Thursday. The three final contenders for the Everyman Award for Best Film will be screened to the public in Everyman cinemas in the last two weeks before all winners are revealed at the ceremony at Claridge’s on December 8.
The winner of the Editor’s Award in partnership with Claridge’s — a special honour for a cinematic event or person to have grabbed the headlines in the past year — will also be announced on the night.
This year also sees a new audience award for Most Powerful Scene, created by Finch & Partners, where readers can vote online for their favourite film moment from 2016. The 10 scenes to choose from will be published in the Evening Standard tomorrow with details of how to vote.
Previous winners of our film awards include Daniel Day-Lewis, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Idris Elba, John Hurt, Glenda Jackson, Mike Leigh, Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Stoppard and Kate Winslet.
New West End Company Award for Best Actress
Gemma Arterton, Their Finest
Kate Beckinsale, Love & Friendship
Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train
Alexa Davies, Spaceship
Alice Lowe, Prevenge
Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky
Rosamund Pike, A United Kingdom
Tilda Swinton, A Bigger Splash
EMILY BLUNT STARS IN THE SUSPENSEFUL ADAPTION OF THE BEST-SELLING NOVEL THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN
ON DIGITAL HD JANUARY 3, 2017 AND 4K ULTRA HD™, BLU-RAY™, DVD AND ON DEMAND JANUARY 17, 2017
“The darkest, sexiest, most daring thriller of the year.” – Entertainment Weekly
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif., Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Questioning everything she knows, a woman must face her terrifying past in the wake of a darkly mysterious event to piece together the truth in the provocative thriller, The Girl on the Train. Based on USA TODAY’s 2015 Book of the Year and the #1 New York Times Bestseller by Paula Hawkins, the suspense comes home when The Girl on the Train arrives on Digital HD January 3, 2017 and 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand January 17, 2017 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and DreamWorks Pictures.
Emily Blunt (Sicario, Edge of Tomorrow) delivers a riveting performance as Rachel, a woman devastated by divorce, who spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day. The mystery unfolds as she becomes increasingly un-hinged and serves as the unreliable sole witness to a tragic disappearance in Director Tate Taylor’s (The Help, Get on Up) suspenseful film adaption that Entertainment Weekly has hailed “the darkest, sexiest, most daring thriller of the year.” The Girl on the Train Blu-ray™ and DVD includes never-before-seen deleted and extended scenes and exclusive bonus features allowing audiences to go behind the scenes with the cast for the ultimate in-home movie experience.
Blunt heads up the talented all-star cast that includes Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation), Haley Bennett (The Magnificent Seven), Justin Theroux (“The Leftovers”), Luke Evans (Dracula Untold), Edgar Ramirez (Joy), Allison Janney (The Help, Spy), Laura Prepon (“Orange is the New Black”) and Lisa Kudrow (“The Comeback”).
Here is a video of Emily talking about her new role in The Girl on the Train with InStyle.
Perhaps what makes Emily Blunt so mesmerizing as the alcoholic lead in the film adaptation of the best-selling novel, The Girl on the Train, is that the character couldn’t be further from her real-life disposition. Each day on set, the 33-year-old actress transformed from a beloved, quick-witted new mom to an isolated, blackout drunk—and managed to do it so believably that the film’s cinematographer calls her an Oscar contender.
“This was a very challenging role in more ways than one, very far removed from who I am as a person, and so I needed to understand that mindset and the addictive mentality and what it is to suffer with this illness,” InStyle’s November 2016 cover star says in the video above.
“It’s something that I just don’t understand, I’ve never experienced. And so I spoke to people, I read books, and I watched Intervention on a loop, which was really eye opening,” Blunt says. The transformation wasn’t all mental: The mom-of-two spent many hours in the makeup chair to achieve the look of a spiraling alcoholic loosing her grip on reality.
“They gave me sort of a rosacea effect. This was all makeup, a lot of really attractive sort of grey bags and brown lines, just bringing out my own natural lines,” she says. “I wore a full bloodshot contact lens and I had different stages of drunkenness. So some were pinker and some were really red, and they had a yellow one for the hangover. All day I’d have this lovely guy Zach putting drops in my eyes because I was just in agony with these things.” Beauty is pain has never been taken quite so literally.
