Emily Blunt: five best momentsLooking back at the career of the Sicario star’s development from English rose to US action heroine
Friday 9 October 2015 09.25 BST
Thanks to a niftily convincing US accent, Emily Blunt escaped the hamster wheel of wearing a corset in well-to-do period dramas early on in her career and has carved out a CV filled with a wide variety of intriguing roles.
This week sees the British actor, who earlier this year took joint US citizenship, take centre-stage in the brutal thriller Sicario as an FBI agent tracking down a violent drug cartel in Mexico, and it’s a role that is already creating some deserved Oscar buzz.
While it’s set to become one of her finest roles, here are some of her finest on-screen moments to date:
My Summer of Love
Paweł Pawlikowski’s bewitching Bafta-winning drama carefully constructs an intoxicating atmosphere of danger and romance in West Yorkshire and its haunting after-effect is largely down to the lead performances from newcomers Natalie Press and Blunt. They star as girls from different social backgrounds who develop an intense relationship and Blunt’s seductive compulsive liar marked her out as one to watch.
The Devil Wears Prada
While Anne Hathaway might have nabbed the bigger role in the hit fashion comedy, it was Blunt as her snippy rival who emerged as the bigger star. Delivering catty lines with almost as much nastiness as Meryl Streep herself, it was the film that truly launched her career in Hollywood.
The Young Victoria
While Blunt’s later career has showed her resisting the English rose label, she embraced it head on in 2009’s period drama. But with director Jean-Marc Vallée, screenwriter Julian Fellowes and producer Martin Scorsese behind her, this wasn’t a run-of-the-mill entry but a humanised and handsomely mounted romance, held together by Blunt’s commanding performance.
One of the many masterstrokes in Rian Johnson’s smart sci-fi thriller was casting Blunt as a tough single mother living on a remote farm and dealing with a son who has terrifying powers. She nails both the accent and the grit required for the role, while also selling the emotional beats when the film unexpectedly changes tack. It also proved her action credentials, which led to …
Edge of Tomorrow
One of the most criminally under-seen blockbusters of recent years, Doug Liman’s intelligent and funny 2014 sci-fi spin on Groundhog Day gave Tom Cruise one of his most engaging turns. But the film was easily stolen by Blunt as the “full metal bitch”, whose adeptness in fight scenes put all of the men around her to shame. News that she’s up for a sequel is bittersweet, given its unlikeliness of it ever happening.