By Adam Markovitz
January 14, 2014 at 05:19 PM EST
David James

When Emily Blunt met with Tom Cruise and director Doug Liman for the first time to talk about their upcoming sci-fi action movie Edge of Tomorrow, Cruise didn’t mince words. “Tom made it very clear,” Blunt recalls. “He was like, [intense Tom Cruise voice] ‘Em, this is going to be really hard. Listen: This is gonna be INSANE.’ [Laughs] So I think I was prepped for what was about to be physically the most grueling thing I’ve ever done — but ultimately one of the most exciting projects I’ve ever been a part of.”

Adapted from a Japanese novel, Tomorrow takes place in a not-so-distant future where an alien race is winning the war for control of Earth. A human soldier, Lt. Col. Bill Cage (Cruise), somehow adopts the aliens’ ability to travel within a time loop — a power that allows him to die over and over again, each time learning more about the aliens’ strengths and weaknesses. Blunt plays Rita Vrataski, a mysterious soldier who used to have the power and now offers to teach Cage how to take advantage of it.

Along with Cruise, Blunt spent many of her scenes wearing a futuristic set of armor  that weighed over 70 lbs and required five crew members to take on and off. “Even though the suits were challenging, it was something that we just had to embrace,” says Blunt. “Can you imagine trying to walk like you’re in one of those suits and they paint it in [with CGI] afterward? You’d look stupid. I find anything that can transport you to the world very helpful as an actor.”

Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for ACM

For more exclusive first looks at 2014′s biggest projects, pick up the latest Entertainment Weekly on stands now.

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  • Movie
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  • PG-13
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  • 116 minutes
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