|Date and Place of Birth
February 23, 1983
Roehampton, London, England, UK
Emily Olivia Leah Blunt
5′ 7″ (1,70 m)
Em, Boop, Snath
☆ Rich, full voice
001. Biography (below)
003. Personal Quotes
005. Awards & Nominations
Born Emily Olivia Leah Blunt to Joanna Mackie, a former actress and teacher, and Oliver Simon Peter Blunt, a barrister, she is the second of four children: her older sister, Felicity, and her younger brother, Sebastian, and sister, Susannah.
From a very young age to her teen years, she suffered from stuttering, and credits a school teacher for helping her manage it through acting. To this day, Emily Blunt is an advocate speaking about having a stutter, which is a disability not many people know about. She is a member on the Board of Directors for the American Institute for Stuttering.
She attended Ibstock Place School in Roehampton, southwest London and, at age 16, went to Hurtwood House near Dorking, Surrey, a private sixth form college known for its performing arts programme, where she was discovered and signed by an agent.
In November 2001, Blunt made her professional debut in Peter Hall’s production of the play The Royal Family, in which she played the role of the granddaughter Gwen to Dame Judi Dench’s Fanny Cavendish. For her performance, Blunt was named “Best Newcomer” by the Evening Standard. She then performed as Eugenie in Nicholas Wright’s Vincent in Brixton at the National Theatre, and as Juliet in Indhu Rubasingham’s production of Romeo and Juliet at Chichester Festival Theatre, both in 2002.
Her first screen credit for the British television, in 2003, is the drama Boudica, about the life of the ancient Celtic warrior-queen who fought the Romans. That same year, she delivered a highly praised performance as the 16th-century Queen Catherine Howard in the two-part British television drama Henry VIII.
In 2004, she took part in a guest episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot, as Linnet Ridgeway, to then star in her first movie role of Tamsin for an independent British drama called My Summer of Love, a love story revolving around two young women from different socioeconomic backgrounds in the English countryside. The director of the movie, in an interview, described the two protagonists’ performances as “extremely different and very original, which is a rare thing nowadays. Emily and Natalie avoid the obvious, and are capable of playing complex and conflicting attitudes.” Another critics’ review called this project a “gem” lost in the “hype” of Hollywood blockbusters, and the two actresses performance as nailing “their cinematic alter-egos effortlessly, using verbal and non-verbal cues to tap into their emotions.”
Following this big success, Blunt then played a few parts for television in 2005: as Camane, in the 4-hours long mini-series Empire, in The Strange Case of Sherlock Holmes & Arthur Conan Doyle and as Natasha, the troubled only child of New Labour spin doctor, in Gideon’s Daughter. The drama was praised for its overall “sterling performances,” and Blunt won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film.
2006 was a big career push for Emily, when she first starred in the drama Irresistible, opposite Susan Sarandon and Sam Neill, and as the eccentric and not-really-so-pleasant senior assistant of Runway magazine editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly (played by Meryl Streep) in The Devil wears Prada, set in the fashion world in New York City. Blunt’s performance was praised, with Clifford Pugh of the Houston Chronicle asserting that “[Blunt] has many of the movie’s best lines and steals nearly every scene she’s in.” Her character was not supposed to be British but by Blunt suggestion, she felt it would be interesting and sound a bit more imperious. She is also seen running about in the background of many scenes, though it was not scripted or directed, because she felt such character would always be busy.
Blunt was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture at the BAFTA Award for her performance, and then attended the 79th Academy Awards where she co-presented the award for best costume design with co-star Anne Hathaway (who played junior assistant Andy Sachs), with both acting as their characters from the film and trying to please Meryl Streep, who also gave a glimpse of her character’s signature look.
On an unstoppable rise, between 2007 and 2009, Emily continued starring in many more movies and television shows. In 2007 alone, she took part into four different films: the horror film Wind Chill, the romantic drama The Jane Austen Book Club, the comedy-drama Dan in Real Life, and the biographical comedy-drama Charlie Wilson’s War. She then went on playing the roles of Valerie Brennan in The Great Buck Howard, and Norah Lorkowski, an underachiever who starts a crime-scene clean-up business with her sister Rose, in Sunshine Cleaning, both in 2008. The film received many positive reviews, in particular for Blunt’s and (Amy) Adams’ performances. Rolling Stone magazine described it as “funny and touching movie that depends on two can-do actresses to scrub past the biohazard of noxious clichés that threaten to intrude. Adams and Blunt get the job done.”
