Culture

Emily Blunt Explains Why A "Strong Female Lead" Is Boring And "The Worst Thing Ever" When She Opens Up A New Script

By Gina Florio
·  3 min read
Emily blunt
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We've seen Hollywood attempt to feminize a number of classic films, from "Ghostbusters" to "Ocean's 8." But actress Emily Blunt is sick and tired of seeing a script that features a "strong female lead." She is interested in something much more interesting.

She can play the uptight, cold assistant in The Devil Wears Prada and a tender yet fierce mother in the post-apocalyptic world of A Quiet Place, but there's one type of role that Emily Blunt isn't interested in whatsoever: "strong female lead." In a recent interview with The Telegraph to promote her new six-part Western BBC series "The English," she explains why she's tired of seeing this kind of character being pushed in Hollywood.

Emily Blunt Explains Why a "Strong Female Lead" Is Boring and "The Worst Thing Ever" When She Opens up a New Script

Emily is fascinated by characters that have layers and many complexities. "I love a character with a secret," she says, which is what drew her to Cornelia in "The English," a miniseries about a mother who travels to the US to avenge the death of her son and teams up with a Pawnee ex-cavalry scout.

"I loved Cornelia’s buoyancy, her hopefulness, her guilelessness," she continues. "It’s the worst thing ever when you open a script and read the words: ‘strong female lead’. 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. Cornelia is more surprising than that," Emily says. "She’s innocent without being naive and that makes her a force to be reckoned with. She startles Eli out of his silence and their differences become irrelevant because they need each other to survive. I thought that was very cool.”

Emily talks about the corsets she had to wear while filming the show, admitting they made it difficult to ride a horse. "But they were elasticated at the sides so I could get on the horse with the help of three men," she jokes. The uncomfortable outfits are just a small inconvenience for a role that Emily loves to play. When you watch the trailer, you can see the depth of her character Cornelia that she speaks of, and there is certainly something very different than the quintessential "strong female lead" that has become so common to see in Hollywood (although not very popular to watch at the box office).

But Emily is known for playing roles that are memorable and unique, like her character in Sicario (who is explicitly told that she was only brought along as a token to make the operation seem more legitimate than it actually was) and A Quiet Place. You can watch "The English" on Amazon Prime.