The Stunning Transformation Of Emily Blunt

What springs to mind when you think of Emily Blunt? Probably phrases like "English rose" or her meme-able quotes from "The Devil Wears Prada." Ever since she first blossomed onto the scene in the early 2000s, Blunt has been a favorite of fans and critics alike. With dozens of iconic roles already under her belt, Blunt has become one of the most revered and respected actresses of her generation.

After all, with credits like "Charlie Wilson's War," "The Young Victoria," "The Adjustment Bureau," "Into the Woods," "The Girl on the Train," "A Quiet Place," and "Mary Poppins Returns" on her CV, it's clear that Blunt is not only talented, but also incredibly versatile.

After growing up in a middle-class home in London, Blunt found herself on route to becoming a professional actress when she was still a teenager — even though she wasn't sure it was the career she wanted. Curious to find out more about how she became the star she is today? Here is the stunning transformation of Emily Blunt.

Emily Blunt grew up as one of four siblings in an artistic, intelligent family

Emily Blunt was born on February 23, 1983. She grew up in a quaint southwest borough of London called Roehampton, as the second of four children. By all accounts, her upbringing was a pleasant, middle-class one. Her mother, Joanna, was a former actress-turned-teacher and her father, Oliver, was a lawyer. Her family is what many people would describe as "posh" (via Daily Mail). Her siblings, Felicity, Sebastian and Susannah are, like Emily, intelligent and artistic (via The Guardian).

As a child, Emily was, as she told The Guardian, "the naughty one who wanted to go clubbing on holiday." And, as she told Glow Magazine, "I was planning on going to university to study modern languages to be a translator for the U.N." (via Just Jared). However, all of that changed when acting fell into her path instead. And it all began with a stutter.

Emily Blunt's stutter actually set her on her journey to becoming an actress

A big feature in Emily Blunt's childhood was her stutter, which started to appear when she was around six years old. By the time she was 11 or 12, it had become a consistent part of her speech. "It wasn't the whole part of me; it was just a part of who I was. There were certain people who liked to define me by that," she told Marie Claire. "That was tough."

While most people probably wouldn't imagine that stuttering would provide a good foundation for acting, for Blunt, that's exactly what happened. A teacher suggested that Blunt take part in the school play. He suggested she use an accent. "And that was a very liberating thing for me as a kid," Blunt recalled. "Suddenly, I had a fluency. The removal of yourself from yourself, in some ways, was freeing." 

After playing Tiny Tim in "A Christmas Carol," Blunt not only found a way to work with her stutter, she also found an artistic outlet (via You Magazine).

Emily Blunt continued acting at a private school in Surrey

After discovering a love of acting (and a helpful trick to fix her stutter), Emily Blunt continued acting throughout the rest of her school years. At 16, Blunt left home for a weekly boarding school in Surrey, called Hurtwood House. "I dug it, and it was very artistic and very cool," she told Marie Claire. There, she honed her acting skills thanks to drama teachers such as Adrian Rawlins (who you may remember as James Potter in the "Harry Potter" films).

Eventually, one of her school plays appeared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she happened to be seen and signed by Rawlins' agent (via The Guardian). This in turn kickstarted her career. "It's strange to imagine how things might have turned out had I not gone to Hurtwood, because it was there I was discovered by an agent, who saw a play I was in," she explained to Great British Life. "So, I'm very grateful now that I didn't go to Westminster, [my first choice school]."

Emily Blunt got her first professional job — and an iconic mentor — at 18

After landing an agent while still in school, Emily Blunt soon found herself auditioning for professional projects — and it wasn't long before the industry took notice. At just 18, she was cast in a play on London's West End. The play, "The Royal Family," also starred Judi Dench and was directed by Peter Hall. Dench soon became a mentor for Blunt. "I just heard that voice in the room behind me," Blunt told The Guardian, "and I remember feeling the air go out of me. And she said, 'Hello, darling. If anyone gives you any trouble in this, you come straight to me.'"

