Two Civiqs tracking polls suggest that Republicans and Donald Trump are in a newly precarious position with both independent women and men, but likely for different reasons.
Civiqs’ generic ballot tracking poll shows Democrats ticking up to 49%, their highest point since tracking began over a year ago and a 4-point edge over Republicans.
Democrats began to break away from Republicans in mid- to late-July, about a month after the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and upending a half century of settled reproductive rights law. But the demographic that clearly fueled the recent Democratic bump in Civiqs polling was independent women.
When the Supreme Court decision dropped in late June, the two parties were roughly tied with independent women at around 39%. But around mid-August, Democrats started gaining traction with the cohort, leading to their current 8-point advantage, 47% – 39%.
But women aren’t the only independents who appear to be waking up to the threat Republicans pose to the country. Independent men are souring on Donald Trump himself, according to Civiqs tracking of his favorables.
What caught our eye was the fact that Trump, sitting at a 38% favorable rating, dropped below 40% in the tracking poll for the first time since he won the 2016 election.
Digging deeper, that falloff is driven mainly by independent men, with whom Trump is currently 13 points underwater, 39% – 52%. The turnaround came quick. In early August, Trump’s favorables/unfavorables among the cohort was roughly even at 45% – 46%. Then the FBI searches Mar-a-Lago on Aug. 8 and news breaks that Trump stole highly sensitive documents (some related to nuclear secrets). It’s all downhill from there. In fact, Trump’s even taken a 2-point hit among GOP men, from 83% to 81%.
One of the more virtuous qualities of Civiqs tracking polls is that they don’t bounce around all the time. Trump’s favorables are a perfect example—he spent nearly six years hovering somewhere between 41% — 44% favorability. So when Civiqs does show a change—a notable drop in this case—something is usually up.
Whether the disenchantment of independent men with Trump will translate to November election results is an open question. But given that Trump’s paws are all over this election and he is now a staple in national headlines, his omnipresence likely isn’t helping Republicans among a key demographic that often leans Republican.
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As of now (8:30 AM ET, 3:30 PM in Kyiv), Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is in the middle of his speech. As expected, Putin has announced the annexation of four areas of Ukraine into the Russian Federation. Also, he’s declared that Ukraine was always part of the old Russian empire, so Russia owns it anyway. He then announced that Russia was now open to negotiations—so long as Russia got to keep all the area it had claimed. It’s unclear from the way this was phrased if Putin means just the area now occupied by Russian forces, because it really sounds like he’s laying claim to the entire oblasts, cities and all, even in areas where Russia has never come close.
“I want the Kyiv government and their real bosses in the West to hear me,” said Putin. “Residents of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson are becoming our citizens forever.”
Putin then called on Ukraine to lay down arms, and realize that these territories are now part of “their true historical fatherland.” Any fighting in these areas will be the same as fighting in Russia, and Putin declared that he would defend “our people” with “all the means at our disposal.”
Following this section, Putin hasn’t so much as mentioned Ukraine over the last 15 minutes. Instead, he’s been on an extended rant about the horrors of the West, which, says Putin, “wants to turn Russia into a colony.” According to Putin, he is the real voice of democracy and freedom, and it’s the West which mistreats people who disagree with authority (quick, someone get Alexei Navalny on stage for a comment). This was followed by a litany of crimes, including the bombing of cities in World War II. There was a special focus on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but bombing Nazi Germany was apparently also a crime that needed to be repaid. Also the Korean War, where apparently the crime was not allowing the north to win. Oh, and Putin slipped in that the United States “forces people to change gender” and gets them hooked on drugs.
Putin could easily give this speech at a Trump rally and gather a lot of applause.
As might be expected, Putin has devoted a good deal of the speech to claiming the West is “racist” because it is “spreading Russophobia.” A pretty good argument might be made that fear of Russia was caused by Russia continually invading and subjugating its neighbors. But apparently, Putin missed that point.
Eventually, after a prolonged generalized attack on the colonial, racist, undemocratic, forced gender-changing, Nazi bombing West, Putin also got around to a specific grievance—the destruction of the Nord Stream pipelines. It’s obvious that Russia bombed these pipelines to give itself another bloody shirt to wave, and Putin waved it. He blamed the sabotage on “Anglo Saxons,” which was followed by an extended attack not just on the U.S. and the U.K., but also on the AUKUS alliance. Shoutout to Australia!
