Emily Blunt wanted to embody complicated women onscreen.
The “Sicario” and “Devil Wears Prada” star revealed that she once told a screenwriter to write her character “like a guy” to not be one-note. “‘Write me like a guy and I’ll do the ‘girl’ stuff. Just write me as you would a man: fallible and complex and difficult and shady,'” Blunt recalled to Porter magazine. “And we are still having to remind people to not hold women to a certain ideal.”
Blunt now leads Prime Video series “The English,” in which she plays a woman seeking revenge for the death of her son in the Wild West. She also executive produces the series.
“I do love that she shows up like Alice in the Wild West and that she looks the image of the feminine ‘ideal.’ And yet, there’s this fever in her for revenge,” Blunt said. “She looks so out of place in this toxic, rather masculine landscape that she arrives in.”
In fact, Blunt has to navigate media questions in the same way, admitting that while on set in Atlanta for David Yates’ upcoming drama “Pain Hustlers” opposite Chris Evans, she received questions on parenting from the press.
“It is interesting that women are still made to feel defensive of their choices to work, and men are not,” Blunt said. “When I was on set in Atlanta, which was challenging because I was racing back home every weekend – and then the kids would come to me for five, six days – it was amazing how many people asked where my kids were.”
She added, “I thought, ‘I bet Chris Evans isn’t being asked that question, or Andy Garcia, or Jay Duplass.’ And you just normalize it… but I find myself over-explaining or compensating to appear like, ‘I can still do everything and I’m still available.’ It’s that awareness of perception, maybe.”
Blunt portrays a single mother who moonlights as a prescription drug dealer, calling it her most “shady” role yet.
“The pace of it would keep me up at night,” Blunt said.
The “A Quiet Place” star previously explained that she despises the term “strong female lead” in scripts.
“It’s the worst thing ever when you open a script and read the words ‘strong female lead,'” Blunt told The Telegraph. “That makes me roll my eyes. I’m already out. I’m bored. Those roles are written as incredibly stoic, you spend the whole time acting tough and saying tough things.”