Friday, March 4, 2011

Emily Blunt – Movies Spotlight – March 2011

Emily Blunt is best known in the States for her role as Queen Victoria in 2009’s The Young Victoria. Since that role, she has appeared in a growing number of Hollywood films. This month she stars opposite Matt Damon in The Adjustment Bureau. She may not yet be and A-lister yet, but she has too much talent and appeal to not be one of Hollywood’s top leading ladies in the near future.

Early Career:

Blunt started her career at the age of sixteen when she enrolled at Hurtwood House, a British college known for its performing arts program, where she was discovered by an agent. She made her professional debut in a musical written by Paul Sellar called Bliss, performing at the 2000 Edinburgh Fringe. Continuing on the stage, she also performed at the National Theatre and Chichester Festival Theatre. In 2003, Blunt started appearing in British films and television, starting with the role of Isolda in Warrior Queen.

British Film and Television:

After completing Warrior Queen, Blunt then got roles in the TV movie Henry VIII playing Catherine Howard, which written by rising British star Peter Morgan (who would have his breakout year in 2006). Next, she got one episode roles on two British series: Foyle’s War and Agatha Christie’s Poirot. In 2004, she starred in the BAFTA winning My Summer of Love, a somewhat risqué film (depicting Blunt in a lesbian relationship) that served as her breakthrough performance in the U.K. She won an Evening Standard British Film Award for Most Promising Newcomer, which she shared with co-star Natalie Press (an award Blunt was also nominated for by the British Independent Film Awards).  With her success, she took roles in the mini-series Empire, the TV movie The Strange Case of Sherlock Holmes & Arthur Conan Doyle and a B-movie Irresistible. But, it was her performance in the TV movie Gideon’s Daughter, starring opposite Bill Nighy, that was her stepping stone to breaking into Hollywood films, as she won a Golden Globe for her work on the film (as did Nighy).

Breakthrough in America:

In 2006, Blunt had her breakthrough (and standout) role in The Devil Wears Prada as Meryl Streep’s brash first assistant (nearly stealing the film away from the other good performances from Streep and Anne Hathaway). She continued to build her resume in Hollywood featuring in five films in 2007-2008, taking on different and interesting roles in each. First, she was part of an ensemble cast in The Jane Austen Book Club, following it up with a very funny supporting performance in Dan in Real Life. In Mike Nicolas’s Charlie Wilson’s War, she is only in it briefly, but leaves quite an impact, while in Sunshine Cleaning she co-stars with great actors Amy Adams and Alan Arkin not only holding her own, but possibly being the best part of the film. Finally, she showed she could play the role of love interest to a leading male character in The Great Buck Howard (a role that is sadly too often the only one for many great actresses in Hollywood).

Hollywood Leading Lady:

Subsequently in 2009, Blunt got her first leading role, in a film with distribution in the States, playing Queen Victoria in The Young Victoria. She is fantastic in the film, leading to a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Actress. The film proved that she could not only carry a film, but command the screen. 2010 made for a busy year following her success with The Young Victoria and previous American films. She co-starred with Benicio Del Toro and Anthony Hopkins in The Wolfman, took a supporting role in the Jack Black comedy Gulliver’s Travels (which IMDB lists as the lowest rated film of her career) and co-starred with Bill Nighy and Rupert Grint in the British comedy Wild Target. With a voice role in Gnomeo & Juliet and starring in The Adjustment Bureau to kick off the year, 2011 is shaping up to be an even bigger and better year for her.

Future Projects:

The most anticipated of Blunt’s future projects is The Muppets, which along with all the Muppets stars Jason Segel, Amy Adams and Chris Cooper. Blunt is scheduled to make a cameo appearance (along with a great list of other actors, including: Ricky Gervais, Zach Galifianakis, and Rashida Jones among others). Also in 2011, she stars in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen about Dr. Alfred Jones a fisheries scientist who takes on a project to bring salmon fishing to the Highlands of the Yemen. It co-stars Ewan McGregor and Kristin Scott Thomas. She is currently filming on Rian Johnson’s (one of my favorite newish filmmakers) new film Looper about time traveling assassins, which co-stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. She is also slated to co-star with Jason Segel and Alison Brie in Five-Year Engagement, a film written by Segel and Nicolas Stroller, directed by Stroller and produced by Judd Apatow – the team that made Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Lastly, she is in negotiations to star in Lynn Shelton’s new film.

Emily Blunt’s Career Highlights:

1.)    My Summer of Love (2004) – leading, available on DVD/Rent
2.)    Gideon’s Daughter (2005) – supporting, available on DVD/Rent
3.)    The Devil Wears Prada (2006) – supporting, available on Blu-ray/DVD/Rent
4.)    Dan in Real Life (2007) – supporting, available on Blu-ray/DVD/Rent
5.)    Charlie Wilson’s War (2007) – supporting, available on DVD/Rent
6.)    Sunshine Cleaning (2008) – supporting, available on Blu-ray/DVD/Rent
7.)    The Young Victoria (2009)* – leading, available on Blu-ray/DVD/Rent
8.)    The Wolfman (2010) – leading, available on Blu-ray/DVD/Rent

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