The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Emily Blunt, star of the upcoming thriller The Girl On the Train, and the book’s author, Paula Hawkins, for its latest issue. But before I get into their conversation about words they hate and Hollywood’s myriad double standards, please let me share the story’s lede, which reads:
“I stink terribly of onions,” is the first thing Emily Blunt says, right before she leans in for the customary Hollywood air-kiss greeting on a warm September morning. “I’ve just been cooking at home.”
Now that you’ve imagined Blunt charmingly announcing to the world that she stinks terribly of onions, let me move on to the part of their interview that stinks of meat and potatoes.
For the seven of you who haven’t read Hawkins’s wildly successful thriller/whodunit, allow me to give you a quick description of Rachel, its protagonist and titular “girl”: she’s a miserable alcoholic who has absolutely nothing to depend on--not even her own memories. Some might say she isn’t “likable,” but not Blunt. No, Blunt would never call anyone likable.
“With so many movies, women are held to what a man considers a feminine ideal,” says Blunt, sipping a soy cappuccino. “You have to be pretty. You have to be ‘likable,’ which is my least favorite bloody word in the industry. Rachel isn’t ‘likable.’ What does that mean? To be witty and pretty and hold it together and be there for the guy? And he can just be a total drip?”
Of the character of Rachel, Hawkins adds:
“People say, ‘Oh, she’s way too beautiful to play her,’ “ says Hawkins of the actress who’ll be portraying her literary creation. “But that doesn’t matter. The thing about Rachel is her self-loathing, about what she feels about herself, and Emily really brought that out in the way she carries herself. All that damage is visible.”
Later, the two call out Hollywood’s unwillingness to show women who drink to excess onscreen. “A woman is a drunk, a whore, whereas the guy’s like a partier, a player,” Blunt tells THR. “I’ve been around both women who drink too much and guys who drink too much and it’s just as ugly on the guys... There’s so much judgment with women.”
To read their entire interview--including Hawkins’s great story about how she was able to finish the novel--head over to The Hollywood Reporter. To watch the film’s excellent trailer again, click here.