Emily Blunt is no stranger to playing the “strong female lead.” From her portrayal of Rita Vrataski in Edge of Tomorrow to Rachel Watson in The Girl on the Train, Blunt’s characters are often tough women. However, the actress has grown tired of playing the strong female lead, but not for reasons you might suspect.
The 39-year-old actress first got her big break playing Emily in The Devil Wears Prada in 2006. Starring alongside Anne Hathaway and Meryl Streep, the actress was recognized in her own right. The movie earned her multiple award nominations, including a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Since then, she’s received multiple awards for the roles she has played, including main characters where she’s the strong female lead.
The thing is, Blunt is done playing those characters. In a recent interview with The Telegraph, the actress opened up about why she finds these roles boring.
‘When A Script Says Strong Female Lead, It Always Makes Me Roll My Eyes’
Now that she’s done with strong female leads, Blunt has recently taken on a new kind of role. She plays Englishwoman Lady Cornelia Locke in the British-American TV series, The English. The show is set in the American Western frontier in the late 19th century. But don’t tell Blunt she’s the strong female lead.
If Lady Cornelia was characterized as a tough woman, Blunt probably would have turned down the role immediately. The actress has had enough of playing these characters. According to Blunt, “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.”
Lady Cornelia is characterized by something completely different. The Englishwoman has come to the American West to seek revenge for the murder of her son. Apparently, Blunt took the role because of how interesting Cornelia was. “I love a character with a secret. And I loved Cornelia’s buoyancy, her hopefulness, her guilelessness,” remarked the actress.
One of the reasons that Blunt is done playing the strong female is because of how detached those characters can be. As the actress said, “Those roles are written as incredibly stoic, you spend the whole time acting tough and saying tough things.”
The English‘s protagonist is more complex than that. Blunt still plays the main character alongside actor Chaske Spencer, who portrays Eli, a member of the Pawnee Nation. However, she said her character is “surprising.” Blunt shared, “[Lady Cornelia is] innocent without being naïve 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.”