Emily Blunt revealed the real reason she became an American citizen this summer – and it’s all about the money.
The British actress became a U.S. citizen to avoid paying higher taxes in her home country, she said in a new interview.
“It’s mainly for tax reasons,” Blunt told the Sunday Times‘ Style magazine this weekend of her new dual US/UK citizenship. “I didn’t want to renounce my Queen.”
Despite telling Howard Stern last week that she was “happy” to be living in the United States, Blunt said that she felt differently on the day of her swearing-in ceremony.
“But I felt quite sad, actually,” she told the magazine. “Having to be sworn into a country that wasn’t mine. I know at the core of it I haven’t given up anything, but it was sort of bittersweet… it was odd.”
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter last month, Blunt, who is married to The Office actor John Krasinski and reportedly moved to California six years ago, suggested that watching the Republican presidential debate made her regret having acquired US citizenship.
“I became an American citizen recently, and that night, we watched the Republican debate and I thought, ‘This was a terrible mistake. What have I done?'” she said.
The actress followed up that comment with an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, where she called her dual citizenship “strange and slightly disarming” and said she “wasn’t entirely thrilled about it.”
“People ask me about the whole day,” Blunt said of her swearing-in ceremony. “They were like, ‘Oh, it must have been so emotional.’ I was like, ‘It wasn’t! It was sad!’ I like being British. It was the most bizarre day.”
Blunt rushed to apologize after Breitbart News first highlighted her comments, telling NBC’s Today show that her comment was an “offhand joke” and that her newly gained citizenship is “really meaningful.” It was likely no coincidence that Blunt’s apology came just before the release of her big new drug war thriller film Sicario.
Blunt also took to Howard Stern’s radio show to address the controversy, where she told the shock jock that she was “astonished by the outrage” over her comments and reiterated that her comment was meant to be an “innocuous joke.” Stern told the actress he thought the controversy “was ridiculous.”
“I do [feel good about being an American citizen],” Blunt said. “I have a real affection for the country, and so I’m happy here.”
In her interview with the Sunday Times, Blunt also joked about the naturalization process, calling it “interesting.”
“You have to learn all about the Constitution,” she told the outlet. “You can’t be a habitual drunk, you can’t be on a guerrilla squad, and you can’t be a prostitute, which is a shame.”
Blunt’s cold indifference to gaining the most sought-after citizenship in the world stands in marked contrast to the reaction of Camila Alves, wife of actor Matthew McConaughey, who was reportedly sworn in as a U.S. citizen at the same Los Angeles ceremony as Blunt.
“Happy to say I now hold an American passport!” Alves tweeted shortly after the ceremony. “I have so much respect and appreciation for this country.”
The beautiful thing about America is that Blunt and others like her can say what they want without fear of persecution, and, in Blunt’s case, without any serious professional consequences. But if she really isn’t happy to be living here, perhaps she should give her spot to the millions of people waiting patiently to enter the country.