Putin then spent some time talking about how Russia now has Europe right where he wants them, because “you can’t heat homes with paper Euros.” And without Russian gas, Europeans are going to be freezing, their economies collapsing, and then he darted over to how they’re practicing “outright Satanism.” If you were hoping that Putin would expand on that last point, prepare to be disappointed, because that’s the only Satan appearance so far.
From there Putin has swung full force into how Russia has to take action against the West. How it has to “lead the anti-colonialism movement” by conquering territory and making it part of Russia. Which may not be quite the way most people think of anti-colonialism. But Putin is being extremely forceful in statements that Russia doesn’t just intend to take Ukraine, but to crush the entire West.
“We need to turn this disgraceful page. Western hegemony will be smashed. This is inevitable. We must do this for our people, the great historical Russia.” Hopefully anyone who is cheering Russia for its anti-colonialism position is reading to the end of that sentence.
I’ve watched a lot of Putin speeches over the last 10-15 years and this is the most anti-US one by a really long way. If I were a western policymaker wondering if he’d really use nuclear weapons – and he hasn’t even got to them yet – I’d be very concerned. pic.twitter.com/3lXMRH4YkI— max seddon (@maxseddon) September 30, 2022
Finally, Putin has stepped away from the microphone, and the actual paperwork for annexation is underway. The dutiful crowd—which looks to have been imported from a Brezhnev speech circa 1964—is clapping and standing at all the right points.
As all this is going on, hundreds, if not thousands, of Russian forces, are engaged in either dying or being captured at Lyman.
As the first wave of the big counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast came to a thundering conclusion with the liberation of Izyum and Kupyansk, there were initial reports that Lyman had also been liberated, opening the way to a push into Luhansk. But it soon became apparent that Russia had positioned some of the forces fleeing from Izyum on the northern edge of Lyman. In the next few days, Russia pushed even more troops into the area, creating a line that was intended to block Ukrainian progress to the northeast. In Drobysheve, Lyman, and Yampil, Russia created a fortified location, with some of their best remaining troops in position, backed by ranks of artillery, and roads from both north and east capable of bringing in supplies and reinforcements. Then they waited for Ukraine to smash against this anvil.
Over the last two weeks, Ukrainian troops have set outside this line, and they have launched attacks on the Russian forces inside. But that was only a small part of the overall Ukrainian action. The greater part of Ukraine’s forces in the area moved north along the banks of the Oskil River, then turned east, then turned south, approaching Lyman from the opposite side. Then, just two days ago, a second Ukrainian force launched a surprise advance across the Silverskyi Donets River, cutting off the supply lines to the east, and approaching Lyman from yet another angle.
Lyman and Drobysheve cut off from resupply as Ukrainian forces move to complete encirclement.
On Friday, Ukrainian forces cleared Russian positions in both Yampil and Stavky. Russian troops in both those areas reportedly were unable to escape the tightening Ukrainian encirclement and instead retreated into Lyman. At last report, positions in Drobysheve had also been abandoned, though it’s not clear if Ukrainian forces had moved into that location.
Russian sources report that the forces inside Lyman—a number that ranges from 500 to 3,000 depending on the source—are now preparing an attempted breakout. A remaining Russian garrison at Torske had reportedly been instructed to hold the road open there for an attempted escape. Already a platoon of Russian forces has been seen making an unsuccessful attempt to flee into the woods north of the city.
Any attempt to withdraw is unlikely to be in any sense orderly. It may not even be possible. But if it’s going to happen, it has to happen very, very soon, or there will be no force remaining in Lyman to make the attempt. Considering the delay between events on the ground and reports trickling back through Telegram and Twitter, the battle of Lyman may have already been resolved.
We’ll know soon.
Friday, Sep 30, 2022 · 2:17:37 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Zelensky response: He says Ukraine is de facto part of NATO alliance. “Today, Ukraine is applying to make it de jure… We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO.” pic.twitter.com/8Bb8G8xnaF— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) September 30, 2022
Friday, Sep 30, 2022 · 2:34:43 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
The enthusiastic crowd for Putin’s speech in occupied Luhansk.
