British actress Emily Blunt first made a splash in the 2006 film playing Meryl Streep’s snobbish and harried assistant. And she still has vivid memories of working with Streep.
“It was like the air shifts in the room when she works…sometimes I’d forget my lines ’cause I was too busy watching her and watching what she was doing and being enthralled by it,” she told Here & Now‘s Robin Young.
Blunt’s performance in “The Devil Wears Prada” earned her international acclaim, as well as a Golden Globe nomination. She went on to star in films like “Sunshine Cleaning,” “The Young Victoria” and “The Adjustment Bureau.”
Her latest film, “Salmon Fishing in The Yemen,” is based on a best-selling British novel about a Yemeni sheik’s improbable dream to bring the sport of salmon fishing to his country. Blunt plays the sheik’s consultant, Harriet, who brings in a fisheries expert (Ewan McGregor) to help realize her employer’s dream.
Blunt says it was her mother who convinced her to take the role.
“She said, ‘What do you think you’re going to do next?’ And I said, ‘Well, I don’t know. I’ve read this script that I really like – it’s called Salmon Fishing…’ And she went, ‘In the Yemen!’ She was like, ‘My God, that book! I love it!’” Blunt said.
An Early Stuttering Problem
Blunt first started acting when she was a teen, as a way to get over a childhood stuttering problem. A teacher had asked her to do a school play, and when Blunt turned him down, he pointed out that when she lost her stutter when she did voices and imitations. He also convinced her to perform using a different accent.
“It just sort of loosened up who I was,” Blunt said. “I think when you remove yourself from yourself as someone who stutters, it’s very helpful.”
Is Blunt Like Her ‘Devil Wears Prada’ Character?
Blunt says that though people often think she’s going to be cold and inaccessible, like her “Devil Wears Prada” character, she’s far from it.
In fact, one of her upcoming films, “Five-Year Engagement,” is a bawdy film, which she suggests her parents and her in-laws should skip!
On Husband John Krasinski
Blunt married “The Office” actor and Newton, Mass. native John Krasinski in 2010.
She is good-humored about sharing the spotlight with him. At a recent film screening in Boston, a female fan passed Blunt her phone number.
“But then as she handed me her phone number, she went ‘Your husband is gorgeous!’” Blunt said. “So I think maybe she just wanted to get in touch with my husband somehow!”
- Here & Now: Robin’s Interview with John Krasinski
- Emily Blunt, actress