Emily Blunt says the movie world has changed for women

Emily Blunt has starred in over 20 movies including new crime thriller film Sicario, she can see change for women working in film – but it hasn’t yet been “a tsunami”.

The 32-year-old actress plays FBI agent Kate Macer in the movie, but having a female lead was a stumbling block when it came to getting the film financed.


“One financier said to [Sicario writer] Taylor Sheridan, if you make her a guy we’ll finance it today, you can make it today and we’ll up your budget as well,” she revealed.

“So that’s disappointing, but not altogether surprising.”

But the film was sought out and picked up by acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve – and started generating buzz.

“He saw the value and the merit that comes with having a female protagonist in this masculine world, it sort of magnifies the violence for you,” Emily said. “That’s when people were like – oh, did we miss out on something?”

The British-born star added: “I think there’s a bit of a sea change going on. It’s not altogether there, it’s not been a tsunami, but there’s waves of better roles for women.

“I think the business has been paying attention to that as well, which is the thing we needed, we needed the money in the business to pay attention to the fact that these films make money with women at the core of them.

“We’ve got ways to go with equality of billing and pay and all of that – but we’re getting there.”

The movie may be a tense, violent thriller, but Emily said that didn’t affect the fun of filming at all.

She explained: “I know it seems very dark, and a very intense film, a very arresting film – but yet on set it was a lovely atmosphere. I think I’m someone who has to be happy to do the best work that I can do, so I usually try and keep it light.”

London-Born Emily is rumoured to be in the running to star in the Mary Poppins sequel announced in September – in the role made famous by Julie Andrews.

“I’ve heard rumours of it, which would be a thrill,” she admitted. “But there’s nothing official. She’s sort of an icon, so that would be kind of scary.”

Sicario is in cinemas now.

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