Луганськ на театральній площі щось не дуже людно pic.twitter.com/opBdNWjBNL— Тотальний пиздець (@Cellodidas89) September 30, 2022
Friday, Sep 30, 2022 · 3:26:35 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
President Biden has released an official statement in response to Putin’s attempted annexation of territory inside Ukraine.
The United States condemns Russia’s fraudulent attempt today to annex sovereign Ukrainian territory. Russia is violating international law, trampling on the United Nations Charter, and showing its contempt for peaceful nations everywhere.
Make no mistake: these actions have no legitimacy. The United States will always honor Ukraine’s internationally recognized borders. …
In response to Russia’s phony claims of annexation, the United States, together with our Allies and partners, are announcing new sanctions today. These sanctions will impose costs on individuals and entities —inside and outside of Russia—that provide political or economic support to illegal attempts to change the status of Ukrainian territory.
Friday, Sep 30, 2022 · 3:32:00 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
⚡️This is how the Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York looks like today. A video from social networks. 👉 Follow @Flash_news_ua pic.twitter.com/Xhig1htM9A— FLASH (@Flash_news_ua) September 30, 2022
Friday, Sep 30, 2022 · 3:32:50 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Drobysheve has reportedly been liberated by Ukrainian forces. Only Lyman remains.
Friday, Sep 30, 2022 · 3:52:24 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
In addition to reports that Russia has been forced from Drobysheve and Yampil, there are also reports that Ukrainian troops have advanced into the rail complex in the center of Lyman.
Ukrainian forces close in on the last remaining area held by Russia in Lyman.
Following reports that Russian forces in Lyman intend to attempt a breakout to the east, there are now reports of heavy fighting near Zarichne as Ukraine moves to close the door on any Russian escape. There are reports on Telegram channels that Russian attempts to get reinforcements to Torske have failed.
Consider all of the above unverified, however things do seem to be moving quickly toward a conclusion at Lyman. There has been some discussion about the possibility of Russian forces negotiating for withdrawal. It’s not clear if this is based on anything actually happening or is more in the area of wishful thinking.
Friday, Sep 30, 2022 · 3:59:25 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Yampil pic.twitter.com/j6RxRKRDRG— ТРУХА⚡️English (@TpyxaNews) September 30, 2022
Friday, Sep 30, 2022 · 4:12:27 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
Russian forces now fighting at Zarichne reportedly include a large number of those who had been inside Lyman and are attempting to escape the area along this route.
Friday, Sep 30, 2022 · 4:19:58 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
“I knew that sooner or later we would finally lose our minds and start firing a home-made installation for two RPG-7s. There is nothing more terrifying than the gloomy Ukrainian genius of engineering, the habit of which cannot be stopped.”
Але я знав, що рано чи пізно ми остаточно зійдемо з розуму та почнемо стріляти з саморобної установки для двох РПГ-7. Немає нічого страшніше сумрачного українського генія інженерії, звикання до якого вже не зупинити. (Я вже писав раніше про цю штуку, згодом буде пара відосів) pic.twitter.com/ag0Nv2uhWr— Шутнік (@Shootnick_14) September 29, 2022
Friday, Sep 30, 2022 · 4:31:46 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner
If you have any doubt about Putin’s speech, here is what Russians heard.
Pro-Kremlin blogger Vladlen Tatarsky in the Kremlin Grand Hall adds his commentary after Putin’s speech: “We’ll conquer everyone, we’ll kill everyone, we’ll loot whoever we need to, and everything will be just as we like it.” https://t.co/MhYDE5RiSE— Matthew Luxmoore (@mjluxmoore) September 30, 2022Read More
Though Republicans love to accuse LGBTQ+ folks and allies of “grooming” young people into being queer, the reality is that our society is so deeply ingrained in a cisgender, heterosexual world that most people don’t even consider aspects of life to be norms—they just see it as normal. Parents push cishet ideals onto kids—and even babies, if you think about gender reveal parties, for example—and thanks to a recent movement from far-right conservatives, want to make it even harder for young people to safely be “out” at school. It’s a mess.
In a truly dystopian turn along these lines, high schoolers from the East Baton Rouge School District in Louisiana signed up for a school-sanctioned college and career fair… only to be sent to a church, where they were subjected to transphobic and misogynistic rhetoric. According to The Advocate, students—who attend public schools, mind you—asked their parents to sign permission slips that allowed them to miss class in order to attend a career fair. Instead, they were subjected to hyper-conservative lectures and sermons at the Living Faith Christian Center as part of the church’s Day of Hope event.
