Her amazing performance in Oppenheimer may have led to an Oscar nomination for Emily Blunt – but it is a brutal scene viewers will never see which today leads her to apologise to co-star Cillian Murphy.
Blunt, 40, says the pair were filming one of the most tense moments of the movie when director Christopher Nolan told her to slap Murphy’s face over and over again.
“Sorry about your cheekbone Cillian,” Blunt said, per The Sun.
“Poor Cillian. Chris went, ‘Hit him’. And I was like, ‘I don’t know’. And Cillian was like, ‘Do it, do it’. Chris was like, ‘He’ll be fine … do it’.
“I slapped him then I grabbed him, by the neck really, by the collar.
“I just saw over the course of, like, ten takes that very famous cheekbone became even more prominent — and it’s not even in the movie.”
Blunt, who plays Kitty, the wife of Cillian’s physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, says the pair were already tense.
The scene was part of one of the biggest of the film about the American who played a pivotal role in the development of the first nuclear weapons, where she says the line: “You don’t get to commit sin and then ask all of us to feel sorry for you when there are consequences.”
“I was aware on the day that we didn’t have long, just slightly aware of it, of the tension building on set,” Blunt explained of the aforementioned scene.
“And it’s such a challenging scene for Cillian because he has to be sort of gibbering incoherently, so you stagger through it in rehearsals and you know it’s going to start ratcheting up the more you do it.”
Blunt also admits that her actions away from the camera led to Murphy, 47, needing medical treatment during filming in New Mexico.
Traditionally, movie stars give each other a gift at the start and end of filming. As she grew concerned for her co-star’s sleep with such a demanding role, she bought him a “fantastic” pillow.
But she says: “He’s going to kill me for telling this story.
“I was very concerned about Cillian’s sleep when we started shooting because I felt he had a monumental undertaking with this role. I thought, like, that’s a good start-of-shoot gift.
“He told me he woke up in the middle of the night and he was so thrilled to fluff himself back to sleep on the pillow, that he sort of threw his head down back on to it and smashed his head open on the bedside table.
“He was luxuriating in it so much he smashed his head open.
“So he came to set and they had to glue his head shut, all because of the pillow.”
At the end of filming, Murphy gave Blunt a bottle she “almost killed him with” in another violent scene.
The pair have remained firm friends, and on March 10, will both be up for Oscars at the ceremony in Los Angeles.
The blockbuster has nominations in 13 categories, with Murphy up for Best Actor and Blunt Best Supporting Actress, her first nomination.
“He was an amazing scene partner,” Blunt continued.
“I love Cillian, Mr Ocean Eyes, so much. He’s a wonderful friend.
“He’s captivating. He’s mesmerising in this role.
“Everything was such a masterclass watching him.”
This story originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission