Emily Blunt Is Over the Strong Female Lead Trope. Here’s What She Advocates for Instead

Blunt prefers a damsel when she’s not in distress.

While Emily Blunt is best known for her roles in films like The Devil Wears Prada and A Quiet Place, the British actress currently stars in The English, a Western miniseries that’s a bit of a departure from some of her more renowned roles.

In the six-episode Amazon Prime Video original, her character, Cornelia Locke, seeks to avenge her son’s death in the year 1890. Blunt didn’t mince words when she spoke with The Telegraph earlier this month, sharing what initially drew her to the part.

“I love a character with a secret. And I loved Cornelia’s buoyancy, her hopefulness, her guilelessness,” Blunt said. “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. These roles are written as incredibly stoic, you spend the whole time acting tough and saying tough things.”

Blunt went on to say that her character in The English is “more surprising than that” typical stereotype, as Cornelia is innocent, though not naive, and “a force to be reckoned with.”

“I was completely captivated by the pilot when I read it. I just thought it was so spellbinding… And [Cornelia] was sort of surprising. I love that she was the damsel not in distress. I think it’s a very thought-provoking series,” Blunt said in a Prime Video Instagram promo.

Blunt’s husband, fellow actor and The Office alum John Krasinski, took to his Instagram to support his wife’s latest endeavor, praising the show as “one of the greatest odes to your favorite Westerns, while at the same time being unlike anything else you’ve ever seen.”

The English is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.