As Blunt gets used to life under public scrutiny, she's developed a few coping mechanisms, including poker games, hiking and cooking. And after several years spent primarily in the company of North Americans, she's also finding that their directness is rubbing off on her, mostly in a good way. "I've become more confrontational and more inclined to voice my feelings if I'm excited about something," she says. "Now I can be tenacious and say, 'I want this part.' " But there are still a few areas where her natural reticence holds sway. The scariest people in the world for Blunt: any group of confident 16-year-old girls, including her young sister's friends. ("They're like little gaggles of witches, and I always feel like I can't say anything sensible or cool," she says. "I'm like, 'Hi guys!' and it just sounds so lame.") And Blunt remains English at heart, so no matter how dissatisfied she might be with a dish she orders in a restaurant, she will never, ever complain about it.
"I'll let Michael send it back for me," she says. "I still embarrass very easily."