Home' LOTL : July 2005 Contents 19
MY SUMMER OF LOVE CHARTS THE
QUIRKY ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP
THAT BLOOMS BETWEEN TWO
MEGAN CARRIGY MEETS THE STARS
OF THE FILM.
Mona (Natalie Press) is a spirited
working class girl who lives above the
local pub in a small West Yorkshire town.
Tamsin (Emily Blunt) is well educated,
spoiled, cynical and at home on
suspension from boarding school. The
two spend the summer riding around on a
rundown moped and getting deeply
obsessed with each other, playing
unsettling pranks on those who have
wronged them and on one another.
When I turn up to interview them at the
Swissotel Sydney, Natalie and Emily are
running behind schedule. The publicist
apologises -- they just keep "faffing"
around. They seem to be having too good
a time. Arriving at the plush suite they're
camped out in, I begin to see why.
Once they're ready, the second publicist
suggests we conduct the interview on the
chaise longue. Instead Emily bounces on
to the room's oversized bed and declares
this the place to be doing the interview.
The publicist doesn't look impressed.
Emily responds with glee that she might
take a little nap. She is feeling jetlagged,
she tells the publicist, with a glint in her
eye. "If she falls asleep during the
interview just buzz me." He's joking but
something in his voice suggests he
wouldn't put it past her.
Natalie trails in a moment later, waving
the Toblerone she found in the fridge. She
offers me a piece and, giggling, jumps
onto the bed with Emily and I. "So what's
this interview for?" Natalie asks as the
two of them settle in. It is then that they
find out I am from the local lesbian
magazine. Unfazed, Emily offers me a
spare pillow from the pile behind her back
and with our chocolate and puffy pillows
we embark on what feels like a slumber
party gossip session.
There is an intense onscreen chemistry
between Natalie and Emily in My Summer
of Love. They both felt this right from the
first audition when director Pawel
Pawlikowski "saw something in us would
spark". Adding to this spark, they shot the
film during Britain's hottest summer in
fifty years. "The heat..." Emily
reminisces, giggling. "We brought the heat
on." Discussing the relationship between
their characters in the film they giggle and
keep finishing each other's sentences.
"I don't think these girls are lesbians,"
Emily suggests. Natalie elaborates "They
have this intense friendship based on a
mutual fascination and they're kind of
very angry with men at that time." Emily
continues, "So instead of sitting there and
talking about men, they kiss."
The two of them see that I'm not sold.
"But they're not aware of it," Natalie
adds quickly. Understanding perhaps a
little better why I might be raising my
eyebrows, Emily, tries to make amends.
"Their relationship's not all about a kind
of anger towards men. It's just another
element to it."
It's easy to tire of lesbian relationships on
screen being described as 'friendships'. The
critics who called the relationship in My
Summer of Love an "intimate friendship"
are clearly selling the complexity of their
performances short. "I mean I never know
how to sum it up really," Emily agrees. "I
think [Tamsin] does love Mona."
Natalie compares them to Romeo and
Juliet. "They shouldn't really meet
because one is from one family and the
other is from another family and they're
the kind of families that don't hang out
together. But they do and they fall in
love." Natalie pauses before saying, "It's
that dangerous love, isn't it. The audience
is rooting for them to stay together but
they probably won't."
"I think it all gets too much for Tamsin,"
Emily declares. "She feels unsettled by how
Mona's moved her. She's never been moved
like that before."
Just as Emily is telling me this with deep
sincerity, Natalie carefully balances a
single, pointy triangle of Toblerone on
The two burst into yet another fit
of giggles. e
My Summer of Love screens
nationally in July.
L: Mona Natalie Press and R: Tamsin Emily Blunt
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