The Wild West was notoriously difficult. Though human innovation has overcome many of the issues that plagued European settlers in the 1890s—like poor hygiene and smallpox—there are some things we simply have no control over, like the weather. And while the fashion at the time might have been fine for the moderate climate of London, it was perhaps not so suited to Kansas, where we are introduced to Emily Blunt and Chaske Spencer’s characters in The English.

It was set in 1890, and filmed in the “mythic vistas” Spain during the height of summer The English This six-part saga features Blunt as Lady Cornelia locke, a British aristocrat who is on a quest to exact revenge on the man who murdered her son. She team up with Eli Whipp, a Skidi from the Pawnee Nation who is also a former cavalry scout and grapples with her conflicting identities. They face a dangerous landscape and their physical as well psychological limits as they attempt to reach their final destination, Hoxem, Wyoming.

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Actors faced the same physical challenges as their fictional counterparts. The Spanish sun was relentless, and the temperatures rose to over 100 degrees. This led to four months of intense horse riding, fighting, and shooting training. Blunt shared a story about a day she spent on set in New York City, at the premiere of the series’ new season on November 9, 2022. Blunt wore a Victorian-style costume that included layers of woolen fabric, a corset, bustle, and long sleeves. Spencer was dressed in a drape. “this massive red blanket”. It is obvious that outfits that aren’t suitable for heat will not be worn. “The hardest day on set was where we were doing this standoff into a shootout,” She spoke for The Sunday Review. “It was about 110 degrees that day and Chaske got sunstroke, he told me later he almost fell off his horse.”

Spencer, who Twilight Fans may recall the Wolf Pack. “Yeah there was a day where I started to get a little light-headed,” He said. Blunt said that although it was sometimes difficult, it was part of the learning process. “You want to be exposed to the elements when you do a Western and we were and you feel it, it’s tactile and so I loved it,” She agreed. She added later that the nights were “so beautiful because the sun would be setting and with all the horses and wagons, it would kick up this dust that would add this eerie, beautiful, spellbinding look to the whole thing. It was like a dust bath, and I missed it when I came back to New York, to this concrete jungle.”

The English, Emily Blunt

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The English Phoebe De Gaye has created stunning costumes that tell a story. When Blunt’s character arrives in the arid frontier, she’s unsuitably gussied up. Blunt’s baby pink Victorian garb remains untarnished. She continues her quest to vengeance, and pinks turn into reds, reds become purples. “Phoebe said the reason for it was because ‘I want to see you get bruised by your experience’, like it’s a wound that gets red and then bruised. It’s just so clever and meaningful,” Blunt observed.

Eli carries his own emotional baggage. Spencer answered the question, “What three words would you use to describe your character?” “brutal, lost and loving,” As he seeks his place in the world. “I think he represents the old world, the new world and how we can adjust to it… The effects of manifest destiny,” He said. He was required to do many things. “reading between the lines” with the script because as viewers will discover, Eli’s dialogue can be as sparse as his surroundings. “It’s fun to play silent because I think sometimes you can convey more,” He said.

Blick says that the scarcity is deliberate and a nod to Hollywood’s old filmmaking. “I think it was Jimmy Stewart who said, ‘The first clue to a good Western is a slim script!’ I took that to heart. These were slim scripts, made even slimmer in the edit… The key to the story’s rhythm is Eli, he speaks to it, how he’d learn not to. The less said, the more an audience can hear what it is.”

Although elements from the Western genre are present in six episodes, they do not flow through the episode. The English—gun fights, horses galloping across an endless horizon and brutal killings—the series breaks the mold significantly as it leaves behind many of the hyper-masculine tropes of the past. Cornelia “is not tied to a tree needing to be rescued,” Blunt said, “she’s on this propulsive revenge mission, so you’ve got a female character who was outside of the norms of the genre, and you’ve got a really beautiful love story at the heart of it. As you say, the Western genre is normally quite masculine and brutal. And this has a tender center. It’s unusual.”

The English Prime Video can stream the film. Here’s how to watch it for free.