We sat down with “Looper” star Emily Blunt to talk about getting physical for her role in the film — namely, wielding a shotgun and an axe, despite the proper training — and how she got back at director Rian Johnson. She also got into a bit of name-calling when the subject of time travel came up, but she can get away with it.
In this movie, you are quite handy with a shotgun.
Yeah! I hopefully didn’t look like a sissy with a shotgun, so that’s good.
No, you were very convincing, very threatening. How much prep did you do for that?
With the shotgun? The thing I prepped for, actually, was the chopping wood. That’s the thing I practiced for about a month beforehand in my backyard. I had this guy come over and deliver logs and an axe, and he was like, “There you go.” And I was like, “Oh, I don’t know how to do this,” and he was like, “I don’t know how to do this either.” So I just practiced for a while. And that was probably the hardest scene to shoot, the chopping wood scene. Physically, by the end of the day I was just like, “Argh!”
I don’t know how many takes you had to do…
A lot. A lot.
And did you exact any sort of revenge on Rian for making you chop so much wood?
I don’t think I did, actually. I mean, maybe the most vengeful thing that happened was that we had to put fake blood on everyone, and the little boy hated it, and so we doused Rian with fake blood as well just so he would feel like one of the team. But it didn’t help. The kid still hated it.
That’s good, I think, that the kid hated being doused in fake blood.
Well, he should, right? He’s 5. He should hate that.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that the guy who delivers the wood and the axe doesn’t know how to use it.
I know, I know. He just dropped the logs off and was like, “I think you kind of do it like this.” I was like, “Oh great. I’ll figure it out.”
I wanted to talk a little bit, briefly about time travel…
Yes, yes. I am. Did you guys spend any time off-screen actually trying to wrap your heads around time travel?
I mean, I never get too wrapped up in the technological stuff. I’m don’t really geek out for that stuff. I’m not the best person to nerd out with over time travel.