In 2018’s A Quiet Place, the Abbott family finds ways to survive in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by viscous blind monsters with an acute sense of hearing who attack anything that makes a sound. Forced to live in silence, the Abbotts navigate a world in which creatures have overwhelmed and wiped out most of humanity.
Lee Abbott (John Krasinski) and his wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt) are doing everything they can to protect their three children as they try to get by. When Evelyn gets pregnant, the situation becomes even more dire, but thanks to their deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds) they learn sign language and techniques that help them in handling a quiet world.
By the end of that film, a noise-generating device is developed which can paralyze and destroy the creature. The film ends on an optimistic note.
Following the box-office success of the first film, Krasinski write the follow-up, and again was hired in February 2019 to direct. Production took place in Western New York from June to September of that year. The film then had its world premiere in New York City on March 8, 2020 but thanks to a year or more of postponements due to the pandemic, it’s getting theatrically released in the United States the end of this month. It will then be available to stream on Paramount+ 45 days after its theatrical debut.
Veteran British actor Blunt received various honors, including a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and nominations for two British Academy Film Awards. Though she’s done a broad range of roles he’s won acclaim for her roles in various genre films such as science fiction films The Adjustment Bureau, Looper, and Edge of Tomorrow. After she tackled the horror-sci-fi thriller A Quiet Place — there’s much anticipation for her work in the sequel.
An Exclusive Interview with Actress Emily Blunt on ‘A Quiet Place Part II’
Q: Since the original film, the main character has grown as really a stronger woman. How did you prepare this time around?
Emily Blunt: I really do love this character. In the first movie, you see her attempts [to cope]. Now you’re seeing her faced with a lot more adversity in this one. They are now exposed, and she needs help and find a refuge. The only thing that stands between her children dying is her. She knows that. That’s a lot on one person. It’s wonderful to explore her again, but things have ratcheted up for her emotionally, shooting this second one was a more intense for me emotionally.
Q: What was your first reaction when you heard about making a sequel, and what was your impression of the script?
E.B: John and I promised each other to try not to feel pressure and not try and replicate it. This is just the next chapter. That’s all it is. It’s a continuation of the story. If you go into it trying to outdo the first one, you’re going to fall flat. This world is so rich with possibilities and is such an exciting environment. There’s so much mileage to this conceit that if you make noise, you die. As this family has to venture out, it’s just full of infinite possibilities as to what he could write about what they are going to do or who they would encounter that could be a threat. That bigger idea, if you want to talk metaphorically or feel it politically in the world right now, is the idea of a fractured sense of society, of not extending your hand to your neighbor. Those are some of the deeper themes running through it.
Q: Though John wrote the script, were you involved in some way about its the structure?
E.B: No, not prior to starting it. He’s very collaborative with me and willing to hear my ideas. The reason we work together so well is that we’re creatively into each other and we align ourselves on what we respond to, on what we like or what moves us. Even when we watch a movie at home, we like the same things about it. It’s a natural fit for us to collaborate. He makes me feel like he cares very much about what I think, which is really nice. I’ve been doing this long enough — I don’t know how many movies I’ve done — so for me, it’s never about just the acting side of it. I care deeply about the story. I’m interested in all the facets now.
Q: How did the family dynamic change in this film?
E.B : What you see is not only that Evelyn has to take over both roles of raising these children of being reassuring and making them know they’re safe, and of making big decisions for them as a family. I can’t imagine being put in that situation, but at the same time, what I love about this film is that when dad is gone, the dynamic shifts so that you see them grow up. The children are the future.
Millicent, who’s Regan, is the weapon, she’s figured out how to kill them, and she’s the only way that you can kill them because the weakness of being deaf is now weaponized. She becomes the future and the answer. The idea of a generational shift that happens within a family, once one generation passes on, who forges ahead in life?
Q: Are there elements in this movie that come from your maternity in real life that you bring to this film?
E.B: I find this to be the most personal experience of my life. What everyone experiences in this film is my worst nightmare as a person. It would be my deepest fear, my deepest nightmare. It is a quite harrowing experience playing her at times. I’m not an actor who is method or anything like that, but to go into this world and do this authentically, you have to go to places you don’t want to and identify with situations you might not want to. It was very personal playing her.
Q: In the original film, when the family puts the sand around the house and paper on the wall — or puts a silly mask on the baby — it’s all to be quiet. Did you have anything new added in this film like that?
E.B: You’ll see the new environments that they find themselves in, like where they find other people and see how these people have survived. There are new ways to be quiet and you can see it in the trailer when Cillian [Murphy who playsdives in and the door, closes, and the light goes out. They’re in this very confined space environment. It’s like in the first one where you have to go underground, there’s a bit of that. You see how other people have survived, so I think that’s what’s clever about what John’s done. He shows you not only how people have survived, but also how survival has affected them as people.
Q: The scene with the bathtub last time was one of the toughest scenes to shoot for you. What was the most challenging scene to shoot this time?
E.B: There’s a sequence which you see a little bit of in the trailer, where, after I trip the wire and the buckets fall, the sequence follows that moment where we’re literally running for our lives and something horrific happens along the way. I would say that was the hardest shoot day for me. That was the hardest one I experienced. It was like 95 degrees outside… It was so hot and we were shooting in a coal mine, with coal dust everywhere. People had black all up in their nose and eyes, and it was just a really difficult environment and it was a very long action sequence. We shot it over a week.
Q: You have to bring together your acting and all this stuff. That must have been really be difficult…
E.B : That was a hard week for everyone.
Q: How was the collaboration this time around?
E.B : It felt similar to the first one, but yet it was more effortless because we’ve all worked together before. I know he knows what I’m like at work. I know what he’s like at work. We know each other’s traits creatively. I don’t know if it felt any different other than this movie had a bigger scope, but he’s not in the movie. So, I think it was probably a good thing that he wasn’t in it as well because visually it’s more ambitious. It helped that he was behind the camera and was able to orchestrate things that were going on.
Q: You were a stutterer when you were young. Growing up with that difficulty as a child, did it help you relate to the difficulty these children are going through. How did that help shape the film?
E.B : Millie is one of the most incredible people I’ve ever met or probably will ever meet. She’s so arresting as a person, and also kind, good, funny and witty. It was just inspiring being around her, and certainly, in this movie, she knows we’re like a family. We go way back and I could sense her blossoming and opening up on this movie even more and feeling so a part of this family that we’ve created.
Whenever you grow up with something that makes you different — not to align myself being a stutterer over the challenges that Millicent faces — but I it made me stand out, and that made me different which wasn’t always easy.
It does create real empathy for others, and I always say to kids who I work with, with doctors, and their parents about it, “Everyone’s got something that makes them different, and this just happens to be your thing.”
It’s very true of anyone who has some setback that actually it’s just a part of you, It’s not all of you. I see that in Millie, that her being deaf does not define her, nor is she overcome by it. It’s just a part of who she is.
Q: Are there any scenes that you want the young audience to see or talk about?
E.B : The film ultimately is really an empowering film for young people to see because they represent the future and we should listen to them. They have a good take on what kind of world they want to live in, and so I think the film definitely follows that theme of growing up and taking over.
Here’s the Trailer of the film.