Buzz Uncut: Jean-Marc Vallee

You seem an unusual choice to direct a British period piece. How did you come on board?
Well, I didn’t want to do this because I’m not into period films at all and I didn’t know anything about Queen Victoria. But when I read Julian Fellowes script, it was a good story and a beautiful one about this young woman who’s becoming queen of England at such an early age. Her character had a mystical quality that I was interested in. To be that young and female and to be thrust into this man’s world…

How do you intend to convey this mystical quality?
With the music. The deal is not done yet, but we want to get Sigur Ros to do the music. I’m playing a lot of Sigur Ros on set just to get the actors in the mood of what the scene is. Their music is so beautiful and there’s hope in it, so that will help to get this feeling I want in the film.

Was it hard to get them on board?
Well, I met them. They came on the set; they’re very, very excited. The deal is about to be done. I spotted seven tracks from two of their first albums that are perfect for the film. But I told them that I’m open to get some new tracks as long as it respects the emotion of the film. Or rearrange some of their old tracks. It’s an open process. I don’t want to force them to do anything. It’s just so great that they see something in this project.

How have you found working with Emily Blunt?
This is her first lead role and she’s just amazing. She’s great, she’s easygoing, she’s fun, she has such an understanding about what she’s doing. Being so talented and so gifted at an early age like that – it’s almost scary. Her career is about to explode. I feel the same about Rupert Friend. These two are the new couple – they’re hot! He’s perfect as Albert. Girls are gonna fall for him.