If Emily Blunt could go back and change her wedding day, she definitely would.
Not the part where she pledged forever to John Kraskinski, of course, just one small decision she made in the lead up to that July day. "I got a bad spray tan, and I would probably change that," she confessed during a March 2020 appearance on The Late Late Show With James Corden. "I look at the pictures and it just has an orange hue that is unnatural to normal skin color."
Having flown their guests—including Matt Damon, Meryl Streep and Jimmy Kimmel—to George Clooney's sprawling Italian villa, she still marvels at the fact that she decided to pinch pennies with her bridal look. "It was a do-it-yourself—why was I on a budget on my wedding day? Why?" she lamented. "It was a bit patchy. It stinks! And it was a very hot day, so if you sweat and you have a spray tan—wearing white. Just seeping orange. It was terrible."
But if rain on your wedding day is meant to be good luck, navigating rivers of faux tanner may just be akin to striking it rich. Because that's just what The Office alum and the Golden Globe-winning movie star did on the shores of Lake Como nearly 11 years ago.
Not revealing too much about her personal life is how the 38-year-old Brit does the work of believably inhabiting a wide range of characters—a hapless binge drinker, a magical supernanny, an ice cold fashion assistant—but it'd be next to impossible to conceal just how much of a good thing she's got going with the 41-year-old native of Newton, Mass. Just spying them together on the red carpet are on a Broadway date night is enough to realize they each believe they're getting the better half of the deal in their relationship.
Because to hear Blunt tell it, their initial encounter nearly a decade-and-a-half ago was actually earth-shaking.
"Meeting John really changed my life," she raved in a 2013 InStyle cover story. "When I feel the support that I have from him, I feel invincible. There's someone behind you on your good days, and someone in front of you on your bad days."
Krasinski is just as certain he's found the Pam to his Jim. "She's one of the coolest people, she's so talented, she's beautiful, and she's certainly out of my league," he told The Daily Beast in 2016. "When you're lucky enough to meet your one person then life takes a turn for the best."
For the actor-writer-producer, still best known as Dunder Mifflin's GIF-worthy everyman Jim Halpert, that good fortune began one night back in 2008 when he happened to find himself at the same L.A. spot as The Devil Wears Prada scene-stealer.
"It's kind of a sad, lame story. I was in a restaurant, he was in the restaurant. I was sitting with a mutual friend," she began during a 2018 appearance on Late Night With Seth Meyers. "This is our romantic comedy! This is it! Someone write it."
Jokes aside, we'd watch that on Netflix, particularly if they could get Justin Theroux to reprise his role. That was who Krasinski was dining with when he spied Blunt seated across from their shared pal. "He abandoned Justin and came over to us," Blunt recalled of being throughly charmed by the 6-foot-3 star. "He just stood there and made me laugh. I kind of [knew right away.]"
Which, hard same on Krasinski's end. Having seen her 2006 roman à clef some 72 times "give or take", he was all-in before he'd even reached the table. "It was one of those things where I wasn't really looking for a relationship and I was thinking I'm going to take my time in LA," he recounted on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "Then I met her and I was so nervous. I was like, 'Oh god, I think I'm going to fall in love with her.' As I shook her hand I went, 'I like you.'"
That moment, etched in his mind, is why Krasinksi remains confident he was the one to make the first move. "I think it was me," Blunt told The Hollywood Reporter in December 2018 when asked who suggested that first date. "No," he countered. "It was me asking for a while and you took some time, and then we finally had a date."
Those early outings included pizza at his West Hollywood pad ("It's so precious, I don't want to talk about it," she demurred to THR), a trip to a shooting range ("I think that I was so sure that I would never end up with her...that I was like, 'You know what, I'm gonna blow it right away and then that way you don't feel bad,'" he explained to Conan O'Brien) and heaps of mutual respect. Despite having never seen his turn in the American version of The Office, Blunt was obsessed with his work in 2009's Away We Go. He, meanwhile, was simply obsessed.
Each time he's felt he'd absorbed the full weight of her talent, he's been knocked off-kilter once again, like the first time he heard her sing during a recording sessions for the 2014 film adaption of Into the Woods. "I just immediately wept," he told Vanity Fair in 2018. "It was really wild. It was like finding out that your wife can levitate."
And then there was the time an early screening of Mary Poppins Returns left him frantically searching the trays of muffins and bagels for napkins to sop up his tears. "I was like, 'I need anything to stop this crying!' I was crying so much! I blew through the tissue box in 20 minutes," he told Ellen DeGeneres. "I had to go to the napkins, and then when I ran out of the napkins, it was all sweater. Just a lot of [wiping my eyes and saying], 'Oh, it's so beautiful!'"
Dozens of performances in, he remains blown away. "The air changes in the room when she starts doing what she does," he shared with Vanity Fair. "It's so honest and so pure and so powerful. It's like a superpower that she can just unlock."
That awe extends off the screen into the way they navigate their joint existence. "I gotta say it just sort of happens organically," he told E! News in 2019 of how they adeptly balance two lightening hot careers with everything else. "It's one of those things where I was a huge fan of hers before I even met her, so I continue to be a huge fan of hers in everything she does. So we're just extremely supportive, we get what the job is and that you gotta travel and do some stuff, but it's always about coming back home and being together, it's the most important thing."
To hear Blunt tell it, their transition from those early days of dating to a shared life and home was fairly natural. Though she'd recently purchased a London home she'd planned to inhabit with her sister before taking up with Krasinski, "Gradually more and more of my stuff just accumulated at his house," she noted to Harper's Bazaar U.K. last year, "and then suddenly I was living in L.A."
