Emily Blunt interview

Dubai Film Festival juror on Tom Cruise and shooting a musical

Emily Blunt was last seen on screen in one of this summer’s smartest movies, Edge Of Tomorrow, in which her job was to repeatedly shoot Tom Cruise in the face. A sort of sci-fi Groundhog Day, the blockbuster had her as the poster-girl for a future war between humans and aliens, in which Cruise’s lily-livered army PR is infected with extra-terrestrial DNA and returns to life each time he dies in combat. Figuring he is the solution, Blunt’s character repeatedly kills him at the end of each mission, so he can start afresh and penetrate the aliens’ hive anew. ‘In many ways it’s the perfect movie,’ its director Doug Liman quipped to us at the time. ‘If you love Tom Cruise it’s great, because it is a classic Tom Cruise action epic. And if you don’t like him it’s great too, because you get to see him killed about 200 times.’

Blunt, who claims to have taken ‘no pleasure whatsoever, thank you!’ in offing the action star for days on end, will next be seen by us in person, as she arrives next week in Dubai to take up her place on the jury for the third annual IWC Filmmaker Award (meet the finalists on page 17), in which emerging filmmakers will be competing for the budget to make a feature-length movie. She will also be on hand to oversee her latest blockbuster, Into The Woods,

Disney’s big-budget take on Stephen Sondheim’s deliriously twisted musical, as it closes DIFF in style on Wednesday December 17. ‘It’s a highly complex, emotional musical, with all of the most famous fairy stories in it, and yet it doesn’t end happily ever after,’ says Blunt of the movie in which she stars alongside a Hollywood who’s-who including Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick and Chris Pine. ‘There’s a complexity to it and there are undercurrents to it. There’s always something that challenges you with a Sondheim musical, and this is no different.’

As for challenges, unlike some of her co-stars Blunt isn’t complaining about the complexities of shooting a musical, either. ‘Don’t get me wrong,’ she says. ‘I wouldn’t say I’m a great singer, but I didn’t need to be. The thing with Sondheim is that he wants you to bring a reality to what you’re doing. He likes actors who can kind of sing, rather than singers who can kind of act. And that suited me just fine!’

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