‘British’ Probably one of the best shows to come out this fall. A limited series of six episodes starring Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer. An epic western that touches on themes of identity and revenge. A compelling parable about race, power, and love. Heroes is an English aristocrat. Lady Cornelia Locke (Blunt) and a Pawnee cavalry scout, Hand Whip (Spencer), merging paths in the Midwest of the United States in 1890 through landscapes built on dreams and blood. Fate will test them to their limits physically and psychologically. But as they overcome obstacles, they’ll get even closer to Hoxem, Wyoming, where they’ll help solve the murders. We had the opportunity to speak with Blunt in Los Angeles during the promotion of ‘The English’, written and directed by Hugo Blick, filmed in Spain and available on HBO Max.
—How did you prepare for a drama where you spend most of your time on horseback?
“I didn’t know how to ride a horse so I had to learn about three months before I started. For other projects I’ve done I had to ride pretty simply. But that required him to really know what he was doing. I rode about eight different horses for three months. I was ready for any horse they put me on. I loved shooting in Spain, it was a fascinating experience.
—What was your first reaction when you read the script for ‘The English’ for the first time?
“I thought it was a good story. A show that talks about love in a tender and authentic way. It’s really great to see what this couple went through. I loved their chemistry. Despite the tragedies she had to face, I thought Cornelia was an optimistic woman. It gives hope to this introverted and restrained man. He speaks when he’s quiet. I think the way the characters come out is delicious. They need each other to survive and love each other hopelessly.
—The connection between the actors is incredible.
“Chaske and I had the chance to meet beforehand. We were rehearsing before we came to Spain and we spent two weeks tourism there, which brought us together. We talked a lot about their friendship, their journey, the way they fell in love. We get so close that we feel like them. I think Chasque and I fell in love with our characters. I loved his character Eli. I think the audience will fall in love too.
—You seem to be attracted to standalone characters in extreme situations.
-Yes. I don’t like playing the girl in distress. Cornelia is a unique character. I think this is extremely surprising, even for himself. And maybe the funny thing is that he eventually kills but then feels guilty and horrified by it. She is a woman driven by her instincts. When it progresses, it does so by instinct, not strategy. I love playing the humanity of the characters. I want to continue playing roles that are physically demanding and leave the audience in awe.
—’The English’ is entirely directed by Hugo Blick. How was the filming in Spain?
—Hugo is such an incredible director that I didn’t need much to create my part. All the scenes were in the mind of this strange and extraordinary genius. This project was so important and so moving for me that it changed me as an actor and as a person. Watching Cornelia awaken to the atrocities surrounding her and her humanity has so moved me that I’m still under her spell.
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