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Rocking an 85-pound exoskeleton and getting some tough love from Tom Cruise, this is how Emily Blunt got into tip-top shape for Edge of Tomorrow. In order to prepare her for the role of Rita, Emily Blunt trained for two and a half months prior to shooting. She worked with Jason Walsh, a trainer who has collaborated with a plethora of celebrity clients. His Instagram features photos of him training with Brie Larson, Donald Glover, Bradley Cooper, Pedro Pascal, Miles Teller, and others. Training Blunt for this intense role was likely just another Tuesday for him. Walsh's company, Rise Nation, started as a way for people to train their bodies as an athlete would. Walsh applied that philosophy when training Blunt.
As he put it via Women's Health, "'What I specialize in is figuring out where the weak points are. It's like building the foundation of a house. You never, ever want to have any cracks because she would be carrying around an 85-pound exoskeleton for a lot of the film. " For Walsh, it was all about building up Blunt's resilience so the cracks would never show. He helped strengthen Blunt's body so she would be prepared to run, jump, and do whatever else she needed to in her suit.
Luckily, she'd already worked with Walsh before signing on for Edge of Tomorrow, and Walsh described their relationship as already having a decent foundation, leaving them with an excellent idea of how to work together. The exoskeleton armor we see Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise wearing in the film is pretty heavy duty. It was designed by Pierre Bohanna, who worked on the Dark Knight trilogy, creating Batman's suit. However, he truly outdid himself while working on Edge of Tomorrow, as the massive mechanical suit weighed in at 85 pounds, according to EW.
Bohanna shared that his team made the suit themselves and that it's made up of over 400 different pieces of machinery and hardware, over half of them custom-made, which is what he specializes in. As he told EW, ". . . you set up a manufacturing process that's bespoke to it. All the CAD drawing, all the prototype work, all the molding, the casting, the fabrication, artwork, and assembly were all done in-house. " Bohanna also shared that he looked at real models to inspire the suit's design, stating that bionics used to help paraplegic lock was a big inspiration for his team. Because of this, Blunt trained to carry an additional 50 to 60 pounds safely on her body.
Walsh shared with Women's Health that, while he wanted her to be prepared, he also wanted to ensure that she was training in a safe environment. Above all else, her safety was most important, so she took part in a lot of stretching and cardio to build up her stamina. Once Emily Blunt showed up on set for filming, Tom Cruise was incredibly impressed with her dedication and all of the work she put in beforehand to bring Rita to life. According to Walsh, Cruise complimented the actress by saying that he's never worked with someone who came as prepared for the action scenes as she was.
Therefore, he wanted them to work out together, in addition to her training with the stunt crew. Cruise and Blunt worked out to keep up the momentum and stay in shape. Blunt shared that everything about shooting Edge of Tomorrow aimed to capture some realism, or at least as real as a sci-fi film about aliens invading and time travel can be. Blunt said on the Smart List podcast, ". . . we had to wear these enormous robotic suits. I think it would have been great if they could have CGI'd them, but we wanted to do it practically in a tactile way. " In other words, they wanted it to be as real as possible.
And the only way to do that was to put in the work. Cruise has long been known for doing all his own stunts, like when he famously held onto a moving plane in Mission Impossible, Rogue Nation, flew in a real fighter jet for his stunt scenes in Top Gun Maverick, and climbed up the Burj Khalifa in Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol. Some stunt scenes in Cruise's movies nearly killed him, illustrating his daredevil nature. Now Blunt can say that she was right up there with him for this film. In order to increase her endurance, Emily Blunt worked tirelessly on her cardio. Her trainer for Edge of Tomorrow, Jason Walsh, told Women's Health, ". . .
we worked to make sure she had mobility in her joints, and then flexibility and base strength. Once her body was resilient and strong enough, and she had a lot of endurance, I took her out to the UCLA track to really condition her. She did tons and tons of sprints up the stairs. " Once Blunt's endurance was good enough, Walsh began adding pounds to the actress with a weighted vest. However, it was important to not start off with 60 pounds. Instead, Walsh started with 10 pounds before gradually moving up the ladder. Once Blunt was ready, they moved up to 20 pounds, and continued to climb at 10-pound intervals.
