When Jamie Dornan and Emily Blunt discuss their experience working under the direction of John Patrick Shanley, they were both “bewildered” about how absolutely “bonkers” their two characters are. Along with quarantine and wanting to play “Batman,” the Variety’s Awards Circuit podcast sits down to talk about their film “Wild Mountain Thyme” – listen below!
The pair talk about working with Oscar-winning screenwriter John Patrick Shanley (1987’s “Moonstruck”), who also directs. “He’s a genius,” says Dornan. “It’s a treat as an actor to get to play with those words. It’s so much easier to do your job and so much more fun when you have words like that. I live by that Peter O’Toole quote, ‘great words make great actors’ – you couldn’t have summed it up better. It’s very hard to make stuff work when you got shitty dialogue to speak. We’ve all been in that situation and it’s not fun.”
“The cows almost speak in verse,” says Blunt on Shanley’s scripts. “They’re almost poetic in the way they communicate with each other. The beauty of John Patrick Shanley is he doesn’t straight-jacket you. He’s interested in what you’re going to bring. He’s not precious about his words. There’s a freedom on set.”
Dornan is leaving Christian Grey, the sexually obsessed playboy from the “50 Shades of Grey” franchise, well behind him. He’s been elevating his craft after demonstrating strong outings in films like 2018’s “A Private War.” This year, he offered his voice as Chaz for “Trolls: World Tour” from DreamWorks Animation. In 2021, he’ll perform the words of Oscar-nominees Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo in “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar” and then later from writer and director Kenneth Branagh in “Belfast.” Blunt will next be seen opposite Dwayne Johnson in adventure film “Jungle Cruise” from Walt Disney Pictures.
“Wild Mountain Thyme” tells the story of Anthony and Rosemary, two star-crossed lovers in Ireland, who get caught up in their family’s land dispute. Alongside Blunt and Dornan, they co-star with veteran Oscar-winning actor Christopher Walken and Jon Hamm.
Besides making a lot of banana bread during the pandemic, Blunt, like many of us, felt the fear of uncertainty but enjoyed her time home with her family. “I think the air of uncertainty that we all felt back in March and April, turned into a bit of a surrender.” She jokingly adds, “I think I’m a very bad teacher and I never want to home school ever again.”
In discussing the diversity within Hollywood and the inclusion Blunt says, “you have to represent the world and how the world exists. The more we can represent everybody, the more enjoyable these films are going to be.” Dornan adds, “it’s sad we even have things like this in place. Hopefully we don’t have to keep having the conversation for too much longer and it starts to look a bit more representative the way the world is.”
After talking about the treacherous weather during shooting, along with other banter filled with laughs and zingers, the pair answered a couple of questions about themselves and each other.
During the 2014 press tour for “Into the Woods,” I asked Emily Blunt to tell me what her “dream role” to play was. What role do you think she said?
I imagine the Emily Blunt-Batman in my head, and it’s really coming together.
Blunt: [laughing] “It’s actually really coming together in my head as well. It could be absolutely huge, guys.”
What do you think Jamie Dornan’s favorite film was as a child?
Blunt: “Can I have a clue Jamie? Would it have been animated or not-animated?”
Dornan: “Not animated and weirdly, we just introduced it to Dulcie, our eldest, on her seventh birthday last week. We thought it was time for her to see it.”
Blunt: “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? The Sound of Music?”
Dornan: “No, she’s seen that. [giving a hint] Splurge guns. A lot of kids do a performance of it at school. Jodie Foster was in it when she was like 13.”
Blunt: “Oh, Bugsy Malone?”
When you said “Jodie Foster at 13,” I immediately went to “Taxi Driver.”
Blunt: “Me too. I was like, that is messed up, dude. I was like poor Dulcie.” [laughs]
Also, in the episode, we have the first exclusive interview with Tahar Rahim as he discusses his new role in Kevin Macdonald’s “The Mauritanian,” where he co-stars with Jodie Foster, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Shailene Woodley. Rahim discusses getting his start in the industry with films like “A Prophet” and “The Past,” and getting the opportunity to tell the harrowing true story of Mohamedou Ould Slahi.
In the Awards Circuit roundtable, the hosts discuss Warner Bros.’ decision to premiere its 2021 slate on HBO Max, as well as Emmy Awards rule changes and the documentary feature race and the frontrunners that are emerging.
Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, hosted by Clayton Davis, Jenelle Riley, Jazz Tangcay and Michael Schneider (who produces), 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, much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post every Thursday.