Emily Blunt and Claire Foy have plenty in common. They’re both British, both incredibly witty, and both hit career highs this year with roles in Mary Poppins and First Man, respectively. And, as they learned in this joint interview—which also, remarkably, marked their first time meeting—they both share a deep love for Rihanna. Can you blame them? As the duo swapped notes on their respective roles, including Blunt’s fear of dancing on the set of Mary Poppins and Foy’s first day jitters, it became clear that a new, glorious friendship was born. Here, the pair talk first kisses, Halloween, and more.
Emily, what was the hardest part about playing Mary Poppins?
Emily Blunt: Probably learning how to dance. That was the thing that I was most nervous about. On day one of rehearsals when you’re handed a hat and a cane by Rob Marshall, the most amazing choreographer director ever, I was like, “Oh my, god.” And maybe the initial idea of taking on someone that iconic, but then once I kind of got over my fears it was just, deliciously fun. I loved it.
Do you get nervous before the first day of filming, Claire?
Claire Foy: Oh yeah, I think you always get nervous the first day. It’s a gradual process of trying to work yourself up to being brave enough to be on set. You always worry that the first word, the first scene you do, the words that come out your mouth, that everyone’s just gonna go,”Oh, we’ve made a terrible, terrible mistake. Stop, put down your tools, we’re going back to the drawing board.”
What was your favorite toy growing up?
Blunt: I had a softball called Bally with a ribbon on it. Bally was very well loved, to the point where he probably could have cleared this room with how smelly he was. Foy: I had a pillow. It was a disgusting pillow that I had until I was about twenty-one. I think I took it to University, shamefully. Blunt: I love that you were like, “No, I was never a fan of toys.” Foy: I never had a particular favorite toy. I did like Cindies. Did you have Cindies? Blunt: Is a Cindy a British Barbie? Foy: Yes, so she’s less tanned.
Did you celebrate Halloween when you were a kid?
Blunt: Yes, but now I live in New York and it’s so much more intense there. The fact that you can kind of wear anything for Halloween. Whereas, growing up you were either like a cat or a bat or a witch. And that’s it isn’t it? Foy: I never did Halloween. I don’t know what I did as a child.
What was your first red carpet outfit?
Blunt: I think it must have been for My Summer of Love. I think I was far too tanned and I was wearing sort of a very bright yellow dress. Of course,I didn’t have hair and makeup at that time so I did it myself. My sister came with me on the press tour and we always laugh at how sweaty we looked. Horrible. Not my finest moment. But I would say that I think is the earliest memory of rather overwhelming red carpet. Foy: I think my first proper one probably would be for Season of the Witch. I wore a new designer, I can’t remember his name, which is really wonderful of me. He’s gonna really like that. Miguel, he’s called Miguel, I think. It was like a white. I really loved it.
Emily, where was your first kiss?
Blunt: Oh god, this is so embarrassing. It was playing spin the bottle. I was thirteen and his name was Ashley Clark. It was my birthday party. I was so nervous. I also didn’t know what I was doing and it was a disarming thing to have my first sort of French Kiss. When the tongue comes at you with … it’s a lot coming at you. Just don’t really know how to cope with it. It was just all rather overwhelming. I remember surreptitiously wiping my mouth after.
Claire, what is your secret skill?
Foy: I’m a fixer. I’m good at fixing things. I love a bulb replacement job. I’ve been known to get a wood glue out in my time. I just love mending things. My daughter says, “It’s okay because Mummy will fix it now.” I’m very limited. She’ll soon realize that I can’t fix. I’m just waiting for the tire to go on the car or something and no, Mummy can’t fix that. Blunt: I can play the cello, but that’s boring. Foy: Do you have a cello at home? Blunt: I do. Honestly I think I’m quite rubbish now. So I think I haven’t played for a years and I think it’s because I’m scared that I’m not gonna be as good as I used to be. I’ve vowed to the ukulee, because I think I can bring it with me on set and really everyone will enjoy it.
Who is your girl crush?
Foy: Annette Benning I’m quite in love with. I think she’s amazing. Blunt: Rihanna. I mean, come on. Smoking. That song she did, “Stay?” Isn’t it gorgeous? It actually makes me cry that song, it’s so beautiful.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Foy: It would probably be Foreigner, “I Want to Know What Love Is.” But you can’t do it alone. Blunt: I quite like a little Otis Redding, “Try a Little Tenderness.” It is quite difficult. It takes a lot of tequila to get through that one, but it’s doable.