Quoting Emily

Below is a list of memorable quotes from Emily compiled by the staff of Emily Blunt Network from magazine transcripts and online interviews throughout her career so far. If you’ve got any you’d like to share with us that you cannot find here, or if you would like to know the the source for any of the quotes found below, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Enjoy Emily’s wise words!

Quotes from 2015

  • — When I started to really appreciate acting as an art form, I fell in love with Meryl Streep and then with Cate Blanchett. I remember seeing Cate in Elizabeth and thinking, Who is that? What is she doing? Oh my God. How does she do it? I love watching actresses and asking myself those questions. The biggest trick to acting is hiding the trick, you know?

    — Bambi loses his mother, Dumbo is wrenched away from his mother, who is chained up and tormented and bullied. It used to be darker and more challenging. Nobody goes through life unscathed. If you want to fairytale the shit out of everything, you’re doing everyone a disservice.

    — Drama school gives you a place to screw up and fuck up, and it gives you room for self-discovery and technique. I’ve also seen how it crushes people’s natural ability, and how it creates a space where you just overthink everything and become this neurotic performer. I’ve seen it both ways with friends, so I don’t know how it would have affected me. I just tried to sponge it up, to learn from everybody I was around. Acting is strange – it’s the ultimate expression of empathy. So if you’re interested in people and curious about life, and curious about everything other than this business, then you’ll probably get better.

    — I feel like Meryl [Streep] walks through life in a constant state of needing to defuse people’s intimidation of her. A weird way to exist. Maybe it helped that at least she didn’t have to worry about me. It doesn’t mean I’m any less in awe of her.

    — I always say Tom Cruise is the reason I bounced back after the pregnancy. He should be credited as the new diet pill because he asked me to do Edge of Tomorrow so I was in such good shape when I got pregnant, so after I had Hazel it was easier to bounce back.

    — I have British friends in America but not many British actor friends. But you do see a lot of them around. I mean, gradually we’re taking over.

    — Sure I’ve experienced sexism but not that often any more. I do think I’m coming from a place of more confidence now because I’ve been doing this for 14 years and my opinion is more valued than it used to be.

    — I’m a bit of a hippie. My mum raised us all on homeopathic remedies and I went home recently and stayed the night and she put these essential-oil sticks everywhere, I love her so much, she is so sweet and these sticks will really make you sleep.

    — My older sister, when we were growing up, would always tell me to do bad things that would get me in trouble. She told me to steal some seeds from the garden centre once and I was caught and had to take them back and apologise. So illegal.

  • Quotes from 2014

  • On auditioning for Into the Woods: I’d said no to going up for Mamma Mia! and Nine… All of those. So when my agent called me about Into the Woods, I said, ‘I can’t.’ I’d only ever sung at school concerts, and those days are long gone. I’m not Annie [Hathaway] – she’s got an unbelievable voice.

    On buying a home in Ojai, CA: It’s a paradise. One of the last old California towns, with one main street and all these little “mom and pop” shops, a population of only 6,000 and still the way it was in the 1960s.

    — I’m with someone who makes me incredibly happy. I’m not one of those people who subscribe to the idea that marriage takes the romance out of things. I think it gets better, it deepens. I love being a wife. We have a blast.

    — I love Mark Ruffalo at the moment; I just thought he was amazing in Foxcatcher.

    — Everything has slowed down. You realise that nothing else really matters. This industry, this town especially, can make you feel that all this stuff matters; this rather transient world and the gush and the work and the success and the competition. You can get drawn into that bubble, of thinking it all matters. Having a baby has made me realise that it doesn’t. None of it. It really doesn’t.

    — I think people sometimes see acting as a form of therapy. It’s not cathartic or therapeutic – that’s a misconception. You’re not just doing a portrait of one person, there’s a lot to consider: the tone of something, what everyone else is doing. The space between people is what’s so electric to watch on film, the chemistry and the air between them. So when it’s self-indulgent, it’s not as interesting. I think there’s an awareness that you need, an interest in life and in people and in everything outside of yourself, in order to play people who are different from you, to understand them and empathize with them. You can’t necessarily find the answers within yourself.

    — This can be an industry that thrills and tortures people at the same time. And it depends on who you are as to what extreme that goes to. It’s such a loss that Phil [Seymour Hoffman] and Robin [Williams] aren’t here anymore. I think it is a job that can be very affecting.

