News & Press

July 21, 2021

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt Grace Cover of Hollywood Reporter, Talk Jungle Cruise Camaraderie

At about 4 a.m. in the fall of 2017, after a tiring night shoot on Universal’s Skyscraper, Dwayne Johnson, arguably the busiest person in Hollywood, set aside some time to film a video for Emily Blunt. At the time, he was attached to star in Jungle Cruise, which various producers had been trying to get off the ground at Disney since at least 2004, after the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie revealed the moneymaking potential of a theme park ride reimagined as a film franchise.

Johnson, who had been taken with Blunt since The Devil Wears Prada, felt she’d be his ideal sparring partner in the film, which was envisioned as a two-hander. “I had always admired her as an actor, but also when I would watch her on talk shows, she had this personality that was effervescent, that was cool and very, very charming.” So far Blunt was proving impervious to what producer Beau Flynn calls the filmmakers’ “unilateral targeted attack.” Looking to take a break after shooting Mary Poppins Returns and A Quiet Place back-to-back, she had declined to read a script and remained unmoved even after receiving a heartfelt letter from Sean Bailey, the chief of Disney’s live-action studio.

So when Jungle Cruise‘s taciturn Spanish director, Jaume Collet-Serra, was planning to fly to New York to hand deliver a script directly to Blunt at her home in Brooklyn, Johnson wanted to send him along with the video as a kind of charm assist. “I must have shot it about five or six times because I had not communicated with Emily yet,” Johnson says. “I had not even met her. And I wanted to let her know via this video just how important she was to this movie and how I only wanted her in this movie. And it was great. And I … I actually never heard again from Emily. Didn’t respond at all. Just ghosted me.”

Says Blunt, with a smile: “I thought the video was sweet. Didn’t know you were going to be so sensitive.” Chalk up the misunderstanding to cultural differences — her British reserve versus his wrestling-ring-decibel enthusiasm. Eventually, spurred by Collet-Serra’s pitch that the film would be reminiscent of the Indiana Jones films and Romancing the Stone (and Johnson’s “sweet” video), Blunt did read the script and was won over, with the additional help of a generous payday.

Now the duo are on a soundstage in Atlanta in mid-July, where Johnson is in the final weeks of filming the Warner Bros. superhero movie Black Adam and Blunt has flown in from shooting a BBC/Amazon Western series in Spain to join him for Jungle Cruise press. The pair are seated in front of a lavish boat and jungle set, as crew around them arrange some prop shrubbery. With all the Disney promotional jazz hands deployed, this scene almost feels like the pre-pandemic movie business, save for the masks on the crew.

To read the full feature from Hollywood Reporter, click here.

Latest Tweets

🚨You’ve been put on notice 🚨 @netflix’s biggest film ever, #REDNOTICE, is streaming around the globe NOVEMBER 12th. The FBI’s top profiler, the world’s most wanted art thief & the globe-trotting heist of the century. @TheRock @VancityReynolds @GalGadot #REDNOTICE pic.twitter.com/05tsLijWrr

About 2 weeks ago from Seven Bucks Prod's Twitter via Twitter Media Studio

Tweet to @SevenBucksProd