In 2009, after giving the voice to Lisa Simpsons’ friend, Juliet Hobbes, in an episode of The Simpsons, she took on her first leading role as Queen Victoria in the independent period drama The Young Victoria, which focused on her early life and reign, as well as her marriage to Prince Albert. She based this character on a prior knowledge and consulting with her own mother to find out how remarkable and very “21st century sort of woman” the monarch was. For this poignant role, Blunt earned a Golden Globe Award and a Critics’ Choice Award nomination, as well as a BAFTA Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year, that same year. Critics were also incredibly supporting of her portrayal; a review article for Entertainment Weekly, concludes that Blunt makes the journey of the monarch through her reign, “at once authentic and relevant.”
Wrapping the year, she gave once again her voice to a character for the television series Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps, and took part in a short film, Curiosity, directed by Toby Spanton.
The following year, she played another royal, Princess Mary, in Gulliver’s Travels, a thief named Rose in Wild Target, and the voice of Juliet in the animation film Gnomeo & Juliet, a story of two gnomes separated by a fence but that can’t stop them from falling in love.
She then co-starred with Benicio del Toro and Sir Anthony Hopkins, in the horror The Wolfman, a re-adaptation of the homonymous movie from 1941, which received globally very negative reviews. A better fate was destined to her following project, The Adjustment Bureau (2011), in which she played a contemporary dancer who is being kept apart from a politician by mysterious forces. The reviews praised the chemistry between Blunt and her co-star Matt Damon.
In 2011, she also starred in the British romantic comedy-drama Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, for which role she earned a Golden Globe nomination, and made a cameo appearance in Disney’s The Muppets, as Miss Piggy’s receptionist, to then end the year with the the independent comedy-drama Your Sister’s Sister.
In November 2011, Yves Saint Laurent named Emily Blunt their ambassador for the new fragrance Opium.
The following years, between 2012 and 2013, Blunt kept on getting more leading roles: the romantic comedy The Five-Year Engagement (2012), co-starring Jason Segel, in which she and Segel played a couple whose relationship becomes strained when their engagement is continually extended. She then starred in Looper (2012), a science fiction action film, in which she played Sara, a tough farm woman and single mother, who aids and falls in love with a time-traveller. The film earned highly positive feedback, crediting Blunt for “effectively revealing Sara’s tough and vulnerable sides.” (The Hollywood Reporter)
She then starred in the comedy-drama Arthur Newman (2012) as the troubled Charlotte, who is trying to run away from her past, opposite Colin Firth, and then dubbed Nahoko Satomi in the English version of the animated movie The Wind Rises (2013).
In 2014, Blunt starred in Edge of Tomorrow, a film adaptation of the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill. She played Sergeant Rita Vrataski, a Special Forces warrior tasked with training a public relations officer (Tom Cruise) to defeat invading extraterrestrials. Blunt trained for three months for her role, focusing on everything from weights to sprints to yoga, aerial wire work and gymnastics, and studying Krav Maga.
She then played the role of the Baker’s Wife in The Walt Disney Company’s film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Into the Woods, featuring an ensemble cast with names like Meryl Streep, Christine Baranski, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick and Tracey Ullman, among many others. The role focused on this woman who desperately wanted a child, but could not get pregnant. Ironically, Emily was pregnant with her first child throughout filming. The film was a commercial success and earned generally positive reviews, with Blunt earning praises for her acting and singing; the New York Post described it as “one of the best female performances of the year”, while Time remarked that “when Blunt is onscreen, these woods are alive with the magic of a fractured fairy tale.” She was nominated for her second Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical for her performance.
Following her daughter’s birth in 2014, the next year, she took on a single project in order to focus on being a mother. She starred as FBI agent Kate Macer in Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario, working again alongside Benicio Del Toro. Her performance was critically acclaimed and she earned a second consecutive Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Actress in an Action Movie.
In 2016 she shined on the big screen as the evil Ice Queen Freya in The Huntsman: Winter’s War, opposite Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain, and in the leading role in the mystery thriller The Girl on the Train, based on Paula Hawkins’ best-selling novel of the same name. Blunt played Rachel Watson, an alcoholic who becomes involved in a missing person’s investigation. While the film overall received mixed reviews from critics, who felt it failed to live up to the novel, her performance earned considerable praise and nominations for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Female Actor. In his review for the Rolling Stone magazine, Peter Travers described Emily’s performance as “playing the hell out of her character and adding a touch of welcome empathy. She digs into the role like an actress possessed – there’s not an ounce of vanity here, and she raises Girl to the level of spellbinder.”