    — I love stationery. It’s the weirdest obsession. I get giddy when I walk into Papyrus. Someone just sent me a box of stationery with my name and my daughter’s and my husband’s name on it—the best gift you could ever give me. I love beautiful natural paper that looks like it was used in medieval times. It almost feels furry.

  • Quotes from 2013

  • — I like playing golf, but I’m terrible. I’m really, really bad but I like whizzing around on golf carts with some beers in the back, that’s fun. That’s probably about as good as my golf gets.
  • Quotes from 2012

  • On working with Judi Dench: The thing I remember more than anything was her kindness and generosity and work ethic. If anyone gets to have a sainthood, if there is one give it to her. On my first day, I was 18, so green. I hadn’t trained, I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. She said “Darling you are going to be great. If anyone gives you trouble come to me.” She hadn’t lost sight of how that felt. I have never forgotten the ease with which she approached the job. She had fun doing it, she was not taking it too seriously.

    — Jaws is my favorite film of all time. I’ve seen it about 30 times. Even though it has a ludicrous backdrop of them trying to find this Great White shark, I think it’s a film about people and relationships — and I just think the performances are fantastic. It has amazing characters and it has this very commercial, suspenseful backdrop, so I do think it’s a perfect movie.

    — I’d like to have my own restaurant. I love to cook. So I would love to do that. I like the sounds of the cooking and how it makes me feel. It’s a really welcome thing when you have friends coming over. A completely different thing than going to a restaurant. It’s a really loving thing to do for people.

    — I’m completely in love with this job. And… I touch wood all the time.

    — This is what I find difficult about talking about my marriage: It’s hard to sum up something that’s so vital and means everything to you in a sound bite. Do you know what I mean? All I can say is that it’s an effing blast. It’s just great, and I’m so happy.

    — It’s always funny. You know, looking at your childhood pictures of your school friends and cheap girlie trips to the south of Spain. I guess it’s how my life used to be. And it can be really nostalgic and emotional thinking about that sometimes, you know? It’s an odd feeling.

    — Happiness is different for everyone. Some people are happy cultivating drama, but I’m personally quite even and easy-going.

    — You’ve got to love this job because it definitely knocks you around at times. It’s a very personal job, and so when you achieve something, it’s so rewarding because you take it very personally. And then in the same stretch, when you get rejected or someone is overly critical, it does hurt. I think that you’ve got to kind of wear a helmet and roll with it and not place too many expectations on this business because if you invest in it too much, it’s going to devour you.

    — I’m fatalistic. If I don’t get the role, I don’t tend to pine or rage about it. You have definite disappointments, but I really don’t dwell on them. I’m a big believer in fate and timing, and, if the moment’s right, you’re going to get the job that’s meant for you.

    — Everyone needs a dream to follow, and is entitled to one. I don’t think it’s selfish. Ideally, your other half emboldens you to be more than you ever thought you could be. To be honest, things have only got better, and more exciting, more boundary-less, actually, since I met John [Krasinski].

    — I’m really bad with hobbies; they come and go for me. I don’t know if I have the tenacity to embark on them for long.

    — I could watch the Food Network all day. I have to be strong-armed out of the house. If I’m on the couch, it will mean that my arm is magnetized. Sometimes I will watch and rush off to the supermarket. Cheese is my passion.

    — I think with those big movies, the script has to come first. And that’s what I feel might have gone wrong with The Wolfman.

    — I don’t know what I’m doing! Why am I taking on these incredibly active roles? I would love to do one where there’s a pie-eating competition. I wanna play that chick. Please write it, write it immediately.

  • Quotes from 2011

  • On her favorite cinematic moment: I know exactly what it is. It’s Robert Shaw in Jaws. In his monologue about the Indianapolis. I think it’s one of the best scenes in cinema that I’ve ever watched. It’s probably my favorite movie, and I’ve seen it probably 30 times. I mean, so many times. I think it’s perfect. I think that scene is mesmerizing. You absolutely live through the horror of what he’s lived through, and he does it in the most underplayed, ironic way, and it’s terrifying.

    — There’s not much meat on the bones in this industry so all the women go crazy when there’s a great role.

    — I think there’s a tendency to think women can’t be funny. But you look at someone like Kristen Wiig, I think people like her are real trailblazers for girls in the comedy world. If you love it or hate it you can’t deny that Bridesmaids is such a big film for women. It was a really important film to happen.

    — I haven’t done a Western yet and I would quite like to do a Western.

