All You Need Is Kill: Emily Blunt on Fighting ‘Fun’ Tom Cruise in Sci-Fi Actioner
Although Emily Blunt came close to being cast in two different Marvel superhero movies, it’s not until later this year that she gets her first action-type role in Rian Johnson’s time travel thriller Looper. But her turn as a gun-toting farm girl is just the beginning for Blunt: She’s currently in intense training to play a lethal soldier in Doug Liman’s futuristic sci-fi All You Need Is Kill, opposite Tom Cruise.
Set against the backdrop of an alien war, All You Need Is Kill (based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka and Yoshitoshi Abe’s Japanese graphic novel) revolves around a soldier who dies in battle only to wake up to re-live the same day over and over again – think Groundhog Day with aliens and Tom Cruise. Blunt will play Valkryie One, a highly-decorated special forces fighter who Cruise encounters while trapped in his time loop.
Blunt is currently training stateside before going to London to learn fight choreography for a month ahead of an October filming date. Speaking with Movieline over the weekend at Comic-Con, where she, Johnson, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt presented footage from Looper, Blunt described her regimen for what she describes as “the most ass-kicking role I’ll probably do.”
“I basically do ten workouts a week,” she said. “Two a day, five days a week – it’s hell! And I’ve cut out drinking wine, which is really sad! That’s the thing I miss most.”
“But I’m going to build these guns out,” she added, flexing her biceps. “They’re coming, right? I’m like that in the mirror. I’m just flexing over and over, and John [Krasinski]’s like, ‘Holy shit!’”
Why action, and why now? “Really, it’s about timing and about the right part, the right moment and the right crew of people. It’s never been that I’ve turned my nose up at doing that. This really felt like the right time to do it, and you can’t ask for a better team than Tom and Doug – Doug is such a visionary and Tom is the most accomplished action guy you can find. We sat down a few times, we had a table read and character development talks, and he’s really fantastic in the room with that stuff; he’s very collaborative and very, very professional. And he’s fun.”
Audiences who are used to seeing Blunt in films like The Devil Wears Prada and The Young Victoria might not expect to see her tear through battlefields and mow down aliens alongside Cruise – and that might make the shift all the more impressive. “Doug Liman said to me, ‘I wanted to cast you because I don’t think people expect it, and there’s something a bit more lethal about that,’” Blunt recalled.
Will we get to see Blunt use her newfound lethal skills Cruise at least once or twice during their time looped adventure? “I can’t say! Maybe there’s a little bit of that… maybe,” she hinted with a smile. “I’m learning martial arts now, so hopefully I have a few scenes where I can take him out.”
Read more from Comic-Con 2012 and stay tuned for our Looper chat with Blunt.