You. might be thinking: Okay, that’s terrible, but how many kids could it have been? Fifty? One hundred? Friends: It was thousands.
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Students were bussed to the event under the impression they’d get some free food and insight into life after high school. Instead, according to biology teacher Brittney Bryant, who attended the event, students were separated by their sex assigned at birth, and her only trans student was told they couldn’t go with the other boys.
Bryant wrote in a Facebook post that while boys did push-ups and games in one area (which Bryant says was actually outside and in “extreme heat”), girls listened to speakers encourage them to forgive their rapists. Bryant said some students were so upset, they ended up crying in the bathroom. Bryant alleges some students poured water over the heads of trans students without repercussions.
“God forbid I mention anything about sexual orientation, religion, or political agendas in my classroom,” she wrote in part on Facebook, adding if she did so, she’d be put on leave from her job.
Bryant also alleged in her Facebook post that students were incentivized to fill out voter registration forms in order to get free pizza.
“I learned that the children were told in order to receive a “meal ticket” they were told to complete a voter registration,” she wrote in part. “When I went to confront the unethical situation running councilman Darryl Hurst was the one handing out voter registration to the long line of students hoping to get fed pizza at the end of the event. Later was told the pizza was provided by another non profit and it was an “incentive”.” She went on to call this “propaganda” and said some students were actually under 18 years old.
One student who attended the event, Alexis Budyach, said an adult read a Bible verse on stage at the beginning of the event. This is inappropriate for a number of obvious reasons, but it’s especially important to note as it directly contradicts what the school district has said. The East Baton Rouge school district insists this wasn’t a religious event, and that any prayer was initiated by students and not planned ahead of time.
Lawyers are reportedly poised to bring a lawsuit over possible civil rights violations and emotional distress, as covered in this local news story from WBRZ.
Parent Bonnie Kersch, whose daughter attended the event, told the outlet her daughter didn’t realize it was going to be so religious. Kersch said her daughter felt she was “duped” into thinking it was a college and career fair, only to be “proselytized over and prayed over.”
According to The Advocate, the Day of Hope event was in partnership with the school district and included more than $9,000 from the school district to cover busses for the 2,000 students and to produce the event.Read More
It was a masterstroke by the Library of Congress, and current Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, the first woman and the first Black person in the role: Educate the public about the large collection of historic flutes at the Library of Congress, and its role in preserving not just books but objects, by inviting Lizzo to play some of the instruments. And it worked. Before this week, did you know the Library of Congress had hundreds of flutes? Maybe three of you can answer yes to that.
But of course conservatives had to make it all about themselves and their racism. We’re getting to the point where nothing can happen involving a Black person that does not draw a pile-on from prominent Republicans using it to elevate themselves with the Republican base, which eats that up. It’s a vicious circle of bigotry: The likes of Ben Shapiro spew racism because their fan base gets riled up. The Republican base gets more worked up by racism because their party’s prominent voices are telling them it’s an important thing to embrace and a central part of their identity as Republicans. Then, because it’s a way to get attention, the Shapiros and would-be Shapiros ratchet the racism up a little more.
It’s sad, because this was a lovely story, of a talented, successful Black woman—one who studied classical flute in college, by the way—and a national institution coming together to promote history and music. And it got turned into an ugly story about bigotry.
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First, let’s take a look at this, because it’s amazing.
NOBODY HAS EVER HEARD THIS FAMOUS CRYSTAL FLUTE BEFORE NOW YOU HAVE IM THE FIRST & ONLY PERSON TO EVER PLAY THIS PRESIDENTIAL 200-YEAR-OLD CRYSTAL FLUTE— THANK YOU @librarycongress ❤️ pic.twitter.com/VgXjpC49sO— FOLLOW @YITTY (@lizzo) September 28, 2022
Library of Congress: hey Lizzo this is a priceless heirloom and we’ve never heard it played before Me: pic.twitter.com/mcQIlabX1S— FOLLOW @YITTY (@lizzo) September 28, 2022
It’s unfortunate that we have to pay attention to the racism—but we do, because it’s important to recognize when the prominent voices of a major political movement are deploying racism to energize their followers—but let’s do that by highlighting some of the really excellent responses to that racism at the same time.
