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Why Emily Blunt is the most underrated film star of her generation

Love you, Emily.

942341590 Source: David M. Benett

WHEN DID YOU realise you loved Emily Blunt? For me, it was when I watched her episode of Lip Sync Battle. If you are not familiar with her episode, allow me to refresh your memory.

This particular installment of Lip Sync Battle saw Emily Blunt pitted against her Devil Wears Prada co-star Anne Hathaway. The first round saw Hathaway deliver a mimed rendition of Mary J. Blige’s Love while Blunt fought back with a perfectly pitched performance of No Diggity.

The second round saw Blunt take to the stage dressed in sixties flower child gear to pay tribute to Janis Joplin’s Piece of My Heart. While it definitely suggested that Emily Blunt is probably extremely fun in a karaoke bar, it wasn’t especially dazzling or memorable. In fact, it has since been completely overshadowed by what happened next.

I am, of course, referring to when Anne Hathaway emerged dressed in a white vest and knickers, and mounted a wrecking ball. Her take on the Miley Cyrus power ballad is an all-time classic in the Lip Sync Battle canon and set the standard for the rest of the series.

At one point, Hathaway runs towards Emily Blunt to serenade her. Blunt laughs along, gives her a maternal pat on the bum, and sends her on the way. She knows she has been outdone, but doesn’t seem to care in the slightest. In fact, she just seems genuinely happy for her friend.

It was at this precise moment that I knew I loved Emily Blunt.


Emily Blunt first caught the world’s attention with her supporting turn in The Devil Wears Prada. In that film, she was the yin to Anne Hathaway’s yang, full of withering put downs and exasperated sighs.

It’s a sidekick performance for the ages and one made all the more astounding when you realise she was only 22 years old during filming. What were you doing when you were 22 years old? Watching Home and Away, and eating Cheesestrings for breakfast, probably.

For years after this breakthrough, she plugged away in forgettable films that never quite landed. The Adjustment Bureau, Salmon Fishing in the Yeme, The Five Year Engagement, Gulliver’s Travels – all middling-to-bad films that Emily Blunt elevated with her mere presence.

The moment I knew that Emily Blunt was going to be okay was when she starred in The Edge of Tomorrow, a terrific action movie that should have honestly been the highest grossing film that year. Blunt stars opposite Tom Cruise and is everything you could ever want from a female action lead – icy, fierce, badass.

That same year, she starred in the screen adaptation of the musical Into The Woods. Since then, she has dabbled in fantasy (Huntsman: The Winter’s War), drama (The Girl on the Train) and action (Sicario). She can currently be seen in The Quiet Place, a low-budget horror, and will star in a Mary Poppins reboot later this year.

It’s not many actresses that can flit between comedy, action and musicals with such ease, but Emily Blunt is no ordinary actress. In fact, I would wager that she’s among the most versatile of her generation, but doesn’t have nearly as many meaty roles under her belt as she should, another casualty of Hollywood’s woman problem.

Screen Shot 2018-04-06 at 4.53.17 PM Source: ellie/Twitter

Aside from being enormously talented, Emily Blunt also has the good fortune of being both immensely charming and likeable. In interviews, she’s effortlessly funny, whether she’s impersonating her daughter’s American accent or hilariously downplaying the story of how she met her husband John Krasinski.

Seriously, type ‘emily blunt jimmy kimmel’ into YouTube’s search bar and I defy you not to go down an Emily Blunt rabbit hole. You will almost certainly catch yourself smiling dumbly as she relays a carefully chosen anecdote about her baby burping and wishing you could go for a glass of wine with her.

This is before I even get to her personal life. And what a personal life she has! Not only did she once date Michael Bublé, but she is now married to John Krasinski. In other words, she has dated two men who are literally world-renowned for being handsome and charming. Can you even imagine?

And just when you think she couldn’t have a more charmed existence, you discover that her sister is married to Stanley Tucci, the most wonderful man alive.

Imagine Stanley Tucci being your brother-in-law! Imagine the bottles of rosé he would bring to your dinner party. Imagine how generous he’d be with gossipy stories. Imagine knowing you’d get to see him every Christmas forever and ever, Amen. Ugh, the dream.

You might think that all of this would make me irrationally jealous of Emily Blunt. After all, it’s hardly fair that one woman should possess talent, warmth and beauty.

But Emily Blunt is so damn great that I don’t even care. As far as I am concerned, she deserves every good thing that comes her way, whether that’s a juicy role or a dreamy in-law.

Love you, Emily. (Please don’t ruin Mary Poppins.)

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About the author:

Amy O'Connor

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