Being gnome is no walk in the park
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - April 18, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - For Emily Blunt who provides the voice of the feisty and independent Juliet in Touchstone Pictures’ animated comedy Gnomeo & Juliet, becoming a gnome isn’t a walk in the garden, so to speak.

“Acting is acting,” says Blunt, adding “the approach to this film is not unlike others. When you’re doing a comedic version of one of the greatest love stories of all-time, I think it always has to be ingrained in some kind of truth because people don’t laugh if they’re not invested. We all very much wanted to play real people in this.”

She’s beautiful, delicate and pristine — at least according to her father, Lord Redbrick, the head of the Reds. As such, Juliet’s place is aptly atop a grand fountain pedestal. “But she’s also very fiery,” says Blunt of her character, “and very much her father’s child, so I was really thrilled to see that they’ve made her kind of a tomboy.”

Below are excerpts from an interview with Blunt:

Is it exciting to take part in a project that features a classic story and phenomenal animation, plus Elton John music?

“As soon as I heard about this project I think I said, ‘I’m in,’ before I’d spoken to my agents or anything. So, I called them saying, ‘Oh, I’m doing this thing.’ And they’re like, ‘Right, did you want to talk it through with us first?’ It was very easy for me to say yes but I think if I’d had any hesitation, a gently persuasive phone call from Elton John would have been just the ticket.”

Do you find that, despite the twist this film takes, Gnomeo & Juliet is true to its inspiration?

“It is very, very funny and it’s a very heightened world to invest in, but I really feel that the core of what is so sweeping and romantic about Romeo and Juliet is still there. This truly captures the essence of forbidden love and it really captures the teenage frustrations that we’ve all felt. It’s a very human story at the end of the day and quite an emotional one. And I think this is definitely the ending that people always wanted from Romeo and Juliet.”

How do you balance the comedy with the story’s roots?

“When you’re doing a comedic version of something, I think it always has to be ingrained in some kind of truth because people don’t laugh if they’re not invested. We all very much wanted to play real people in this.”

Gnomeo & Juliet is now showing in theaters.

ELTON JOHN FOR EMILY BLUNT GNOMEO JULIET LORD REDBRICK PEOPLE ROMEO AND JULIET TOUCHSTONE PICTURES
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