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How Emily Blunt Got Ripped To Play Rita Vrataski In Edge Of Tomorrow

Starring Tom Cruise as Major William Cage and Emily Blunt as Sergeant Rita Vrataski, "Edge of Tomorrow" was a critical hit with its time loop plot – as Cage is doomed to live, die, and repeat. Considered by some to be one of the best sci-fi films of the 2010s, "Edge of Tomorrow" has great action sequences, fun thrills, and characters that you'll find yourself rooting for.

The story follows United Defense Force Media Relations Manager William Cage as he's forced to fight in a brutal war against invading aliens. Cage is a different character for Cruise as he's a coward and wants to escape the war with his life. He's not field trained and is terrified to die. In contrast, we have Sergeant Rita Vrataski, who's the face of the war after leading humanity to their only known victory against the alien invaders called Mimics. As Cage suspected, he's killed in battle, but not before he gets the Mimics' blood on him, allowing him to take control of their power to go back in time and repeat the day. Luckily, Rita had previous experience with this power, and the two work together to try to save the world.

"Edge of Tomorrow" required serious work on the actors' parts to get in shape. Blunt detailed her intense training for the film, which was necessary since she'd be sharing the screen with Cruise (who is famous for performing his own stunts). We've got all the details on what she did to prepare for her role in "Edge of Tomorrow."

Emily Blunt trained with LA-based trainer Jason Walsh

In order to prepare 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, "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" (via Women's Health). 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 having "a pretty good foundation" for how to work with each other (via Women's Health).

Emily Blunt trained with a 60-pound weighted vest

The exoskeleton armor we see Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise wear in the film is pretty heavy-duty. It was designed by Pierre Bohanna, who worked on the "Dark Knight" trilogy for Batman's suit. However, this time he truly outdid himself, as the suit in "Edge of Tomorrow" weighed 85 pounds (via 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. "That's what I specialize in," he tells 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 suits' design — stating that bionics used to help paraplegics walk was a big inspiration for his team.

Because of this, Blunt trained to carry an additional 50 to 60 pounds safely on her body. Her trainer, Jason Walsh, shared that, while he wanted her to be prepared, he also wanted to ensure that she was training in a safe environment (via Women's Health). Above all else, her safety was most important, so she took part in a lot of stretching and cardio to build up her stamina.

Emily Blunt trained with Tom Cruise and the stunt team

Once Emily Blunt showed up on set for filming, Tom Cruise was apparently 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. Therefore, he wanted them to work out together, in addition to her training with the stunt crew (via Women's Health).

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 — well, as real as a sci-fi film about aliens invading and time travel can be.

"We had to wear these enormous robotic suits," Blunt shared on the "SmartLess" podcast. "I think it would've 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. This mimics most of the films that Cruise has worked on. Let's not forget he famously held onto a moving plane in "Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation," acted his stunt scenes in a real fighter jet in "Top Gun: Maverick," and climbed up the Burj Khalifa (the tallest free-standing building in the world) 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.

Emily Blunt almost broke her nose on set

It's a given that no matter how safe a shoot might be, accidents and injuries happen on set. And when you're working on an action flick that's trying to bring some practicality and realism into its scenes, it's a no-brainer that someone's going to walk away with a few bumps and bruises. Emily Blunt suffered an injury of her own on the set of "Edge of Tomorrow" when she almost broke her nose. While she avoided a fracture, it was still a painful blow — a member of the set's medical team had to put the cartilage back in place with their fingers. Gross.

According to the actress, she was practicing working with the massive sword Rita uses to cut down the alien Mimics. Unfortunately for Blunt, while she was swinging, the sword got caught on one of the wires holding her up for an aerial stunt. In an effort to force the blade out, she accidentally hit herself in the face with the bottom end of the sword. After the incident, Tom Cruise came in to give her a high-five for her first stunt injury.

Emily Blunt did a lot of sprints

In order to increase her endurance, Emily Blunt worked tirelessly on her cardio. Her trainer for "Edge of Tomorrow," Jason Walsh, shared with 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."

How Tom Cruise motivated Emily Blunt

During her time on the "SmartLess" 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, stating that she was "feeling a bit panicky about the whole shoot."

She stated 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 pu**y, 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 lighthearted moment, not an offensive one. She shared that this joke is something she and Cruise still laugh about to this day (via E! News).

Emily Blunt did most of her own stunts

Due to her extreme training, Emily Blunt was able to do most of her own stunts in "Edge of Tomorrow." However, that did not 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 where 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 one who can be hands-off. However, she quickly learned that he was trying to help her as he'd driven many stunts 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 — they crashed into a tree.

Luckily, the two made it out okay, with her jokingly telling Cruise that she found his comments under his breath to be incredibly annoying. Luckily, they laughed it off and moved on ... hopefully with a different car.

Edge of Tomorrow inspired Emily Blunt's future workouts

"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 her brother-in-law, fellow actor Stanley Tucci, in 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 Hayley Atwell.

Although 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 "muscular endurance and cardio fitness to cope with the demands put on her body daily while filming."

Emily Blunt trained when she was pregnant on the set of Into the Woods

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 was recently pregnant. 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, "The priority was to make sure we did not exhaust her, as she had a singing and dancing role whilst being pregnant" (via Women's Health). Luckily, this was completely in Eastwood's wheelhouse, as the trainer was once a former dancer. 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.

Emily Blunt is unsure if there will be an Edge of Tomorrow 2 to train for

After the success of "Edge of Tomorrow," the question on everyone's mind is, will there be another one? Holding a 91% rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an audience score of 90%, this film is ripe for a sequel, so why hasn't it happened yet?

Emily Blunt shared with EW that she did read a script for "Edge of Tomorrow 2," stating, "That was an amazing script, but I just don't know what the future holds for it. I did read a script that was in really great shape, but it's just a matter of if that can even happen now."

In 2016, it seemed as though a sequel was happening. Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse were hired to write the script (via Deadline), which seemed to impress director Doug Liman. He told Collider, "The story is so amazing — much better than the original film, and I loved and loved the original film — and second of all, it's a sequel that's a prequel. I had these intellectual ideas on how you should make a sequel that are unlike how anybody else makes a sequel, and this script and this idea fit perfectly into that idea. So it's gonna revolutionize how people make sequels."

However, nothing has happened. And at this point, it's unlikely "Edge of Tomorrow 2" will ever happen. Both Tom Cruise and Blunt have expressed an interest to return to the world "Edge of Tomorrow" created, but time will tell if we'll ever get to see Sergeant Rita Vrataski and Major William Cage suit up once more.