Silver Screen Spotlight: Emily Blunt
Quickly becoming one of Hollywood's biggest stars, one that never hesitates to jump into any genre she can, English actress Emily Blunt has taken the silver screen by storm with her sensational charm and unique elegance. Versatile among a number of genres, from sci-fi blockbusters like 2014's Edge of Tomorrow to endearing dramas like 2011's My Sister's Sister, Blunt has becoming a rare triple threat in the movie-making business. Set to take on another spine-tingling and emotional role in this month's The Girl on the Train, similar to the one she spun out in last year's Sicario, Blunt aims to go for the gold once more as she displays another level to her always-evolving acting style.
While her filmography so far hasn't been too substantial -- beginning her career as a supporting player on not only the stage and small screen, but in films like 2004's My Summer of Love and the television drama Gideon's Daughter the following year -- most consider that with her breakout American role in 2006's The Devil Wears Prada, Blunt solidified herself as a force to be reckoned with. Bringing a sharp edge to the comedy scene, as her brooding and maniacal assistant to Meryl Streep's fashion magazine editor stole the show in this early 2000s hit, Blunt garnered nearly as much fame as her co-stars with her enthusiastic role.
With the following years digging up a colorful palette of projects for the actress, from the satirical-drama of 2007's Dan in Real Life to her acclaimed role in 2009's The Young Victoria, it wasn't until 2011 when Blunt's career soared into a handful of other intriguing genres. While her 2010 roles in projects like the Jack Black-starrer Gulliver's Travels and the ambitious caper-comedy Wild Target didn't leave me with much other than a mild chuckle, her dive into the animation scene with Gnomeo & Juliet, as well as her female lead in the science-fiction romance The Adjustment Bureau, tossed in a playful tease at what the actress is really capable of. While I might only remember Gnomeo for its foot-tapping soundtrack, and The Adjustment Bureau for its anxiety-filled thrills and creepy Terence Stamp villain, Blunt's effective charisma and willingness to perfect her craft paved her way to an interesting future on the silver screen.
While some of her other 2011 projects may have slipped past me, like the whimsical British indie Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and the engaging comedy-drama Your Sister's Sister, Blunt's career flourished further as she starred in two noteworthy projects in 2012. While I haven't seen the Judd Apatow-produced comedy The Five-Year Engagement in a long while, I have a distinct memory of that being one of my favorite comedies of the Spring of 2012. With efficient chemistry between the actress and her co-star Jason Segel, Blunt's unique craft of "blunt" yet hyper-aware comedy still kept me waiting for her next project.
Funny enough, the actress' proceeding film appearances saw little comedy, and a whole lot of ass-kicking and pleasurable vulgarity. Starring in two sci-fi action films between 2012 and 2014 -- including the neo-noir time-travel thriller Looper and the alien-invasion war flick Edge of Tomorrow (or Live. Die. Repeat. as some call it) -- some of Blunt's most daring -- and highly bad-ass -- performances came from these two ambitious sci-fi projects. While she may not grace the screen that much in the former, Blunt's fearsome Sarah Conner-esque protector in Rian Johnson's stylized action flick managed to hold her own against leading men Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis. As for the Tom Cruise-starrer Edge of Tomorrow, while the film's brilliant alien-vs.-human action set pieces and charismatic lead in action-film vet Cruise may have brought this film to the top of the box-office, it was Blunt's "full metal bitch" attitude and sarcastic chemistry with Cruise that really kept you on the edge.
Before she was cast as the titular character in the upcoming follow-up to 1964's Mary Poppins, Blunt sang her way to further fame in Rob Marshall's 2014 film adaptation of the musical Into the Woods. While the film was nothing spectacular in terms of movie musicals -- the visual palette and charismatic cast rising above the simple sing-along premise -- Blunt provided a well-versed performance as the Baker's Wife, bringing her musical talents to the forefront of the Disney adaptation. 2015 brought another intriguing role for the actress, as she dived into the world of drug cartels and the Mexican border in Denis Villeneuve's thriller Sicario. While the film itself wasn't as lasting a ride for me as it was for critics, Blunt's fearless and grounded lead as Agent Kate Macer displayed a further investigation into just how versatile the actress truly is.
Set to take on a number of other roles that could boost her stardom to greater heights -- from her emotional turn as an alcoholic divorcee who must deal with the tragedies and unexpected occurrences around her in this month's The Girl on the Train, to her take on the popular character of Mary Poppins in the near future -- Emily Blunt doesn't seem like she's slowing down any time soon. With plenty of comedic charm to spare, and a feminine stature that could tear down even the bravest of men, I can't wait to see what audacious projects Mrs. Blunt latches onto next.
What's your favorite Emily Blunt role? Are her earlier projects like Sunshine Cleaning more your style, or do you love her in gritty and stone-cold roles in films like Edge of Tomorrow and Sicario? Let me know your favorite role from the actress in the comments below, and let me know what actor, actress, or director you want in the spotlight next!