Sitting across from Emily Blunt and Alison Brie, one can get an accurate sense of what days on the set of The Five-Year Engagement were like – there were probably a ton of laughs at the expense of their co-star Jason Segel, and some girly heart-to-hearts about the actresses’ own love lives. With a movie premise as surprisingly real as this one, how could there not have been?
The story follows Violet (Blunt) and Tom (Segel), a genuinely in-love couple who try to balance their new engagement with the bumps and setbacks that come with moving to Michigan from San Francisco for the sake of Violet’s career. The two struggle in comparison to Violet’s sister Suzie (Brie) and Alex (Chris Pratt), who have managed to haphazardly fall into a perfect, happy marriage after getting pregnant after a drunken one-night stand. “The Five-Year Engagement”: Two Girls, One Review
Surely, 29-year-old Blunt (who’s married to The Office’s John Krasinski) and single and sassy Brie, also 29, could relate to their own characters. So, we asked them how they would’ve personally managed the hilarious scenarios in the movie (and to dish some juicy behind-the-scenes shenanigans) for us below:
How did the two of you keep a straight face while filming The Five-Year Engagement?
Emily: We didn’t! Alison’s a pro because she works on Community, and she’s surrounded by funny people all the time. But, I have no self-control. Alison, I have to say, out of the whole cast, you were the best at not breaking. Jason said it too the other day.
Alison: When I break it’s the worst because I start crying immediately! I turn to tears immediately, and Emily would always turn to look at me and say, “Alison, stop crying.” The scene where Emily is shot in the leg and we’re all standing there and Chris (Pratt) has this monologue – in the final cut for the movie you’ll see it’s a tight shot on him because we couldn’t keep it together. “Five-Year Engagement” Giveaway: Win Fun Prizes Or A Cash Card!
What was the funniest thing that happened on-set?
Emily: We were doing a scene at Winton’s (played by Rhys Ifans) house with his dog, and everyone’s trying to say his name, Gwerth. The guy playing Ming (Randall Park), who is nothing like Ming, was trying to say the dog’s name, and what made it into the movie is like a tenth of what he came up with. We were hysterical—it was like 2 a.m. at this point—and the sound guy holding the boom was laughing so hard that he farted twice. And it was so loud! We decided that was the barometer of whether or not something was funny from then on.
Alison, how do you think your character Suzie and her relationship with her sister, Violet, changes during the movie?
Alison: In the beginning, I think Suzie is just a disaster! She’s a total mess, so she comes to her sister for advice. Then, as their lives progress and Suzie makes the best out of her situation, I want to say she becomes more responsible, though it’s really just responsibility by circumstance. So, by the end, it’s really Violet getting advice from Suzie, and Suzie doesn’t give terrible advice!
Emily: I think it’s interesting at the beginning that the two sort of screw-ups, Alison and Chris Pratt’s characters, they’re the ones who actually get it right. Whereas Tom and Violet are waiting for the “perfect” moment at every turn and they keep getting it wrong, and life keeps getting in the way of making them happy. Suzie and Alex go with gut instinct, take the plunge and just go for it, and end up having a really successful and happy relationship.
What would your advice be for having a successful and happy relationship?
Emily: Life is complicated and it’s shape-shifting all the time, and you have to be willing to roll with the punches. The main thing—which I found was hard to learn as a British person—is communication. That’s a word we’re all terrified of in England! (Laughs) If you’re in a relationship, you have to talk to each other and be forever generous. The best relationships I’ve seen of my friends, and hopefully the one I’m in, is that you don’t clip each other’s wings. You really have to empower the other one to be all they can be. If one partner is stifled by the other’s success, that’s usually an unhealthy thing. Both people have to have some kind of purpose and identity, because you don’t want to end up defining yourself by your association with someone. Emily Blunt On Her Successful Marriage With John Krasinski
Do you have any advice for brides who are planning a wedding?
Emily: Don’t have too many cooks in the kitchen. It has to be your wedding. It has to be whatever you want. It’s essential, because a lot of the time people get married for other people—for their parents, relatives and friends—and everyone wants the big to-do, the dress and the ring. But, I really think that if you want to get married in your backyard, you should. And it should really be personal to you.
Emily, you and Jason’s characters break up and we’re left wondering if you’re going to get back together. Do you think it’s ever a good idea to go backwards and get back together with an ex?
Emily: I’ve personally never done the ‘get back together’ thing. Have you, Alison?
Alison: In almost every relationship I’ve had I’ve done that! (Laughs)
Emily: I’ve done the clean break.
Alison: Yeah, and I’m the ‘get back together three or four times’ type.
Emily: And has it always ended badly?
Alison: Yep! Although, I am still friends with some of them. I believe that a lot of the time when you break up with someone, it’s because you have too many differences and it’s overwhelming. Then, I feel like we develop instant amnesia where two months go by and you forget all the bad things that happened, and you only remember those really great moments. But, I’m sure in certain circumstances—and what we see in this movie—is Tom and Violet break up for reasons out of their control. They get back together because they are meant to be together and they’re overcoming this thing that was larger than both of them. 5 Definitive Reasons Not To Get Back With Your Ex VIDEO
How is this film different from other romantic comedies?
Emily: We really tried to show a modern couple, where it’s actually the girl who has the career and the guy who has to follow her and adjust. A lot of people have asked me questions like, “Do you think that Violet is selfish and career-driven?” And I say, “Hey, if the genders were reversed, this wouldn’t even be an issue, it wouldn’t even be raised.” Even though it seems different for a romantic comedy, I think it’s actually representative of what the world is actually like now. My own mother even said, “When are you going to ask me to marry you?” That’s how her and my father got married. It doesn’t always have to be that the guy is down on one knee.