It was in their shared city that Krasinski dropped to bended knee roughly a year into their romance, proffering a three-carat, antique-cut diamond ring and the promise of forever. "It was very casual," he shared with Access Hollywood at the 2009 Emmys. "She did cry after I cried and we cried and then everyone around us was crying. Then, I think people weren't really sure what was going on, but they were crying because we were crying. But it was great. At the end of the day she said yes which is great. It's a big part of this whole thing."
By the following July, they were exchanging vows at Clooney's 18th century villa, Krasinski's Leatherheads director insisting on providing the venue. "George said, 'I have this place and you should feel free to use it,'" the actor noted to Elle. "Only on the fourth ask did I say yes. Because the first three times I thought, There's no way he is serious. But I started to see his feelings get hurt. I actually hurt George Clooney's feelings."
Not quite four years into their newlywed bliss, the couple dove into the great undertaking that is parenting, welcoming eldest daughter Hazel in February 2014 and her little sister Violet 28 months later, and settled into a townhouse in Brooklyn some 3,000 miles removed from Hollywood where they felt they had the best shot at some semblance of normality.
Of course, even grade schoolers know what a movie star is. And so despite their best efforts, 7-year-old Hazel recently came home from school, Blunt recalled in an interview with the Sunday Times, "and she goes, 'Are you famous?'"
It was a first for her, she and Krasinski making the deliberate choice not to use the f-word themselves. "Someone at school had clearly said it," she continued. "I was like, 'Um…not really, I don't think I am. Did someone say that to you, Haze?' She said, 'Yeah,' but then she wouldn't divulge much more, you know, but it's weird. It's weird."
It's not so much that she cares about her station in the industry, but, "I don't want my kids to feel any more important or special or that there's a glare on them any more than other kids," she explained. "If they can remain oblivious for the longest time, I'd be thrilled. They don't even want to see what I do."
Which, actually makes them pretty unique.
A Quiet Place II, the long-awaited follow-up to their 2018 thriller, raked in some $58.5 million over Memorial Day Weekend, fans once again captivated by Krasinski's creation. Signing back on to be directed by her husband was a given for Blunt the moment she read his script. Though it meant she once again had to break her cardinal career rule about not taking their relationship to the big screen.
Ahead of the first film, his directorial debut, Krasinski initially abandoned the plan he had to ask her to take on the part he'd written with her in mind, accepting her suggestions for the role. "I didn't want this to be the one job that she was like, 'Listen, I don't know if I love this, but I love you, so I'll do it,'" he explained to The Hollywood Reporter.
Then, as they were on a cross-country flight, she read his script about a set of new parents raising their family in total silence to protect them from monsters that hunt by sound, this postapocalyptic world he created in between late nights with then-newborn Violet. "I went sort of gray," she recalled to the outlet. "I couldn't imagine the thought of letting someone else play the part." So she asked her husband if it was still up for grabs. "It was like she was proposing to me," he said. "It was one of the greatest moments in my career. I screamed out, 'Yes!' I'm surprised we didn't emergency land in San Antonio."
His excitement proved warranted. A $50 million opening weekend led to an overall $341 million worldwide gross and rave reviews from both their peers in the industry (she was nominated for a supporting actress SAG Award; he collected the Critics' Choice Movie Award trophy for Best Sci-Fi/Horror flick) and their adopted New York City neighborhood.
They were midway through the Monday morning school drop-off when "a garbage truck rips around the corner, screeches up to these cans, and the guy jumps off the back," he shared with Men's Health shortly after the April 2018 opening. "He grabs a trash can, goes to the back of the truck, sees me, goes, 'Saw it Sunday. F--king awesome'—without making eye contact—dumps the can, and keeps going. Emily turned to me and we high-fived. She was like, 'That's the coolest review you're going to get.'"
Her accolades came some nine months later. And as she stood atop the Screen Actors Guild Awards stage, holding her shiny new prize, she reminded us all just how lucky she felt. "I am going to share this completely with my husband, John Krasinski, because the entire experience of doing this with you has completely pierced my heart directly," she said as he cried tears of pride. "You are a stunning filmmaker. I'm so lucky to be with you and to have done this film with you. Thank you for giving me the part. You would have been in major trouble if you hadn't."
They've each notched their share of separate career wins in the three years since. Her turn as Mary Poppins proved every bit as enchanting as the Disney original, earning her both Golden Globe and SAG nominations; while his Amazon spy thriller, Jack Ryan is set to return for a third season. And of course there was his wildly popular web series Some Good News, pushing us all through those early, confounding, terrifying weeks of our new stay-at-home lives, and netting him a deal with CBS.
Still, their Quiet Place success is a lightening in a bottle situation they're well-aware they may not be able to replicate, even with the new sequel.
"I know I'll never do another movie that's this successful, this original, this underdog-y, and then on top of it have it be with my wife every step of the way," he allowed to Men's Health. "I said to Emily, 'There's no greater gift that the universe could have given me than to go through the biggest success of my career and I don't have to explain to you how it felt.' We were both in the boat. I said to her, 'I don't know if it can ever be like this again.'"
Her response, as with most everything else she does, blew him away.
"And—again, leave it to Emily, who is better at everything than me—she goes, 'It can't,'" he relayed. "She just so perfectly encapsulated it. 'It can't be like this again, and it shouldn't. So take this and put it on a mantel, this really special treasure that we experienced together. And now go out and do something else.'"
Should that next venture be less successful, she'll be the one propping him up, but more likely than not, she'll be rooting him on from behind. No matter how it turns out, he'll have his No. 1 fan at his side.
And we'll all be watching, with more than a hint of jealousy, from afar.
(Originally published July 10, 2010 at 12 a.m. PT)