BREAKING: Master race conquered by a C and D notes being played on an old flute. https://t.co/Bx8AcDGGBf— Akilah Hughes (@AkilahObviously) September 29, 2022
American equals white? American history equals white history? A Black woman playing an enslaver’s flute is proof that the people who collectively hold every advantage over Black people have been conquered? They always reveal more than they think. https://t.co/hSMXyTCW3F— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) September 29, 2022
My dude, “does something deliberately controversial in an attempt to draw attention, and then acts offended when you notice” is your entire business model. https://t.co/Hrmziw5w80— Damion Schubert, Zen Designer (@ZenOfDesign) September 29, 2022
Black woman who is very skilled at what she does does something Ben Shapiro doesn’t believe a Black woman can be skilled at and thinks it’s her fault he’s shocked by this https://t.co/tWy3p1UymB— Fairy Gothmother, MD (@jenny2x4) September 29, 2022
racists will pretend “legendary 200-year-old crystal flute” is a thing, just so they can get mad a black woman for not knowing her place pic.twitter.com/zFYIqSIwZX— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) September 28, 2022
If any of James Madison’s descendants is offended by Lizzo wants to try out the 200 year old Iron Collar white folks would affix to our ancestors who tried to escape James Madison’s clutches, I’m sure somebody at the National Museum of African American History could hook you up.— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) September 29, 2022
There is literally nothing controversial about Lizzo playing the flute, including the twerking, except among a certain subset of Americans who spent their adolescence masturbating to old Orval Faubus speeches.https://t.co/KU4yVRZ8Vv— Gary Legum (@GaryLegum) September 29, 2022
1) LOL, this guy already blocks me. 2) Lizzo is the most prominent flutist in the world. Zero chance he could name anyone but her. 3) LoC should introduce history to new audiences. That’s part of the job. 4) Lizzo played more than two notes at LoC: https://t.co/QjXLsvTNDy pic.twitter.com/IT2Ip7HbWC— Max Kennerly (@MaxKennerly) September 28, 2022
Here’s how ridiculous the right’s obsession with dehumanizing people who aren’t like them has become:
*interviewing a Republican voter in 2014* “What do you think your major political interests will be in 8 years?” “Oh you know the usual bread and butter stuff: women’s collegiate swimming, historical novelty flutes, and baseless allegations of underwater sabotage.”— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) September 29, 2022
After all that, here’s one last palate cleanser:
Hearing @lizzo play some of the Library’s priceless antique instruments on Monday was such a gift, and we were honored and happy to help her share that gift with her concert audience Tuesday night. Here is some more behind-the-scenes footage of her Library tour. #LizzoAtLOC pic.twitter.com/OQc4K3YXBg— Library of Congress (@librarycongress) September 28, 2022
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Secretaries of state are almost always the top elections administrators in their states, giving them a crucial role in upholding the basic tenets of democracy across the United States. That hasn’t exactly been a secret before this year, and Republicans in those roles have repeatedly made it more difficult to vote or purged voter registrations. Abuse of power has been frequent. But 2022, building on two years of Donald Trump spreading his Big Lie, threatens to take that to a whole new level.
There are 17 states in which the 2022 elections will determine whether Trumpian election deniers become secretary of state and gain the ability to subvert elections and gut voting rights. Daniel Nichanian and Camille Squires have the details at Bolts.
Can you chip in $3 to elect Democratic secretaries of state in the key battleground states of Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, and Nevada?
RELATED STORY: Over half the country will be asked to vote for Republican election deniers in November
Secretary of state is on the ballot directly or indirectly—in eight cases where a newly elected governor will appoint someone to the job—in 35 states. So the fact that an election denier could end up taking office in 17 of them shows the Republican Party’s embrace of Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election and undermine democracy.
Republicans who have insisted that the 2020 election was decided by fraud, tried to overturn its results, or refused to say that it was legitimately decided, are nominated for secretary of state in these states:
In Wyoming, Trump-endorsed election denier Chuck Gray is the only candidate on the ballot, so he’s guaranteed a win. In Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont, on the other hand, these candidates have slim chances—but the fact that Republicans nominated them remains worth talking about.
But Arizona, Michigan, and Nevada are critical battleground states. If their top election administrators are ready to do whatever it takes to prevent Democrats from winning—or to prevent Democratic wins from being put into effect—that could tip a presidential election.
