Oscars Round Table

Emily Blunt, Shailene Woodley on the physicality of their sci-fi roles

Watch Emily Blunt and Shailene Woodley talk about kicking butt in 'Edge of Tomorrow' and 'Divergent'

As awards season heats up, Emily Blunt and Shailene Woodley are fighting for recognition of their respective performances in "Into the Woods" and "The Fault in Our Stars" — but not long ago, they were battling time-shifting aliens and dystopian regimes.

In this clip from the first episode of the Epix cable channel and the Los Angeles Times' five-part series "Hollywood Sessions," the two actresses talk about what it was like shaping up for and kicking butt in Blunt's "Edge of Tomorrow" and Woodley's "Divergent."

"I've never, ever been on something that big," Blunt says of "Tomorrow," a sci-fi action extravaganza in which she plays a war hero in mankind's future battle against extraterrestrial invaders.

"It was amazing to play that fierce warrior and to play against Tom [Cruise], who was unusually playing a coward — brilliantly," Blunt says. "He's so good at that, and it was so wonderful seeing him be goofy and in a job way over his head, and I'm just kicking his butt every day."

The shoot, which involved wearing an 85-pound exo-skeleton, was "the most demanding thing I've done," she adds.

Woodley, who had her share of action duties in the post-apocalyptic adventure "Divergent," can relate. She often filmed choreographed fights with costar Theo James, a real-life boxing aficionado.

"When you have five-minute fight scenes with him and they're rolling for five minutes straight, you are praying that you don't forget to duck at the right time or retract at the right time because you would get hit, pretty fiercely," Woodley says.

Although James never clocked her on "Divergent," Woodley says, "You actually do get kind of beat up sometimes."

Blunt heartily endorses that sentiment, and even flashes some kinesiology tape freshly applied by her chiropractor to show she means business.

Check back for more clips of Blunt, Woodley and fellow guests Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Chastain and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and tune in to the first episode of "Hollywood Sessions" at 8 p.m. tonight on Epix and in regular replays after that.

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