Emily Blunt is no stranger to the darker side of life, at least on film. The Sicario actress has been exposed to drug lords, evil witches, and vindictive sisters, but she says her latest role, that of “very damaged” Rachel Watson in The Girl on the Train, really pulled her in, exciting her about the new role in ways she hadn’t previously felt with other roles.
Emily Blunt says her role in The Girl On The Train is the most challenging thing she has ever done
The Girl on the Train tells a story that resembles the thoughts any of us might have had, while using public transportation. Rachel (Blunt) observes a young couple, Scott (Luke Evans) and Megan (Haley Bennett), while riding a London train and becomes enthralled by them, because, to Rachel, they seem to be perfect for one another. As she becomes more and more curious about them and their lives, Rachel becomes drawn into a murder mystery that threatens her own life.
“I just love that it’s about addiction and loneliness and voyeurism and what we think we see and don’t see,” Emily Blunt says, revealing what compelled her to take on the project. “I think it’s very relatable. We’ve all ridden the train to work and wondered about the lives of the people on the train, and I think that people relate to that.”
Ms. Blunt reveals that Rachel has problems of her own, having turned to alcohol to cope with a particularly ugly divorce, and it’s those flaws that has made Rachel so interesting to Emily. As though battling alcoholism isn’t enough of a burden, Rachel has a tenuous grip on reality, imagining a connection between herself and the couple on the train, where one doesn’t really exist.
Emily adds that the character, as a drunk, is looked upon as the most unreliable sort of witness, as far as authorities are concerned. When she really does witness a crime, no one will take her at her word.
Emily may be getting into playing her new role by the sound of things, but hopefully she won’t take it too far.
“The idea of playing a part like that where you just feel like you’re drowning is exciting. I’ve never played a blackout drunk before, so this is new to me now.”
Emily Blunt confesses to sleepless nights
Following the tense drama and suspenseful thrills of Sicario, one wouldn’t expect anything to get under Emily’s skin. The Girl on the Train did bother the actress though, or, more specifically, certain scenes kept her awake some nights. Shot on location in New York City, Blunt found herself unable to sleep, after filming a physically and emotionally demanding fight scene.
“I went home and I couldn’t sleep for two or three days in a row and it was odd.”
Ms. Blunt added that it was unusual, because she has never had this problem before. While this may be the darkest character she has played to date, Emily still finds it unsettling that it bothered her so much. Even while filming Sicario, which also placed the actress in a dark character, she says she was still able to stay focused and detached from work.
Many people have been commenting on the frazzled appearance of Ms. Blunt, since stills from the set of The Girl on the Train have been released. Emily says no one has been taken aback more by her appearance than her daughter, 22-month-old Hazel. Emily says she looks so bad that she frightens her own child.
The Girl on the Train will hit theaters on October 26 of this year.
[Featured image by Dimitrios Kambouris /Getty Images]