Additionally, in some states, the secretary of state is chosen by the governor or the legislature. Legislatures are more complicated, but we know that in these states, the Republican gubernatorial nominees are themselves election deniers who would be likely to appoint someone with the same views to be secretary of state:
Again, it’s unlikely that this will come to pass in New York. But in Pennsylvania, Doug Mastriano is running in large part on Trump’s Big Lie, and he’s repeatedly made it clear that his choice for secretary of state would be with him on that. In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis has already appointed Cord Byrd as secretary of state, so we know that DeSantis’ choice for top elections administrator is someone who “has refused to say whether he believes the 2020 election results were legitimate, and he has amplified false rhetoric about widespread fraud.”
But even in states where Republicans haven’t nominated people who outright want to steal elections for members of their party, they’ve nominated people who want to make it harder to vote, especially if you’re a member of a group that tends to vote for Democrats. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, for instance, drew praise from Democrats for refusing Trump’s demand to “find 11,780 votes” to overturn his state’s 2020 election results. But he’s been a champion of Georgia’s restrictive new voting policies, including making it harder to vote early or by mail and prohibiting groups from giving water or food to voters waiting in Georgia’s notoriously long voting lines. Pretty much the best-case Republican these days is one who wants to keep Democrats from voting, but is reluctantly in favor of counting their votes once cast.
It’s critically important to elect Democrats to lead state election administration. Can you help?
Video surfaces of Doug Mastriano leading prayer for Congress to disregard 2020 election results
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Sanders is the first candidate to announce he surpassed 1 million individual online contributions—a milestone he reached earlier in the campaign cycle than President Obama did in both 2008 and 2012. It took Obama until February to reach 1 million donations the first time around, and October the second, according to The Washington Post.
As with Obama, many of Sanders’s donations have been from people contributing small amounts. The campaign said the average donation over the last week was just less than $25. In the last quarter, the campaign said that the average donation was $34.
For her part, Clinton’s campaign said Wednesday that 93 percent of its donations since July were $100 or less. Her campaign expects to meet their goal of $100 million by the end of the year. Sanders, it seems, will be huffing and puffing in her ear the whole way there.
Candidates Eating Food . . . at Least Once
By Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.
HILLARY CLINTON AND ICE CREAM Here is an image of Hillary Clinton consuming frozen cow’s milk from a small container. Unreal.
Has she tried to keep her normality hidden on a secret server in Chappaqua all these years?Read More
It’s been nine years since The Devil Wears Prada swept movie audiences into its swirl of deliciously bitchy fashion politics. Since then, there have been some mini-reunions between the comedy’s stars—Meryl Streep terrorized Emily Blunt again in Into the Woods, and Anne Hathaway and Blunt formed something of a book club earlier this month. And while the Runway triumvirate has refused to make the sequel we’ve been yearning for, Blunt did offer up a bit of Devil Wears Prada trivia on Wednesday.
While talking about channeling her bitchy co-assistant character on Howard Stern’s Sirius XM program, the British actress revealed that she actually pulled one of the character’s most cutting lines from a real person.
“I like to soak up people on the street,” Blunt said about her acting process. “I guess I steal from people I meet. Like, I saw a mother speaking to her child in a supermarket when we were shooting that film. And it’s a line that gets quoted back to me now. She yelled at her kid and she kind of opened and closed her hand and she goes [in harsh American accent], ‘Yeah, I’m hearing this, and I want to hear this.’ I went and put it in a movie, when Anne Hathaway is kind of talking to me, and I just told her that [to make her shut up].”
If you don’t remember the line, here it is:
Blunt continued by explaining how real-life people inspire her performances: “For me, that’s what helps me . . . to feel what other people would feel in my skin. And other times I feel like it is the ultimate expression of empathy, to be so interested in people and empathize with them profoundly.”
Is it too much to hope that the Sicario star sees another awful mom chiding her children in public, so Blunt feels inspired enough to revisit her Devil Wears Prada character? Blunt has said that if Streep were on board, she would consider participating in a sequel: “I think I would do it,” she said. Both Streep and Blunt have one hesitation, however, about revisiting the fashion world for a movie. “We all were told to go on these skinny diets for the first time,” Blunt has said. “But I’d be up for it.”
Portraits from the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival
Photograph by Justin Bishop.
Elizabeth Olsen, I Saw the Light