‘Jungle Cruise’: Emily Blunt Hates When Dwayne Johnson Calls Her ‘the Female Indiana Jones’

Dwayne Johnson found another action hero role in the Disney movie Jungle Cruise. However, Johnson likes to give his costar, Emily Blunt, credit for the heroics. He calls her “the female Indiana Jones” but Blunt doesn’t like that nickname. 

Emily Blunt explores the jungle
Emily Blunt | Disney

Blunt and Johnson were on a Zoom press conference for Jungle Cruise on July 26. Johnson again called Blunt “the female Indiana Jones” and Blunt cringed. Jungle Cruise is in theaters and on Disney+ with Premiere Access July 30.

Dwayne Johnson keeps calling Emily Blunt ‘the female Indiana Jones’

Johnson plays Frank Wolff, a riverboat skipper in Brazil. Lily Houghton hires Frank to help her find the mythical Tears of the Moon. Lily is just as heroic as Frank in Jungle Cruise, if not more so according to Johnson.

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt look over the river
Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt | Disney

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“I immediately just saw the potential of the opportunity and that opportunity was to take a beloved and iconic Disney ride since 1955 when the park opened,” Johnson said. “This was Walt Disney’s baby. There were a lot of elements that I felt comfortable saying yes, I will come aboard. I’ll partner with you guys and we’ll develop this thing. We got it to a really great place. To bring it back to Emily, the next step after Jaume [Collet-Serra], finding our director, was finding my costar, the female Indiana Jones over here which she hates.”

Blunt felt she could never live up to Indiana Jones. 

“You set me up to fail,” Blunt said. “It’s too much pressure.”

Emily Blunt still researched Indiana Jones and more for ‘Jungle Cruise’

Jungle Cruise is a rousing jungle adventure in the spirit of Raiders of the Lost Ark and its sequels. It also has elements of other exotic adventure movies, Blunt said.

Jungle Cruise captain Dwayne Johnson fixes the engine
Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt | Disney

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“Tonally, we just needed to strike a chord that was really well crafted and that we curated with so much love and was made in the spirit of the films that we all grew up watching,” Blunt said. “I mainlined those movies into my veins. I just loved Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone, African Queen. They are just joy bombs and they are nostalgic. I think we just needed to pierce people’s hearts directly with the spirit of those films that we all loved as children.” 

These Indiana Jones stunts didn’t go according to plan

It’s easy to see why Johnson likens Blunt to Indiana Jones when she swings from jungle vines like Indy does with his whip. Blunt said she had a hard time filming that Jungle Cruise swing. 

“The vine swing for me was the most challenging because he would not let me get one straight take in,” Blunt said. “He pushed it so far every time to try and make me laugh on that vine swing. We shot that all day. We didn’t get one straight one.”

Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt explore the jungle
Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt | Frank Masi/Disney

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Johnson said he wanted to upend the action movie cliche of the action hero coming to the rescue.

“It was that heroic vine swing that you think you know where the hero grabs the lady, with that intention and takes off and goes to save the day,” Johnson said. “Then of course it just goes to hell because I don’t save the day. And who thinks he’s a hero actually is trying to save the real hero.”

Still, Blunt would have appreciated a heads up.

“I was like, ‘Just tell me what you’re going to say this time just so I could be prepared,’” Blunt said. “Every time he would throw in some awful improv that would make me laugh, so I don’t know how many times we must’ve shot that.”