Emily Blunt is on the cover of the new Vanity Fair, which is a little odd, though, because she’s not really promoting anything. She’s voicing a character in Sherlock Gnomes—Lainey, I REFUSE to watch this—but that’s not out until March, and it’s not mentioned in the profile anyway. The big project they talk about is Mary Poppins Returns, which is due next Christmas. I suppose, then, this is Disney getting the jump on their marketing push and ensuring Mary Poppins eats the box office in December.
Everyone likes Emily Blunt, right? I feel like everyone likes her. I’m not sure I want to meet the person who doesn’t. I feel Duana is probably more invested in her than I am, but one of the great things about Emily Blunt is the disappearingness of her. She GOES AWAY. Many celebrities complain about how there is just no privacy to be had and they can’t get away from those pesky paparazzi, but Emily Blunt could teach classes on Disappearing 101. If she was just a little sharper-edged, if she doled out carefully selected morsels of smut, she could be the second coming of Julia Roberts. This is what Lainey says about Julia Roberts all the time, right? That she knows how to walk that line between giving us something to talk about—title pun intended—and maintaining her distance as a person. Blunt has the distance down, at least.
As for the smutty parts of the interview, there aren’t any. Judi Dench has a gives-no-f*cks soundbite about doing a play with a young Blunt: “Poor Emily. […] It wasn’t a great play, but we had the most fun doing it. I think she was quite young and frightened and insecure when we did The Royal Family.” POOR EMILY. I don’t think for a second Judi Dench is throwing shade, but I do think she has reached that age where any pretense has dissolved and it’s all witty bon mots and cutting observations from here on out. And for what it’s worth, no sense of “Poor Emily” comes through in this interview, she’s long since outgrown those youthful nerves.
Probably what everyone will latch onto from this profile—because it’s the closest to genuinely interesting it gets—is what Blunt says about the Weinstein scandal and its fall out: “Everyone has had their bum pinched, but I would not put me having my bum pinched on the same side of the street as women who have been raped or sexually assaulted or abused or harassed.” And then she goes on: “The bum-pinch statement was more of a euphemism for any kind of minor behavior that I have experienced that has been very easy for me to shut down. . . . I think it is something that everyone has experienced. That comment was meant in no way to disparage the people who have actually been brave enough to come forward.”
I’m not convinced she needed the explainer. Emily Blunt might not be the most fascinating interview, but she is well-spoken and intelligent. “Bum-pinching” is a great catch-all for the kind of vaguely inappropriate touching we’ve been conditioned to accept for decades. Lingering hands on your person, actual pinches, hugs that are too tight and close for a work relationship—that is a whole category unto itself. People are quick to point out that it’s not as bad, like Blunt does, but it’s part of the environment, isn’t it? A lot of it is disgusting, some of it is even criminal, none of it is okay. Bum-pinching isn’t flirty or a compliment, it’s the threshold of a very dark and ugly room.
So that’s really what Emily Blunt gives us in this interview. The fantastically British catch-all “bum-pinching”. Otherwise, it’s a reminder that Mary Poppins Returns is coming—I’m too cynical for the press combination of Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda—and that Emily Blunt and John Krasinski seem like a pretty cool couple.