Meanwhile, there's her Canadian main man, Bublé, whom Blunt began dating in 2005, after meeting him backstage at one of his concerts. Asked about the pros and cons of celebrity coupledom, Blunt says it's actually a relief to be dating someone who's more famous than she is. "It's harder when you're the one emasculating [your boyfriend]. I've done that, and it doesn't work," she says. "If someone is not fulfilled in what they do and you're a successful girl, it will work against you."
Bluntwho in person exudes the delicate voluptuousness that she brought to the acclaimed My Summer of Love (2004), with none of her Prada character's skittish frigidityis more candid than your typical actress on the verge, having not yet adopted the habit of self-protective caginess. ("I think that when you give an interview, you should give an interview," she says.) She describes Empire, the 2005 ABC miniseries in which she starred, as "the sad little brother of Rome," admitting that she did it mainly for the money. She says that her parentsa lawyer and a teacherhave been justifiably unnerved as they watch their daughter dip her toe into the dark waters of celebrityhood. At the Prada premiere in New York, where they found Blunt a little too good at playing the red-carpet robot, her mother told her, "I just feel like I don't have a place with you here." In response, "I got cross," Blunt recalls. "I said, 'You've just got to blend in. I'm dealing with insecuritiesyou've got to f---ing blend in!' Those nights are not fun for me."
If Blunt is conflicted about the growing discrepancy between her public and private selves, The Young Victoria, in which she has 42 costume changes, should give her a chance to put that uncertainty to good use. Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and written by Julian Fellowes (an Oscar winner for Gosford Park), the movie begins in 1836, when 18-year-old Victoria first emerges from the shadow of her neurotically overprotective motherwho forbade her to climb the stairs without adult supervisionand figures out how to tackle the role of Queen of England, a performance that would last for six decades. Blunt says she liked the script for its modern take on Victoria's romance with Prince Albert ("I felt there weren't any lutes playing gently in the background") and for its view of the youthful Queen as a feisty and warmhearted woman forced into a job that's way over her head. Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, initially developed the idea with financier Graham King, and shooting is now under way in London. During a private tour last spring of Windsor Castle, where some scenes are being shot, Blunt was allowed to read a few of the ardent love letters that Victoria wrote, in German, to Albert. "They were so romantic," Blunt recalls, adding that the Queen had terrible penmanship. "Illegible," she says. "Albert's was very neat."