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September 28, 2012
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SJP


Blunt loves a good challenge
By JIM SLOTEK, QMI Agency


Emily Blunt (Reuters file photo)

There was a time when young British actresses didn't generally face non-corset-related occupational injuries.

And had she stuck to period pieces like 2009's Young Victoria, Emily Blunt might not have been limping at the recent Toronto International Film Festival, nursing a chronic Achilles injury.

"The Achilles has been an ongoing injury from (last year's) The Adjustment Bureau. So now I have to wear orthotics like a grandma," says Blunt, who co-starred with Matt Damon in that action film.

Indeed, her list of male leads is starting to look like the possible cast of The Expendables 3. At the film fest she was promoting the time travel-based action film Looper, with Bruce Willis. As you read this, she's in London filming All You Need is Kill with Tom Cruise.

Even her scene-stealing turn opposite Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada carried the risk of painfully falling off her pumps.

"What can I say? I'm a sucker for a challenge," she says. " I really enjoy having to ask myself the question, 'Oh God, how am I going to do this? I've never done this before.' That's one of the joys of the job for me."

Looper co-stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a hitman hired by criminals from the future to kill targeted individuals who are sent back in time. The time comes when his older self (Willis) is one of the intended victims.

In a key role, Blunt plays a single mom on a mid-Western farm who may or may not be the mother of a boy who will grow up to make these future crimes happen (try not to think about this too hard).

As cheekily outspoken as her name, Blunt laughs and ventures, "I think you're too hung up on this," when we start talking plot what-ifs. But she's a sucker for other challenges too, and if that involves supplanting her London accent with a mid-Western twang, then so be it.

Looper director Rian Johnson, "wanted it to sound mid-Western Kansas. He was quite specific. So I went to a great dialogue coach and listened to a lot of people from Kansas." Blunt, who did an American accent previously in the indie Sunshine Cleaning, has heard that Brits are supposedly naturally good at this.

"But I don't believe it," she says. "Believe me, I've heard a lot of British people butchering American accents. I would never take it for granted."

As action films go, Blunt says she came out of Looper relatively unscathed. "It was exciting to me to wield a gun and an axe. The closest I came to injuring myself was the scene where I'm chopping wood. It actually was quite tough. After Take 20 it was not so much fun."

All You Need is Kill is apparently action on a whole other scale. And apparently, it again involves time paradoxes (Cruise plays a soldier who keeps re-experiencing the last day of a bloody battle, a la Groundhog Day). It's less of a thinking man's action film, apparently, than Looper, which Blunt says, "I don't even really think of as an action film."

As opposed to Willis, "who is kind of shy and keeps to himself," Cruise has turned out to be "gregarious." More importantly, he travels with a mini-hospital for inevitable injuries.

"Tom says he's been pretty beat up by the movies he's done. But he has the most fantastic team of physio and chiro to keep him in check. I think he needs it. He's better than any stunt man. He does more than any stunt man would do.

"He promises to take care of me," she says, of the injury factor.

"It's been very exciting," she says of her career. "I like to think of it as sprints and lulls. I'm really not very good at the slow pace. And I like time off between jobs."

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