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The Hot Seat: Emily Blunt

Bluntly speaking, this blunt English rose is probably not smoking a blunt right now.

Illustration: Rob Kelly

Let's see—whom do we hate more? Emily Blunt, who is rocking a career that puts her onscreen next to Meryl Streep, Amy Adams and Bill Nighy, and is engaged to The Office's John "Jim Halpert" Krasinski? Or England's Queen Victoria, who inherited an empire at age 18, lived in a palace and, according to Blunt's portrayal in The Young Victoria, had a delicious shag in husband Prince Albert (Rupert Friend)? Frankly, we're horribly jealous of both of them. At least Blunt had the good grace to invite us into her wedding party ("We don't know when it is, but come along. Maid of honor, you can be it!") and entertain us with tales of Her Majesty's randy proclivities. Now that's some solid English breeding.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of Hot Seat interviews

Do Americans have a different view of Queen Victoria than the Brits?
I don't even know how expansive our knowledge of her is. I knew that she had lots of kids, and I knew that she was widowed very young. I had the image of her as the old lady in black with the hankie on her head looking really miserable.

So when they offered you the part...
I was like, Really, guys? Really? Overweight old lady. Nothing screams "Emily Blunt" like Queen Victoria! But I started reading about her when she was younger, and it was sort of the polar opposite. She was so vivacious and had such a zealous approach to life. She was kind of rebellious.

And you get to have steamy sex scenes with Prince Albert.
Yeah, I think the repressed image we have of her comes from when she'd been widowed, but she happily had, and I quote, "fun in bed." In her diaries she was very highly sexed, it seems. She probably exhausted poor Albert.

So did you worry about audiences nitpicking the facts?
I didn't worry about it. It was probably naive of me to think that because everyone has an opinion. Certainly everyone in England is a fucking historian. I've done some Q&As where people have said, "Well, the reason that Victoria had so many children was because typhoid was very prevalent in that time," and I'm like, "Or, she loved sex! Either one!" If you want to do a fact-off with me, we can go right now.

You've played a princess, a queen, a fashionista in The Devil Wears Prada, and are now filming a movie in which you play a ballerina.
A really girly run I've got going on right now.

Are you going through all of Barbie's careers?
Exactly! I have all the different outfits. I think next I'm gonna be on, like, a volleyball team. I'm gonna aim for, like, a surfer girl.

How are you going to look as a blond?
Oh my God. It was a sad sight when I was in my teenage years. I did dye it a kind of slightly orange-tinted blond.

You've worked with some real acting greats: Tom Hanks, Anthony Hopkins, Meryl Streep. Can you do an impression of any of them?
I can do Benicio [Del Toro]. He'd be like, "You know what? You gotta walk in here and be like... And I was like... I don't know. She was like, maybe buuuut, you know? Let me tell you...what was going on." I literally couldn't understanding what he was saying. It was great.

If people did impressions of you, what would they say?
They'd use classically British phrases. When my American friends impersonate me, they talk a bit like, "Look a' the state of 'er! Look a' the state of that!" Shit like that.

Why is it that Brits always sound classier than we Americans?
It must be that we're related to Shakespeare in some way, so we've got to swank it up. We've had so many kings and queens; there's got to be some way that I'm related to one of them.

What definition of the word blunt best describes you? "Abrupt," "not sharp," or "cigar filled with marijuana"?
[Laughs] Or someone who smokes pot. It's so weird because when I do an interview, they usually do some play on blunt. I think I've heard every single one. "Emily Blunt: Sharp tool." "To be blunt," "Bluntly speaking." I'll go with number one. I don't think I'll broadcast the fact that I'm a pot smoker. Not true!

The Young Victoria opens Dec 18.

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