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INT: Emily Blunt

Mar. 28, 2007by: Ammon Gilbert

After visiting the set of WIND CHILL (see part 1 HERE), and talking with director Gregory Jacobs (which you can check out HERE), I had the opportunity to sit down and talk with star Emily Blunt, who's as beautiful in person as she is on the big screen. That and her British accent contribute to her likeability and her all around down to Earth personality. Keep on reading to see what I mean...

Emily Blunt

Why a psychological thriller/ horror movie for you, why now?

I thought it was very removed from anything else Ive done, and really Im making it for my 16 year old brother who has loathed my other movies that Ive done, and he thinks its awesome that Im doing this one. So this is for him, and I wanted to do something physical and its a stretch to do that deep fear acting and you dont want to spend too much time [gasps]. Im someone who likes to be challenged, and I like the idea of playing that absolute disabling fear. Weve all had awful times when weve been frightened at something, but not in comparison in what these two go through. I thought it was brilliantly written as well. Very reminiscent of THE SHINING, but I actually loathe horror movies, I never actually watch them- Im a real wuss. But I liked how eerily unsettling it was and how naturalistic the environment was and bought it- it all landed very true. It was very feasible.

Can you talk about the grueling night shoots?

I certainly can, I can talk all year about that! It was colder than any of us had expected. There was a sudden drop in temperature than any of us were prepared for. I think it hit about 25 belowIt was freezing. Unbelievable crippling, your jaw would lock outward and you cant say your lines and you cant really escape it. But the first week after that we were ok and it was crippling cold. And it helped very much, especially in the early scenes where they find themselves on this road and its just so frightening and the situation theyre in is so daunting and hopeless and it defiantly helped with that.

Tell us about your character.

She remains nameless. Both of our characters remain nameless in the movie: were Girl and Guy, and Im Girl.

Is that intentional?

Yes, its intentional. Shes headstrong, shes bright and smart and really sarcastic and but I really think that hard to crack exterior is not how she wants to present herself and deep down she just in need of understanding. Throughout the film you understand the way she is kind of spitfire, the start of a new leaf.

The characters, at the start of the movie they dont know each other when they embark on this road trip. She goes to the ride board and finds that someone is offering a ride back to Delaware and through the course of the first part of the journey she notices that weird coincidences start to happen and unsettling kind of moments when she starts to suspect that the guy is not what he appears to be and not who he appears to be and this is just at the moment when they get run off the road and they crash into the snow bank and then gradually the story unfolds and your pulled in different directions on who to believe. Really these two people who are so different, as we say in the UK, like chalk and cheese. Theyre so conflicted with each other at the start and I just hope the audience will sort of will these two to survive this ordeal together as this horrendous night bonds them in a way that neither of them have been bonded before.

Did they get you and your co-star Ashton Holmes together to bond before filming?

We did a little bit before rehearsals, and we spoke on the phone once, but really only that first week of rehearsals. Greg was great because hes tried to shoot the film chronologically for us as much as possible so that the first scene was actually the first time the characters meet, so there was this kind of awkwardness and lack of knowing how to be with that person and it really came to life on camera. I know Soderbergh watched that scene and said the chemistry was great, and both of us felt really early on that real flare between us on camera and that it worked well.

Are you playing this as a Brit, or as an American?

An American. I had a month of dialog coaching beforehand. Its good for me to do, and it can be limiting if people only see you playing a Brit. Its good that Im playing a kick ass American girl.

I heard somewhere that you said you were a geek in high school. Its hard to believe, is that true?

No I really was. I was not that girl in school, I wanted to be friends with girls like that, but I was not that girl. I was bit of an outsider, and I think thats why I can connect with this girl who Im playing now, who doesnt quite know how to be with people, and how to connect with them. I can understand that.

Have you had a chance to talk with Steven Soderbergh?

I have not. I have not managed to lure [George] Clooney away from his lake home retreat to this 25 below mountain. But I know theyre very pleased, and Soderbergh has said whats the point of me coming out, everythings great. So theyre very excited about it.

You talked about this role being very physical. Why kind of physical stuff did you do?

The snow! Running through the snow is just gonna kill ya after awhile. I have these big boots, and I slipped and did my leg in. But mainly it was stuff that we did in this big steep ravine, and this ravine is supposed to look like maybe you couldnt climb down it, it has to look that steep. It really could have gone either way, you really had to be careful not to fall. We had a lot of stunt guys around helping us down it, and we had to do a lot of running up and one time where I run and slip and fall and slide most the way back down. Its after take 12 of running up where its so steep and my legs Im buns of still now, all of us do in this movie.

Have you ever been stuck out on a lonely road somewhere, in a broke down car?

I never have. I have funny fears of getting lost. Its always this fear Ive had to get lost or to be stuck in an elevator or to be stuck somewhere. Its never happened to me yet so Ill keep my fingers crossed.

There are usually two classic types of females characters in these types of films, the helpless little girl or the girl who fights back. What is your character?

The girl who fights back, of course!

I'd like to thank Emily for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk with us, she was very friendly and down to Earth, and definitely one to keep an eye out for in the future [It's to note this interview took place months before THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, and therefore, months before she made it as 'big' as she is now. Good job, Emily!]. Stick around for our interview with Emily's co-star Ashton Holmes in a few days!

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