11 Roles That Made Us Love Emily Blunt: From 'The Devil Wears Prada' to 'A Quiet Place'
This week, it's been announced that Emily Blunt is returning to TV in the epic Western series The English. With this exciting role in the pipeline and A Quiet Place II arriving later this month, we're taking the opportunity to revisit her career highlights to date. Looking back at her impressively varied résumé, it’s kind of shocking to note that Blunt still hasn’t been nominated for an Oscar.
My Summer of Love (2004)
Blunt's movie debut came in this award-winning British indie flick. She plays Tamsin, a young woman from a wealthy but unloving family who falls for Mona (Natalie Press), a disenfranchised teenager from a much sketchier background. Led by Blunt and Press's sensitive and affecting performances, this bittersweet film has become a cult queer classic.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
This 2006 comedy movie features Blunt's brilliant breakout performance as Emily, the hard-bitten assistant who's gradually outshone by Anne Hathaway's idealistic Andy. Emily is by turns waspish and surprisingly relatable: even when she's is mean, you can see where she's coming from. Blunt earned Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations for her performance: impressive stuff opposite Meryl Streep in full-on wicked villainess mode.
Gideon's Daughter (2006)
Blunt and Bill Nighy both won Golden Globes for their work in this satirical TV movie from writer-director Stephen Poliakoff, which premiered in the U.S. on BBC America. Against the backdrop of Princess Diana's death and the British Millennium celebrations, Nighy plays a manipulative PR guru whose relationship with his smart daughter, Blunt's Natasha, seems terminally strained. As you'd expect given the talent involved, it's a beautifully acted and cleverly written treat.
Sunshine Cleaning (2008)
This offbeat and somewhat underrated comedy has lovely performances from Blunt and Amy Adams. They play two very different sisters – Adams' Rose is a hard-working lone mother; Blunt's Norah an unreliable drifter – who team up to create a crime scene cleanup business. It's a sweet, low-key movie that's well worth seeking out when you're in the mood for something that doesn't try too hard to tug at your heartstrings (but manages to do so, anyway).
The Young Victoria (2010)
Blunt hasn't taken on many period drama roles, but she's impressive in this lush-looking biopic directed by Big Little Lies' Jean-Marc Vallée and written by Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes. In a Golden Globe-nominated performance, she convincingly conveys Queen Victoria's trepidation and growing confidence as she blossoms from a relatively sheltered teenager into a shrewd and formidable monarch.
Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
Holding her own opposite stunt maestro Tom Cruise, Blunt demonstrates her range in this superior sci-fi blockbuster. She's tough and gutsy as Sergeant Rita Vrataski, a war hero who teams up with Cruise's William Cage, a media relations officer with no combat experience, to thwart an alien invasion. It's a role that really highlights Blunt's ability to convince in any genre.
Into the Woods (2014)
Blunt shows off her singing chops in this glossy adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's '80s Broadway hit. Leading an excellent ensemble cast, she and James Corden star as a childless couple desperate to end the cruel curse placed on them by Meryl Streep's vengeful witch. Several shades darker than the typical movie-musical, Into the Woods makes for a surprisingly spooky watch.
Blunt really leans into her action heroine side in this brilliant thriller from Arrival director Denis Villeneuve. She plays Kate Macer, a conflicted FBI agent who's tasked with bringing down the dangerous leader of a Mexican drug cartel. Intense performances from Blunt and Benicio del Toro, who co-stars as an enigmatic lawyer-turned-assassin, will keep you gripped as Sicario takes a series of audacious twists and turns. Sadly, Blunt didn't return for the 2018 sequel.
The Girl on the Train (2016)
Some critics felt this adaptation of Paula Hawkins' bestselling novel was trite and predictable, but Blunt's intense central performance is its main selling point. She plays Rachel Watson, a lonely divorcée with a drinking problem who gets sucked into a missing person's investigation. Even when Rachel is being very messy indeed, Blunt manages to engender some sympathy for the character, so her BAFTA and SAG Award nominations were richly deserved.
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Stepping into Julie Andrews' shoes was a tall order, but Blunt pulls it off in this charming and nostalgic sequel. If anything, her take on Mary Poppins is a little posher and spikier than Andrews', but she shows her playful side in some dazzling song-and-dance numbers with Lin-Manuel Miranda. Blunt definitely earned her Golden Globe nomination for this one.
A Quiet Place (2018)
Blunt co-stars opposite husband John Krasinski – who also directs – in this seriously scary horror movie. In a post-apocalyptic world terrorized by blind monsters with super-sensitive hearing, she and Krasinski play a married couple struggling to raise their kids in virtual silence. It's a role that's low on dialogue for obvious reasons, but Blunt's SAG Award-winning performance brilliantly captures her character's tenacity, maternal instincts, and abject terror. Following a Covid delay, A Quiet Place II finally arrives in theaters May 28. Bring it on!
Have we missed one of your favorite Emily Blunt movies?