In fact, Blunt even told Vanity Fair that Dench invited her to her dressing room after every show. "Poor Emily. It wasn't a great play, but we had the most fun doing it," Dench later said. "I think she was quite young and frightened and insecure when we did 'The Royal Family.'" But apparently, Dench saw something in her even then, and has never been surprised at how far she came. "It doesn't surprise me at all where she is," she said. "I am thrilled that she is a big beautiful star."

Emily Blunt's performance in The Devil Wears Prada shot her to Hollywood fame

Sometimes, all it takes is one role to catapult an actor from relative anonymity to worldwide notoriety. For Emily Blunt, that role was playing Emily, the sassy British assistant to Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestly in "The Devil Wears Prada."

As Blunt told Vulture, she definitely considers the film her big break: "'Devil' was the film everyone loved and saw, so it had a huge impact on my career. It helped reveal a certain part of me; I wasn't just the ingenue or the English rose. It helped me be seen as a character actor, which is what I'd always wanted."

In fact, the role was so iconic, it is still winning her new parts to this day. As Rob Marshall, director of "Mary Poppins Returns" and "Into the Woods" told Vanity Fair, seeing her in "The Devil Wears Prada" was all it took to intrigue him. "She reminded me immediately of a young Maggie Smith because of the humor, the acting chops, the vulnerability," he said. "I see her having an incredibly long career because of the uniqueness of her extraordinary talent. It transcends beauty and looks and age."

Meeting (and marrying) John Krasinski changed Emily Blunt's life

Emily Blunt met the actor John Krasinski in a restaurant through a mutual friend in 2008. According to her, it was kind of love at first sight. "He just stood there and made me laugh," she told Seth Meyers. "I kind of [knew right away.]" Soon, they began dating and less than a year later, he proposed. "She did cry after I cried and we cried and then everyone around us was crying," Krasinski told Access of the proposal.

For Blunt, meeting and marrying Krasinski was life-changing. "Meeting John really changed my life," she told InStyle. Not only did he become her life partner, he also became her biggest supporter. "When I feel the support that I have from him, I feel invincible," she gushed. "There's someone behind you on your good days, and someone in front of you on your bad days." Sounds like a fairytale marriage if you ask us!

Over the years, Emily Blunt became disillusioned about the allure of Hollywood

Many little girls grow up dreaming of a career on the stage or screen — Hollywood, they imagine, is a sort of mystical, magical place where dreams come true. While Emily Blunt used to be among these little girls with big dreams, over the years, her perception has changed.

"[Acting] appears to be made of rainbows and sunbeams," she mused to Vanity Fair. "Then you realize it's called show business because it is a business." Once Blunt got used to treating Hollywood like any other business, she changed her approach. Now, she likes to keep a healthy distance from the pressures of Hollywood — she likes to go in, do her job and then get out again, all while keeping a thick skin. As she put it: "I think you have to wear a helmet. ... You are part of a machine that is moving and will overwhelm you and drown you if you are not tough in it."

Becoming a mother wasn't always easy for Emily Blunt

It goes without saying that parenthood is usually life-changing. For Emily Blunt, becoming a mother was a huge change — and while Blunt clearly loves her daughters, Hazel (born in 2014) and Violet (born in 2016), the changes that came with motherhood weren't always easy for her.

"After we got home from the hospital, I didn't shower for a week," she told InStyle candidly (via Scary Mommy). Apparently, Blunt also had a problem with over-lactation: "... my boobs were exploding," she said. Plus, with two kids, her home became, as she put it, a "zoo."

Luckily, her husband, John Krasinski, made things easier. "It's not always that easy to pursue a Hollywood career when you're raising young children and have to be working on movie sets for months at a time," she told Luxury London. But she says Krasinski is always there to support her and ensure their kids have everything they need. Once again, Blunt and Krasinski prove themselves to be a total power couple.

