The Girl on the Train: Emily Blunt on working with women
'The only time I've rolled my eyes at somebody... it's been a guy'
The Girl on the Train is a film about women, and not just its titular character, Emily Blunt’s alcoholic divorcee Rachel Watson. The story also delves into the minds and problems of Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett), the mysterious stranger Rachel watches from her train window each day, and Anna Watson (Rebecca Ferguson), Rachel’s ex-husband’s new wife.
Women ruled behind the scenes, too — with a script by Erin Cressida Wilson and cinematography from Charlotte Bruus Christensen, among others on the crew. “It was actually a really fabulous environment on this film, really enjoyable to be around that much female energy,” Blunt tells EW. “And [director] Tate [Taylor] really loves women — I think he prefers working with women, so it was cool.” (Taylor’s best-known film to this point is 2011’s The Help, which featured an all-star cast of actresses.)
Many of the film’s most intense scenes were shot on a handheld or steadicam, which Christensen would hold just inches from Blunt’s face. “It was the most visual film I’ve ever done,” Blunt says. “It felt like she and I did a dance the whole movie.” Blunt says she felt completely supported by Christensen, and that Christensen could feel where Blunt was going emotionally in any particular scene. “I’d see her adjusting and moving in in certain moments, like when Scott [Luke Evans, who plays Megan’s husband] says, ‘You don’t even know Megan, do you?'” Blunt says. “I could feel her going in [with the camera], and you just know how that’s going to look on the screen.”
It wasn’t just The Girl on the Train that reminded Blunt how much she enjoys working with women. While shooting The Huntsman: Winter’s War with Charlize Theron and Jessica Chastain, the three women ended up comparing their experiences and coming to the same conclusion.
“I love working with women,” she says. “We were all talking one day, and Charlize was like, ‘Do you know what’s funny is I think sometimes, whether it’s the media or just society, [people] like to paint the picture that women sort of bitch about each other, and women are competitive and jealous and vying and watchful of each other,'” Blunt remembers. “And she said, ‘And you know, the only issues I’ve ever had on set have been with a dude.’ And I would agree. The only time I feel like I’ve rolled my eyes at somebody I’ve been working with, it’s been a guy.”
“It’s just been my experience that I’ve gotten along with every woman that I’ve worked with,” she continues. “I have not felt any preciousness or hierarchy or anything like that. I’ve just never had an issue! And Charlize was [also] like, ‘I’ve never had an issue.'”
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The Girl on the Train