Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, and the Chemistry Mystery

Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, stars of the new romantic thriller "The Adjustment Bureau," discuss their fiery onscreen chemistry.


PHOTOGRAPH: ANDREW SCHWARTZ / UNIVERSAL

Chemistry is a mysterious thing. And not chemistry as in the mixing of chemicals but as in the sparks that fly when boy meets girl. Onscreen romances live or die by the strength of their leads’ chemistry, but the answer to how something so crucial to the success of so many films comes about is at best vague. “I feel like chemistry is such a weird thing and you can’t really pin down what it is. You can’t wrap it up in a box and be like, ‘Hey! We have got it now!’” Emily Blunt glances at her co-star for confirmation, but Matt Damon is conspicuously examining his microphone, pretending not to have heard anything she’s just said. She continues on, feigning obliviousness to his indifference. “I think it really helps when you genuinely like the person,” she says as Damon finally perks up, “[but] he’s going to deny that right now.” “Now I can’t,” he responds in a mock whine. The two look at each other for a moment and then burst into laughter. Whatever determines if two people have chemistry, Damon and Blunt certainly have it.

We’re here to talk about “The Adjustment Bureau,” the new romantic thriller starring Damon and Blunt. He plays an up-and-coming politician, she an accomplished dancer, and it is (cinematic) love at first sight. Their relationship, however, isn’t in ‘the plan,’ and the shadowy agents of the Adjustment Bureau step in to keep them apart permanently. It’s an intriguing premise but one that crumbles to ashes if the romantic fire doesn’t burn hot enough. If a man is going to challenge the very Agents of Fate themselves, the audience better darn well believe he loves the girl. “The whole [film] hinges on that one thing,” Damon says in regards to the chemistry. “If you don’t care about these characters and want them to be together, there’s no movie.”


PHOTOGRAPH: ANDREW SCHWARTZ / UNIVERSAL

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Someone has derailed the conversation (unsurprising given the pure star wattage Damon exudes) to talk about Damon’s fantastic turn as LaBoeuf the Texas Ranger in “True Grit.” “I had so much fun making that movie,” Damon begins before Blunt interrupts him: “Me too! I played the [13-year old] girl.” More laughter follows as the two continue to trade jabs. Indeed, it’s as if the entire interview is really an excuse to see who can one-up the other in front of the press rather than a chance to promote their film (one can imagine them placing bets before hand to see who gets the most guffaws). I’d say it was a carefully calculated PR stunt if it wasn’t so effortless. Asked what inspires him, Damon, without batting an eye, says, “[Emily’s] performance in ‘Black Swan.’” Blunt, of course, had nothing to do with the film that just snagged Natalie Portman an Oscar. “Very smart,” she responds snidely. One more point to Damon, it seems.

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Related Topics: Matt Damon, Emily Blunt

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