Blunt walked a fine line between acting unlikeable and untrustworthy, and still playing the audience’s most reliable eyes and ears. “There’s nothing really likeable about her and the way she lives her life, so I saw that as a challenge, you know, that I had to really still pull the audience in,” she told InStyle. “It was an eye-opener, I think, to wear that skin for a while.”
I have found some more stills that have been released from The Girl on the Train and I have added them to the gallery.
Emily and Paula Hawkins are on the cover of the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter.
“There’s just so much judgment with women,” says star Blunt as she takes on a tough and not at all likable (“my least bloody favorite word in the industry”) character in Universal’s film adaptation of a blockbuster novel that highlights the darker urges of suburbia — but please, says author Paula Hawkins, stop comparing it to ‘Gone Girl.’
“I stink terribly of onions,” is the first thing Emily Blunt says, right before she leans in for the customary Hollywood air-kiss greeting on a warm September morning. “I’ve just been cooking at home.”
We’re meeting in a tiny 10-seater coffee shop in Brooklyn, and Blunt — wearing a breezy cornflower linen dress, her hair tied in a bobbing blond ponytail — looks very much like she just stepped out of a country kitchen. “My baby pulled away from me while nursing because of the smell. ‘Ick,’ ” she jokes, referring to 12-week-old daughter Violet, who’s waiting for her at the nearby townhouse Blunt has been sharing with husband John Krasinski for slightly less than a year — long enough for their 2-year-old, Hazel, to begin stretching her vowels. “She’s sounding a bit American from what I see. ‘Can I have some wah-ta?’ ” the London-born actress re-enacts, her Queen’s English shifting to a nasally New York accent. “I was like, ‘Wodder?’ And she went, ‘No, it’s wah-ta.’ I was like, ‘Oh, for God’s sake!’ ”
It’s immediately obvious why Blunt, 33, was chosen for one of the three female leads in The Girl on the Train, Universal’s much-anticipated R-rated adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ best-selling thriller. She’s perfect for Anna, the beautiful, happily married mother living a life of upscale bliss whose typical worry is whether her baby’s pureed fruit is organic.
Except, of course, that’s not the part Blunt will be playing in Girl on the Train, which opens Oct. 7. Instead, she’s starring as Anna’s nemesis, Rachel, a 32-year-old blackout drunk and sometime stalker who may (or may not) have witnessed (or committed) a crime while inebriated. It is by far the darkest, roughest role the British actress and soon-to-be Mary Poppins (she is about to uproot the entire family to London for eight months to start shooting the Disney musical) has yet attempted. Which, naturally, is what drew her to it.
“With so many movies, women are held to what a man considers a feminine ideal,” says Blunt, sipping a soy cappuccino. “You have to be pretty. You have to be ‘likable,’ which is my least favorite bloody word in the industry. Rachel isn’t ‘likable.’ What does that mean? To be witty and pretty and hold it together and be there for the guy? And he can just be a total drip?” That Blunt herself seems extremely likable as she says all this only underscores her point.
“People say, ‘Oh, she’s way too beautiful to play her,’ ” says Hawkins of the actress who’ll be portraying her literary creation. “But that doesn’t matter. The thing about Rachel is her self-loathing, about what she feels about herself, and Emily really brought that out in the way she carries herself. All that damage is visible.”
The Girl on the Train was last year’s single-biggest literary phenomenon. It sold nearly 6 million copies in the U.S. alone and more than 15 million worldwide. It spent 88 consecutive weeks on The New York Times best-seller list — debuting at No. 1 in all formats, from hardcover to e-book to movie tie-in paperback — and has been published in 50 countries in more than 40 languages.
Emily Blunt talks about the forthcoming film adaptation of The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins’ bestseller about an unemployed alcoholic who witnesses a disturbing event from a train window. Blunt discusses simulated sick and the differences in drinking culture between the US and UK. Co-stars Luke Evans and Haley Bennett also discuss voyeurism
Emily talks to Access Hollywood about her role as Rachel and how it was liberating for her to play her.