    — I feel like movies that people might initially not see, they end up finding them later on. I feel like movies I’ve been proud of have usually found an audience. It may just be a slow-burn effect, but I don’t mind that either. I kind of like it when people just discover a movie that they’ve heard about but haven’t gone to see it. Months and months later, they see it and they’re like, “I loved you! I just saw it last night!” I like that. I like that because I certainly do that with a lot of movies. I do that with a lot of independent movies as well. With those films, it’s pretty much a guarantee it’ll be a slow-burn effect. People won’t necessarily be rushing out in hordes to see it, but they will find it at some point.

    — I didn’t have a burning desire to act. When I was three years I didn’t want to be an actress – I wanted to be the tooth fairy. So it is bizarre how it happened. But when it did I embraced it.

    — My dad introduced me to Jaws. I think I was really young. My mom was very upset that we’d been allowed to watch when she was out. Dad would always come home with The Terminator or something. My sister has not watched it since, and I’ve gone on to watch that film many, many times. I think it’s brilliant.

    — My problem with politics is everything seems so strategized these days, so I really like to hear about Obama doing something nice for Michelle, sneaking a cigarette… I think when something seems too manufactured, when it seems too pragmatic, that’s when I lose interest because I feel like I’m being played.

    — A lot of people have this idea that I’m defiantly not trying to do a superhero movie. I’m not standing at the sidelines, cheering to do one. It’s not really my speed. But at the same time, it depends on the role. If it’s just the girlfriend part in a superhero movie, I don’t want to do it. That’s of no interest to me.

    — I grew up in a family where there was lots of laughter and people doing impersonations. It was a rowdy, fun household – I’m one of four kids – and everyone to this day is still doing impersonations of each other and telling stories.

  • Quotes from 2010

  • On her stuttering struggles as a child: Between the age of 8 and 14, it was terrible. It’s genetic; my grandfather and cousin also stutter. At that age, all you want is to be cool, and stuttering misrepresents who you are. I appeared to be someone who was nervous and anxious, and I wasn’t at all. I just couldn’t speak. Performing definitely helped. I’m still fascinated with voice and different accents.

    On preparing for her role in The Adjustment Bureau: I’m obsessed with food. I love to eat, cook and go out to restaurants, so it was arduous. I lived on muesli, chicken and vegetables for five months. It was hell. My mum didn’t like it, she told me, ‘You look like an aerobics teacher.’

    On her disdain for photoshopping: I don’t like it when they stretch you out and make you all long and skinny. It makes you look like a Barbie. Who the hell looks like that?

    — A movie can change your life. I used to be very British about it all: ‘This is a lot of silliness, I should be doing something worthwhile.’ Then this woman came up to me and said, ‘I have to tell you, I had the worst day. My husband divorced me, my kid got expelled from school. Then I watched The Devil Wears Prada and I laughed my arse off!’ And I thought how marvellous it was that a simple comedy could have that effect on someone.

    — Cate Blanchett is wonderful. Rachel Weisz is delicious. And Meryl, of course. She’s such a free spirit, so intuitive, she’s got balls, and she manages to maintain a mystique and a wonderful sense of humour. She’s someone who I admire not only for what she can do – that’s a given – but for who she is.

    — When you’re one of four kids, it’s a noisy, boisterous rabble. And so loving – we were always each other’s biggest allies. I used to create elaborate games. There was one called ‘Save Tigger’, where my friend and I would hide my hamster, Tigger, under a pillow and pretend the room was going up in flames. Poor thing died a year later. Probably a heart attack.

    — It’s a precarious existence [acting]. I was unsure at first, but I’m so happy it found me.

    — There’s something very exposing about dancing in front of people. It’s like asking someone to look you in the eye and sing without any sense of irony. It’s that embarrassing.

    — When it’s a red carpet thing, I think it’s good to just go for it. Who cares if someone hates it? If I love something – if I think it’s edgy and cool – I don’t care what anyone else thinks.

    — It’s so important to take time off. When you’re working on a film, you get engrossed in a reality that’s actually totally unreal, and that goes away as soon as you’ve wrapped, which is a really strange existence.

    — It’s weird in this job, in that people have opinions of you depending on the parts you play. After The Devil Wears Prada, a lot of people told me they thought I’d be horrible. When the truth is, I’m just a sensitive nerd at heart.

    — I do want to take care of myself, but it depends on the role–if I’m playing a normal girl, I don’t go to the gym every day. But the movie I did with Matt Damon was physically intense. I had to play a dancer, so I had to look like one. The dancers I worked with were sculptures – there wasn’t an inch of fat on them. That’s the most toned I’ve ever looked. I spent two hours in the dance studio every day and two hours in the gym six days a week.

