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Emily Blunt on The Young Victoria

Published December 15, 2009 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Image property of Apparition
You may think The Young Victoria is just another British queen movie. If you don’t know your royal history, you might be surprised to see just how badass Queen Victoria was. With grown-up advisers pressuring her, she stuck to her guns as a teenager, at a time when women especially had a hard road to power.

Emily Blunt on The Young Victoria


“It was awesome,” said Emily Blunt, who got to play Victoria in the film. “Honestly, it was really awesome, because you want to do that character justice because she's so emblematic of our country. Everything that she did for the country, her and Albert together, just revolutionized the social reform and the arts and sciences. So you want to respect that but at the same time, it was a script that allowed you to approach the Queen as the girl rather than the monarch, and not to be swallowed up by the costumes and the sets.”

Even though they didn’t have Facebook and Twitter, Victorian England (hence the name) had its share of social networks. “It felt contemporary. It had a contemporary flair that I thought was great to identify with, and for audiences to identify with. That's why you can come out and go, ‘She really has her sh*t together.’ People can word it in a contemporary way, because they can identify with it and that's all I want.”


The Young Victoria The Young Victoria


Victoria pushes her plans for the country through the political system, and still entertains men courting her to be the king. “I remember reading in a biography about that scene where she addresses the Privy Council. Do you remember, where she goes in, it's like a room full of 60-year-old men and she has to address them for the first time? It was one my favorite scenes to do because there's so much going on: the fear of that, the fear of having to assert yourself knowing that they're all there doubting you and dubious about the fact this young girl's become Queen. There's so much to play with as an actor. It's great. But I remember reading about it and people talking about her, the other politicians saying she was so charming and feminine, but there was something quite powerful in her that you couldn't quite read her. And I think that that's what I went for. I remember reading that and going, ‘That's very interesting.’ To keep it ambiguous, there's something powerful in that she doesn't give much away, and then when she's in private, of course she lets rip and does whatever she wants.”

Some British stars play queen after queen after queen. Blunt thinks Victoria will be the pinnacle of her monarchic work. “Maybe give me 20 years so I don't feel so weird about having like 9 children, but I don't know. I mean, I think maybe I've done the Crown. Maybe that's it. I've done my time.”

The Young Victoria opens to theaters on December 18th.

For the trailer, posters and more movie info, go the The Young Victoria Movie Page.

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Fred Topel
Sources: Image property of Apparition
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