Mary Poppins Returns is now at the Box, and as its magical but no-nonsense nanny, Emily Blunt is practically perfect in every way. But how many of you remember that in the two roles responsible for accelerating Blunt’s rise in Hollywood, her characters were about as far from perfect as you can get?
Blunt’s big breakthrough came in 2006, when she gave performances in both a TV drama and a big-screen comedy that made everyone sit up and take notice. For playing the troubled daughter of a political publicist (Bill Nighy) in late-90s London in the BBC’s Gideon’s Daughter, she won the 2007 Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film. That very same night she was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture for The Devil Wears Prada, in which she played fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly’s (Meryl Streep) snarky senior assistant and stole every scene she was in.
From that point forward, Blunt’s career skyrocketed, and she has successfully landed roles in just about every genre you can name. Highlights include her work in sci-fi as the mom of a telekinetically powerful child in Looper, a dancer possibly controlled by other forces in The Adjustment Bureau, a time-traveling alien-battling soldier in Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow, and the wife and mom in a family struggling to evade aliens who kill anyone they hear in A Quiet Place. Looper, The Adjustment Bureau and Live Die Repeat just so happen to be three of my all-time favorite movies (if you haven’t seen them yet, you must!), with LDR earning a sequel that’s currently in development, and both Blunt and her co-star Tom Cruise set to reprise their roles. And — as you probably know — A Quiet Place was one of last year’s breakout hits, starring both Blunt andher husband John Krasinski (who also directed), and ultimately earning Blunt a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role … and a part in the sequel slated for 2020!
If all that weren’t enough, Blunt has also made her mark in everything from animated movies (voicing the unicorn Tempest Shadow in My Little Pony: The Movie, and Juliet in Sherlock Gnomes), to gritty crime thrillers like Sicario, to mysteries like A Girl on the Train (which earned her SAG and BAFTA nominations) to musicals.
Audiences were first clued in to the fact that Blunt could sing when she landed the Baker’s Wife role in Rob Marshall’s 2014 adaptation of the Broadway hit Into the Woods. But now, with her title role in Mary Poppins Returns, she’s forever cemented her reputation in the genre by successfully stepping into the shoes once filled by Julie Andrews in 1964’s Disney classic Mary Poppins. In this sequel, Mary Poppins returns to help the now-grown Banks children (Ben Wishaw and Emily Mortimer) through a family crisis. Rest assured that though the situation is serious, Poppins is still able to help through lots of singing, dancing and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious fun.
What could possibly be next for Blunt, aside from the Quiet Place sequel in 2020? Another big film due out that same year: Jungle Book, based on the beloved Disney theme park ride, in which she’ll star opposite Dwayne Johnson.
What’s your favorite Emily Blunt movie?