Walsh argues that training is all about challenging yourself to find enjoyment, even when it's hard. And that's the secret sauce that makes training so powerful, especially for a role like Rita in Edge of Tomorrow. For Walsh, it's a good thing when strenuous workouts become habitual. By then, you're at a place where you can really push yourself. According to the trainer, that's when it becomes fun. During her time on the Smart List podcast, Emily Blunt shared a moment she and Tom Cruise had together while filming Edge of Tomorrow. She recalled when she put on the 85-pound exoskeleton armor. She started crying as it was so heavy and overwhelming for her.
At the time, she didn't want to cry in front of everyone, but she felt very strongly about the cumbersome gear. She expressed to Cruise that she wasn't sure how she would be able to play Rita and was feeling really panicky about the shoot. She said Cruise was initially so surprised that he froze, not knowing how to comfort her. However, once he composed himself, he opted for a joke, telling her, Come on, stop being such a b***h, okay? Luckily, that gave her a good laugh and helped her get into the mindset to do their job. She referred back to the weeks of training she had just endured to play Rita and was able to step back into the role.
While there are some who have taken offense to this exchange, Blunt has maintained that it was only meant to motivate her. According to the actress, it was a light-hearted moment, not an offensive one. She shared that this joke is something she and Cruise still laugh about to this day via E! News. Due to her extreme training, Emily Blunt was able to do most of her own stunts in Edge of Tomorrow. However, that didn't prepare her for one of the most intense stunts of all, a car crash. During her time on Conan, Blunt detailed a scene she and Tom Cruise share when she's driving a car at high speed.
She and Cruise are attempting to escape from a mimic that's attacking them from behind. Blunt's character Rita is driving while Cruise's character Cage is shooting at the creature. Blunt shared how she was initially annoyed with Cruise as he was muttering instructions on how to drive under his breath, stating that Cruise is not particularly comfortable being hands-off. However, she quickly learned that he was trying to help her as he'd done a fair amount of stunt driving before and knew when it was time for her to hit the brakes. And since Blunt was driving the car extremely fast, per the director's instructions, by the time she realized her mistake it was too late and they crashed into a tree.
Luckily, the two made it out okay, with her jokingly telling Cruise that she found his comments to be incredibly annoying. Luckily, they laughed it off and moved on, most likely with a different car. Edge of Tomorrow was released in 2014, and since then, Emily Blunt has continued to express interest in fitness and training. While she was initially a client of her Edge of Tomorrow trainer Jason Walsh, Blunt has also been working with trainer Monique Eastwood for her everyday workouts. According to Women's Health, Blunt has trained with Eastwood for several years, even bringing in her brother-in-law, fellow actor Stanley Tucci, as one of Eastwood's clients.
According to Eastwood's testimonials, she has racked up quite a few celebrity clients outside of Blunt's talented family. Eastwood has worked with actor Sam Rockwell, downhill skier Jack Gower, actress Ruth Wilson, and Captain America the First Avenger star Hailey Atwell. Though Blunt trained with Walsh for Edge of Tomorrow, Eastwood did tell Women's Health that she helped to prep Blunt before training with Walsh began. She shared that they worked on cardio fitness and muscular endurance to prepare for filming. In the same year that Edge of Tomorrow was released, Emily Blunt also starred in the musical film Into the Woods. The actress began filming after her work on Edge of Tomorrow, but had become pregnant in the interim.
This time, she worked with Monique Eastwood as her trainer, who took extra care when building workout plans to compensate for Blunt's pregnancy with her eldest daughter Hazel. Eastwood recalls that she had to adapt her training regimen to ensure Blunt would be okay with the demands of working on a musical set. Eastwood shared with Women's Health, The priority was to make sure we did not exhaust her, as she had a singing and dancing role whilst being pregnant. Luckily, this was completely in Eastwood's wheelhouse, as the trainer was once a former dancer, and working with a pregnant Blunt during musical numbers was incredibly familiar for her.
It's clear that all the training she experienced with Walsh for Edge of Tomorrow prepared Blunt to tackle the demands of this role while she was pregnant. And in the end, the physical requirements for the films Into the Woods and Edge of Tomorrow were impressive hurdles for the actress to overcome. .