The Girl On the Rise
EMILY BLUNT HAS MADE A NAME FOR HERSELF IN THE WORLD OF CINEMA WITH HER INCREDIBLE RANGE, STARRING IN ACTION, HORROR, COMEDY, AND EVEN MUSICAL FILMS. AS HER CAREER CONTINUES ITS SPEEDY ASCENT, IT’S EVIDENT THAT BLUNT WILL EARN EVEN MORE AWARDS AS SHE WOWS US ON SCREEN AGAIN AND AGAIN.
Emily Blunt was born in London, England to a former actress and lawyer on February 23, 1983. Originally, she had no plans of including acting in her future, instead hoping to be a live translator for the United Nations. This desire was inspired by her stuttering problem that she had growing up as a child. The stuttering wasn’t related to anxiety; it was brought on through genetics, making middle school particularly hard for Blunt. Her interest in acting and the end of her stuttering began when a teacher suggested she act in school plays. At first, she thought she could never do it, but it turns out that diving in head first was just what she’d needed!
“[The teacher] was really kind and helpful and encouraged me to be in the class plays…He said, ‘Well, why don’t you try it in a different voice? Try to do a funny voice or an accent. Maybe that would help.’ But it really did, I was actually able to speak fluently,” Blunt revealed.
With the addition of some newfound confidence, Blunt was able to overcome her stutter. She acted in school plays, developing a passion for it along the way, and her big break came when she acted in the musical Bliss. It premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she impressed an agent who had appeared in the audience to see her act. One of the drama teachers at her school was a professional actor who saw potential in Blunt and persuaded the agent to watch her in the play. The agent was enthralled and the rest is history!
Emily’s very first part was in a film titled Warrior Queen that debuted in 2003 and after, she quickly began accepting roles in TV productions that added to her now-lengthy resume like Foyle’s War, Poirot, and Empire. In 2005, right after starring in Empire, she acted in Gideon’s Daughter, a TV movie that ended up winning her a Golden Globe. Her career accelerated the next year as she starred in one of her most notable roles yet as Meryl Streep’s snarky assistant in The Devil Wears Prada. The movie, which is one of the most celebrated of the 2000’s, earned her widespread recognition and nominations for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Film Award. Advancing her star power as a supporting actress, she took parts in The Jane Austen Book Club and Charlie Wilson’s War, alongside Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Her first star role finally arrived in 2009 with The Young Victoria, where she led the movie with her arresting depiction of Queen Victoria. She was again nominated for another Golden Globe, this time for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture.
As Blunt was just beginning to garner attention for her capability in lead roles, she was also garnering attention in another area of her life. In 2008, Blunt was introduced to actor John Krasinski through a mutual friend at a restaurant and the two hit it off. Krasinski is mostly known for his role as Jim Halpert in the popular mockumentary comedy The Office. Funnily enough, Blunt had never seen the American version of The Office in which Krasinski stars, but instead was a fan of the British version. The two had their first date at Krasinski’s apartment and speedily fell in love. They ended up marrying at George Clooney’s Lake Como, Italy mansion in 2010, only two years after the pair had met! Today, the pair have two young daughters together, Hazel and Violet, and to say motherhood has changed Blunt’s life is an understatement.
“[John and I] are both massively hands-on, and we love it…I’m so lucky with John. But I was colossally unprepared for how life-changing it is. Like all mothers, I think, ‘What was I doing with my day before I had children?’ It’s so full-on and they need you so much!”
Emily continued to triumph with her new position as a lead star, with roles in Gnomeo & Juliet (2010) and Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011), which earned her yet another Golden Globe nomination. Stepping away from the indie and drama films, Blunt decided to leap into a new genre with Looper (2012), an action crime picture about mob assassinations that take place via time travel. Following this same route of adrenaline-rushing action films, she appeared in Edge of Tomorrow (2014), alongside Tom Cruise.
That same year Blunt was up against some serious star power as she acted in Into The Woods alongside Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Chris Pine, James Corden, and Anna Kendrick. The film was nominated for three Oscars and three Golden Globes, with one of the Globes nods due to Blunt’s performance. Two years later in 2016, Emily took on two of the year’s biggest films with The Huntsman: Winter’s War and The Girl on the Train. The latter was based on the popular book of the same name by Paula Hawkins and featured Blunt as the main character, Rachel, a recently-divorced alcoholic. The role was tough for Blunt to play not only because it was dark in nature but because she was pregnant during the time of filming!
“I think that character is so different from me and how I live, and to get into that mindset – it was a very dark sort of mindset. I was also pregnant during the shoot, so I’d say in general that whole experience was more challenging than most,” Blunt shared.
Her depiction of the troubled woman ended up earning her her second BAFTA Film Award nomination and a Screen Actors Guild Awards nod. In 2018, she starred in the horror film A Quiet Place (2018). The film was special for many reasons. For one, it was written and directed by Emily’s husband, John Krasinski, and two, it marked the first time the pair would act in a film together. In the movie, Krasinski and Blunt play a married couple with two children who are forced to navigate a post-apocalyptic world. In the world, the family must live in silence to avoid blind monsters who have ultrasonic hearing. Krasinski and Blunt couldn’t have predicted the movie’s wild success—it was nominated for an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a BAFTA Film Award, and was one of the most talked-about films of the year.
The couple had purposefully avoided working together on a movie set, preferring to keep their professional and personal lives separate. However, when Blunt read the script that Krasinski had written for A Quiet Place, she knew it was special. The role of the wife, which her husband had written with her in mind, felt deeply personal to Emily, as the whole film centers on a theme of family and sacrifice—something she holds close to her heart.
“This part was the most personal to me, because everything that [my character] feels about her children, I feel about mine. The line between myself and the character became very blurry for me. I found it a very emotional experience, playing her,” Blunt said.
After A Quiet Place came the biggest role of her career with Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, where she had the opportunity to reimagine the famous, adored nanny. The last time we saw Mary Poppins, she was played by Julie Andrews in 1964 in one of the most iconic and quotable films of all time. Needless to say, Blunt had big shoes to fill. The actress is much less known for her singing, but it turns out that she can do that spectacularly well too! The new film saw Blunt showing off her singing chops as she belted out fresh songs created just for the sequel like “A Cover Is Not the Book” and “The Place Where Lost Things Go.” At first, the actress was nervous to play Mary Poppins because of Julie Andrews’ former hold on the role, but she discovered a way to bring a fresh approach to it. Instead of studying the original movie, she read the series of books by P. L. Travers, which the movie is based off of. The character in the books is slightly different than the character that made it onto the big screen in 1964, and Blunt borrowed elements from the book’s character to create a brand new Mary Poppins for a brand new generation. Audiences loved it and critics raved about it—it was nominated for four Oscars, four Golden Globes, and four BAFTA Film Awards. Blunt also picked up Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Awards nods. It’s safe to say her undertaking was a monumental success.
With new accolades and prominent motion pictures under her belt, Blunt is ready to set the realm of cinema on fire. This month on March 20th, Blunt will return to the terrifying world of Krasinski’s creation for A Quiet Place Part II, and will also star in Disney’s Jungle Cruise alongside Dwayne Johnson on July 24th. She’s also signed onto projects Wild Mountain Thyme, Not Fade Away, and Live Die Repeat and Repeat, which is supposed to be a follow-up to 2014’s Edge of Tomorrow.
By Selena Rivera