After providing her voice for the 2017 animated films My Little Pony: The Movie and Animal Crackers, Blunt made her return to live action in John Krasinski’s horror film A Quiet Place (2018), which follows a family being tormented by monstrous creatures that hunt by sound. Neither Krasinski nor Blunt had initially planned for Blunt to co-star in the film with him, but upon reading the script, she persuaded him to cast her. The movie received critical acclaim. One scene in particular, the bathtub scene in which she suffers in silence through contractions and labour, was too unsettling for some of the crew members but highly praised by critics and audience for an exceptional performance by the actress. For this performance she won a SAG award.
This film is part of a series, with a second movie released in 2021, A Quiet Place II, and a third already announced for 2024, which will not be directed by Krasinksi. At the moment it is unknown whether Blunt will star in it or not.
Setting a completely different course of genre, that same year, she lended her voice as red gnome Juliet again for Sherlock Gnomes and starred in the immortal role of Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns, serving as a sequel to the 1964 film, and following the difficult story of the Banks children, now grown-up and in debts, and their children. Blunt was naturally very nervous about this role, as she was taking the sceptre from an iconic actress as Dame Julie Andrews. Mary Poppins herself saw a preview of the sequel, and according to director Rob Marshall she sent a long and detailed e-mail review praising the movie itself but especially Blunt’s performance, “she said Emily was wonderful, she loved her voice, she loved every single person in the cast, she was just over the moon about the whole thing” (Harper’s Bazaar). It was also revealed in interviews, that she turned down a cameo as the balloon lady, because she did not want to distract the audience from Emily’s performance, which made Blunt teary when she found out to have such a huge support from Dame Julie Andrews.
In a funny coincidence, history repeated itself, because much like Julie Andrews, who was pregnant when she was offered the role of Mary Poppins, Emily Blunt was prengnant with her second child during the filming of the sequel.
The movie also starred Dame Angela Lansbury as the balloon lady, Meryl Streep as cousin Topsy and featuring Dick Van Dyke for a cameo. Blunt received a SAG nomination for her performance as Mary Poppins, also her sixth Golden Globe nomination.
In 2020, Emily starred in her husband’s web series Some Good News, which began streaming on YouTube during the pandemic. She also played the role of Rosemary in the romantic drama Wild Mountain Thyme, with Jamie Dornan, for which she had to speak with an Irish accent, which was not well received by the critics.
Later in 2021, she took on the role of Dr. Lily Houghton, a researcher that ventures the many traps of the jungle with her brother and a guide, in Jungle Cruise, based on the eponymous amusement ride. The movie also stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jack Whitehall, Édgar Ramírez, Jesse Plemons and Paul Giamatti.
It was announced that in the next few years we will be seeing Emily in BBC western television series The English, in David Yates’s crime drama film Pain Hustlers for Netflix, and as Kitty Oppenheimer in Oppenheimer, the story of American scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his role in the development of the atomic bomb. The latter set to be released in 2023.
(Screen Actors Guild Awards – 2019)
Blunt has a dual-citizenship, British and American, acquired in August 2015 for a more protected position for her to be in, considering her husband and daughters are all American citizens. She described the whole ceremony as a bit odd and not exciting as she would expect it to be, especially when she was asked to renounce her Queen, as per requirements by US Law, because she strongly feels attached to her country and her culture, and that specific moment was sad to her.
Blunt describes herself as “quite a positive and energetic person although also overly sensitive”, and her husband calls her not only the best actress of our times but also claims to have been a massive fan of her since The Devil Wears Prada, which he says he has seen 27 times and cried all the time. He also said that anything he can do, his wife can do 10 times better and faster and she is a great smart asset to have on set.
(Critics’ Choice Awards – 2010)
She also loves her time at home, inviting friends over for dinner or sharing a nice bottle of wine, and specialized in good healthy cooking. When she is on her own, she enjoys reading a lot, especially the great literary classics and historical novels, and pictures her perfect day as something very quiet, having a barbecue and a good margarita with her family and a few good friends.
She is the sister-in-law, by marriage of Felicity, to actor Stanley Tucci. Can play the cello, not so well she claims, and sing and loves being a mother; having her daughters changed her completely and for that reason she also knows where to draw a line with her work, making sure it does not affect her parenting in any way.
She and her husband, actor John Krasinski, live in New York City with their two daughters, Hazel (8) and Violet (6).