Even if she did turn down two roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Emily Blunt is still no stranger when it comes to effects-heavy productions featuring difficult and dangerous set pieces, having taken part in a myriad of action-orientated projects like The Wolfman, sci-fi thriller The Adjustment Bureau, Rian Johnson’s Looper, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, Tom Cruise’s Edge of Tomorrow and Dwayne Johnson’s upcoming Jungle Cruise, while even something as innocuous as Mary Poppins Returns saw her spend some time strapped into a wire rig.
However, A Quiet Place Part II director John Krasinski admitted that there was a stunt in the smash hit horror sequel that his wife was a little reluctant to do given the potential pitfalls, to the extent that he staked his marriage on a successful outcome. While his comments are decidedly tongue-in-cheek, when he outlines the logistics of the scene in question, you can completely understand why there was some apprehension on Blunt’s part, especially with two child actors also in the mix.
“Emily’s stunt is so real, I think I put my marriage on the line when I put her in the car. That’s true. When I was explaining to her on set all of the things that were going to happen, and I said, ‘You’re going to hit this stuntman. That car’s going to come three feet from you. And then this bus is actually going to clock at 40 miles an hour’, her face fell and she went, ‘But not really’. And I went, ‘No, no, the bus is coming at you at 40 miles. That’s a real bus. And that bus hits that car, and all that is totally real’.
Emily, God love her, she still got in the car, but there are little boys in the car. Marcus is in the car. There’s no switch. There’s no nothing. And to go to those parents and say, ‘I promise you the stunt, Paramount safety and the stunt guys, they have all okayed this. This is all possible’. We had that bus within a hair’s breadth of being able to stop. It had all these special breaks so that we could stop real quick. So it’s three weeks of rehearsal for one minute of shooting.
I said to Emily, ‘Do you want to run it once?’. And she’s awesome. She said, ‘No’. She’s like, ‘Just put me in it’. And so that take that’s in the movie is her first take. So that’s her really saying ‘Jesus Christ’ and ‘Oh my God. Oh my God’. Because she had no idea. It’s like going on the best rollercoaster ride of your life. That was the first take that we did.”
Of course, it worked out well for everyone in the end, as A Quiet Place Part II finally debuted last weekend fourteen months behind schedule and went on to score the biggest domestic opening of the COVID-19 era and win widespread praise from all corners including critics, fans, The Exorcist director William Friedkin and Krasinski’s close friend Ryan Reynolds.
Naturally, the stunt would have generated plenty of nerves in the buildup despite Blunt’s extensive experience dealing with cinematic spectacle, and it’s refreshing to know that A Quiet Place II was willing to rely on good old fashioned practical action even if the monsters at the center of the story are CGI creations.