    — I miss being able to nip out and see a play with Mum, or meet my dad after work. That was always fun; he’d come out of court and we’d go for a drink. I’ve been nomadic for some time, so I’m accustomed to being away, but I still miss everybody.

  • Quotes from 2009

  • On preparing for her role in The Adjustment Bureau: Every day I’m in dance boot camp. It’s a wonderful idea to have the girl be a dancer, but it’s very high maintenance. I’m really loving the challenge. I’m training with this amazing ballet company, and it’s been a real awakening for me when it comes to fitness. Everything hurts all the time.

    On her family: I think they’re very proud of me but in the way you’d sort of expect, not in the gushing, obsequious way, but just because I’m their child and I think they’re relieved their child is doing well in a business that is known for crushing people.

    On horror movies: I don’t watch them. I find all these slasher movies to be… I just feel ill watching them. I feel like I’m going to throw up.

    On one of her favorite films, Kramer vs. Kramer: It’s a film where human behaviour is so fascinating that I could watch someone making pancakes with their child all day because of everything that’s going on between them. That little boy – I want to cry thinking about it – he was just magical in it. It’s the best performance by a kid I’ve ever seen.

    — I don’t really take it [acting] that seriously. Maybe I’m supposed to but I don’t. I can’t define what the method is. I don’t really think you know what you’re going to do until you do it. I think it’s embarrassing to hear people talk about their process because you always sound a bit wanky. You always imagine people are reading the article going: ‘Oh, get a real job.’

    — You can get away with a lot with this accent over here! I can say awful words and they sound OK.

    — My sister told me she saw something on YouTube of me at this cafe and someone was filming me, and you can hear the camera guy say, “Get a shot between her legs.” And I was like, “When the fuck did I turn into the crotch girl?” Those lenses, man! You can zoom in…

    — Ambition is something that should be quietly applied.

    — It’s not like people say, ‘Oh, my gosh, are you Emily Blunt?’”. “It’s more like, ‘Are you the girl in The Devil Wears Prada?’ I’m defined by it. And that’s okay.

    — English people have a faux snobbery towards L.A.–it’s bullshit! Trust me, we all secretly love it!

    — It does change things when you win an Oscar. You can say it doesn’t, you can shrug it off, but it does. I’ve known even the most down-to-earth actors, friends of mine, who have campaigned the shit out of wanting to get an Oscar. Play the game, then go home and walk your dog. But I think it’s OK to play the game. It’s gross–but as long as you know that!

    — I adore film noir style, Blue Velvet is so dark and ethereal. It’s brooding yet artistic—I love it.

    — You literally have to pry the baggy sweaters off me, but I am trying to discover life away from my Converse sneakers. I have a great stylist who’s always encouraging me to be more fashion forward, but I’m always afraid that she’ll send me down the carpet in an ice sculpture or something.

    — I’ve always been fascinated by accents, and the way people speak, and the intonations of it, and that was because I found it so hard to speak in my own voice. I tend to home in very closely on the way the character might move, or the vocal quality, or what they would wear.

    — I usually need a bit of logical thinking to get me through something particularly hard. I usually need to talk it out and then I recover very quickly. I’m not a dweller.

    — Acting became something I grew accustomed to doing rather than something I’d always desired.

    — I’d love to not have a walker at 80. I’d love to still be upright. And children and grandchildren, I’d love that. I’d love not to be a cantankerous old bat. I’d love to be a fun-loving nana.

    — You meet a lot of people in this world who are defined by the job they do. It’s sad, because they cease to develop on a human level, they’re so fear-driven. So I’ve had to sever the two existences.

    — I was speaking to Billy Connolly the other day and we were talking about the work he’s done for Comic Relief and all that he’s done in Africa and I was saying ‘Gosh, sometimes I just wonder if I have a worthwhile job’, and he said: ‘I’m going to stop you there. You have an incredibly important job. You offer people an escape, you offer people a way out and some relief from anything they might be going through and it’s a very important job.’” Because he was so adamant about it and spoke very passionately about why it was an important job, it’s the first time I’ve realised that it might be that.

    — I do remember girl crushes on other girls in your year group. There are these girls who are magnetic and beautiful and sooo cool. You just feel yourself shrink in their presence. I absolutely remember how powerful 16, 17-year-old girls can be.

    — That’s what’s great about New York, it really allows for individuality, for people to be eccentric and look weird and everyone’s geeky and everyone’s a brainiac. I think New York’s good like that.

