Emily Blunt Talks Sneaking Into ‘Oppenheimer’ Screening With Husband John Krasinski and Seeing ‘Barbie’ Four Times

One of Hollywood’s beloved couples comprises “Oppenheimer” star Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, known for his breakthrough role on the hit NBC comedy series “The Office.” Interestingly, fans of the classic mockumentary often want to see Krasinski alongside his former on-screen partner (Jenna Fischer’s Pam Beesly) rather than Blunt on the red carpet.

“Whenever I walk beside him, people still shout out, ‘I wish you were with Pam,’” Blunt shared during an episode of the Variety Awards Circuit Podcast. “They ask, ‘Where’s Pam?’ and I’m like, ‘She’s not here.’ We adore Jenna; she’s one of our closest friends.”

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In this episode of the Variety Awards Circuit Podcast, we delve into Blunt’s role in Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” her perspective on the summer craze around “Barbenheimer,” and the status of a potential sequel for “Edge of Tomorrow.” Also, “Flora and Son” star Eve Hewson on her songwriting process and teaming with director John Carney.

Additionally, the Roundtable delves into recent events, including Robert DeNiro’s altered speech at the Gotham Awards and early predictions for precursor awards. Listen below:

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

OPPENHEIMER, Emily Blunt as Kitty Oppenheimer, 2023. © Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection
Emily Blunt as Kitty Oppenheimer, “Oppenheimer.” (Universal Pictures / Courtesy Everett Collection)

“Oppenheimer” delves into the story of Robert J. Oppenheimer, the mastermind behind the atomic bomb, a weapon that forever altered the world. The film features Cillian Murphy, Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh and Matt Damon, in addition to Blunt. Since its summer release, the movie has grossed over $1 billion globally and was part of the #Barbenheimer trend, enticing movie-goers to double up with Greta Gerwig’s meta-comedy “Barbie.”

Blunt expressed her enthusiasm for the trend: “I absolutely loved it.”

During the London premiere in July, the SAG-AFTRA strike began, prompting the entire cast to leave the red carpet, missing the chance to watch the film with an audience. However, Blunt and Krasinski seized the opportunity and found a screening in Nyack, New York.

“We sneaked into an IMAX in a shopping mall during a 4 p.m. screening on a weekday,” she recounted. “The audience was dressed like him [Oppenheimer]. It was surreal. I immediately called Emma, Chris, and Cillian about it. You’d expect this in the heart of New York City, but witnessing kids dressed as characters from the film was incredible.”

Regarding “Barbie,” Blunt confirmed, “I’ve seen it four times – twice in theaters, once solo, and once with my daughters, who are obsessed with Margot. However, their ultimate favorite is Ryan Gosling. They’ve never shown much interest in meeting anyone I’ve worked with, except for Ryan.”

Blunt recently wrapped filming for the upcoming action film “The Fall Guy,” slated for release in 2024. She praised Gosling (her co-star in the film) as “witty and as smart as you could ever dream him to be.”

The British actress also showered admiration on her “Oppenheimer” director, Christopher Nolan: “His massive intellect and visionary direction make him the unparalleled director in the industry. I can’t imagine the cinematic experience without him.”

In “Oppenheimer,” Blunt plays Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer, the wife and former Communist Party member who supports the infamous creator of the atomic bomb while providing necessary reality checks despite battling alcoholism and facing evident shortcomings as a mother. Even with limited screen time, the 40-year-old A-lister leaves an indelible impression through lines such as – “Why won’t you fight?” and “You don’t get to commit sin, and then ask all of us to feel sorry for you when there are consequences.”

In a pivotal scene towards the film’s end, Kitty’s deposition showcases her with a smirk and a smile, bringing her character’s complexities to fruition. “It was one of the last scenes I shot and was a very claustrophobic set by design,” she recalls. “What I loved about the scene when I read it, which I thought is very clever, at this point in the film [Kitty] has become so volatile and unpredictable. And dangerous probably through the drinking problem and her own quiet desperation. In so many ways, she’s set up to fail in that scene.”

Expanding on this, she added, “She’s barely walking in a straight line. I thought I was just incredible where you see that extraordinary brain that has deteriorated through the contortion of having to be a good housewife and mother, which she was terrible at both. And that brilliant brain that’s gone to waste. You see that reclamation of it in that scene.”

Blunt has collaborated with some of the industry’s finest actors and directors. With five Golden Globe nods, two BAFTA mentions, and three SAG Awards, including her surprising win as a pregnant mother in Krasinski’s directorial debut “A Quiet Place,” she stands alongside Idris Elba (for “Beasts of No Nation” in 2015) as one of the only two individuals to win a SAG award for a film without receiving an Oscar nomination.

In ranking her top 10 film performances for Variety, I highlighted her work in the Groundhog Day-esque sci-fi film “Edge of Tomorrow,” opposite Tom Cruise, as her pinnacle performance. Speculations about a potential sequel have persisted for years, although more concrete has yet to materialize.

“Doug [Liman] and I talk all the time about it. I know Tom wants to do it, hopefully, at some point. But it’s timing, but it’s also been 10 years since we made it. There was an amazing script in the works, but I think it would only have worked if we shot it eight years ago. I’m not saying we’re that ancient, but you have to factor in it’s been 10 years.”

We eagerly await the next update.

Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post weekly.

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