    — The performances I enjoy are the ones that are hard to read or ambiguous or left-of-centre because it makes you look closer and that’s what humans are like – quite mysterious creatures, hard to pinpoint.

    — We’re unfortunate that we have the internet now. You say one thing and its completely taken out of context and blown across a thousand blogs. It’s weird. I think its more suffocating now simply because of the media influence.

    — London is the best. Everyone pretends they don’t know who you are so its great. I can step out in my sweatpants to get a pint of milk, looking like a hag and no one cares.

    — Hollywood parties are not necessarily what I strive to be a part of. They’re really fun, but I think I probably have more fun behind closed doors. I think it’s easy to have balance if you make the choice not to be affected by the invasion [of privacy]. For me it’s a slight invasion, but it’s not huge. I know some people are completely hounded, and that’s certainly not the case for me. I feel very fortunate. And I know it’s a cliché, but I have an extraordinary job, and I know it’s not like any other job.

    — I think it’s really important to be down-to-earth. I feel that of my friends and my family. I think it’s vital to have that, and I think that’s the way to survive this business, too. If you’re down-to-earth and if you have a sense of humor and irony about things, I think you’ll survive just fine.

    — I did like three films in a row wearing a corset. I think my inner organs, by the end of it, were like, ‘Are you kidding? You’ve got to stop. You have to give us a break.’

  • Quotes from 2008

  • — James Blunt and I are thinking of starting a rumour in the press that we are actually related but that we hate each other, and neither of us is willing to admit to it. He’s a buddy – we talked about it because we both get asked about it all the time. I guess we both have brown hair and blue eyes and are British – of course we’re related!

    — I have to say my Golden Globe speech was absolutely diabolical. I hadn’t rehearsed one or written one, as I had no idea that people had even seen Gideon’s Daughter, let alone that I would win anything.

  • Quotes from 2007

  • — When you’ve done a lot of period pieces and you’re British, you can get seriously pigeonholed. ‘English rose’ is a character description I see a lot, and it makes me cringe. I’m far more drawn to playing off-the-wall people. I’m fascinated by people, and all you have to do is scratch the surface, and you get to off-the-wall. I’m not talking about ‘mysterious’ – not even ‘complex’ – just real.

    — You never have a bad meeting in L.A. It’s incredibly deceptive. You walk out thinking you’ve nailed it and then you never hear from anyone again. No one’s willing to miss out on the next Orlando Bloom, the next young phenomenon to shoot to stardom, but no one wants to be the one to say yes. They’re waiting for someone else to say yes. But I think you can find your niche there.

    — Like most actresses, I wake up in the morning and feel I am a fraud. I hope to have a long career but… it may all go horribly wrong.

    — Every actor likes to tell you they were such a geek, but I actually was. I was so thin you could snap me like a twig. I was a very late developer with a bad haircut and a stutter, so I was kind of up against it.

    — What do people say? The journey is far more exciting than getting there. Hopefully, I’ll just get lost in the car on the way. And I’ll never have to get there.

    — I’m definitely more drawn to character parts. They’re better. And I’ll be allowed to age. That’s kind of not OK in Hollywood, is it? You can’t really find a 55-year-old actress who actually looks 55. I heard this report that they’re struggling to find actresses who look their age. I love that I say, self-righteously, that I’ll be allowed to age when I probably won’t want to. I don’t know how I’ll feel when I’m 35, 40. You’ll see me with fish lips by then and I’ll be like, “No, I’ve aged gracefully.”

    — No one wants to play sexy onscreen. It’s always so awkward because everyone is watching you and going, ‘Oh is that what she thinks sexy is?’

    — I’m afraid I do dye my hair a lot. It was my idea to go red for Prada. The producers were scared of it. But I kept saying, ‘No, it has to be a real statement. We all know that no one in the fashion industry, no matter how flamboyant, actually dresses that way, but it was heightened reality.’

    — I have a very raunchy scene in it [Charlie Wilson’s War] with Tom [Hanks]. Of course, he was a perfect gentleman and an amazing actor. But I think in the middle of licking his body, I stopped and said, ‘You know, I grew up with you in Splash.’ It kind of broke the mood. But he was great about it.

    — I do like fashion. I do like getting dressed up. But for events only. On a day-to-day basis, I’m not obsessed. I’m more likely to go for soft things like cotton and cashmere. Cashmere sweaters are my weakness.

  • Quotes from 2005

  • On her teenage years: My head was occupied all the time. I was confused about what I wanted to do or who I was; I didn’t really feel I had an identity growing up.