Emily Blunt used to be terrified of singing

These days, most people know that Emily Blunt is an incredible singer who is more than worthy of her roles in musicals like "Into the Woods" and "Mary Poppins Returns." However, there was a time when Blunt wasn't the confident singer she is today. In fact, when her agent offered her the opportunity to audition for musicals, such as the musical "Nine," she wouldn't even do them. "I got approached to go and audition for all of them and I sprinted away as fast as I could," she confessed to Deadline. "I was very daunted to go and sing for people."

So, what changed? Well, apparently, Blunt simply couldn't say no to the team involved in "Into the Woods." "I was very reluctant to audition, but I felt encouraged by [director] Rob Marshall this time," she explained. "Also, there were all kinds of temptations going on with 'Into the Woods,' such as working with Meryl Streep again." Thank goodness Blunt finally plucked up the courage!

Emily Blunt moved to Brooklyn in 2016 and finally felt at home, before relocating to London in 2020

After spending years living in LA with her family, Emily Blunt decided to move across the country to Brooklyn, New York, in 2016. The new city proved to be a welcome change for the family.

"[LA] was hard because it felt like the antithesis of what I had grown up in, a place with a sense of community and culture and real spontaneity and vibrancy," Blunt explained to Marie Claire. "And I love walking cities. So moving to Brooklyn really felt like home to me. I think my soul was better suited to Brooklyn. I really love it."

The family stayed in Brooklyn for four years before relocating again to London, Blunt's original hometown, in 2020. However, as Hello! reported, the couple held onto their Brooklyn home inside an old hotel. Sounds like the family finally found the two cities where they truly feel at home.

Emily Blunt got over some big fears to take on this iconic role

In 2018, Emily Blunt took on the legendary role of Mary Poppins in "Mary Poppins Returns." The famous "practically perfect" British nanny was originally played by Julie Andrews in the 1964 film. Naturally, Blunt realized that these were some pretty big shoes to fill. Apparently, when director Rob Marshall offered her the role, she brushed her fears aside. "I heard her inhale with excitement," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "I knew that, of course, we all had trepidations and fear about how you follow that brilliant first film, but I know how fearless she is and I knew she would say yes."

But it wasn't just a fear of getting the role right. Blunt was also afraid of both the singing and the flying that the role entailed. "I'm terrified of both singing and heights," she told The Hollywood Reporter. "I had to sing while suspended from a great height in this movie. Those days were quite traumatic but I survived and in the end, I felt quite proud. It was a cathartic experience."

Emily Blunt has avoided building a social media presence over the years

While some celebrities can't seem to get off of social media, Emily Blunt is quite the opposite. In fact, Blunt is incredibly resistant to social media.

Personally, she'd prefer to keep her private life private. And she doesn't even think it does much. "I don't think it does s***, to be honest," she told Vanity Fair. She went on, explaining, "I strongly believe that my job is to persuade you that I am playing somebody else, so exposing too much personally is just something I can't get on board with."

Blunt even recalled a story about Frances McDormand, who once shared with Blunt her strategy for fan run-ins: "When someone asks her for a picture, she says, 'You know what? I've actually retired from that. But I would like to shake your hand and meet you.'" By the sounds of things, Blunt is well on her way to following in McDormand's anti-social media footsteps.

When she began producing, Emily Blunt finally began discovering her worth

Many actors and actresses in Hollywood begin to explore other creative roles behind the camera after their careers really take off. After all, as actors, they have little control over the direction of the projects they're involved in. While Emily Blunt's husband John Krasinski turned to directing with "A Quiet Place," she turned to producing. In 2022, Blunt is executive producing (and starring in) her first project: "The English," a mini-series about a woman seeking revenge for the murder of her son.

As Blunt explained to Harper's Bazaar in 2020, slowly moving into a producing role has been an important change in her career. "You get to the point where you've been doing something long enough and you do have an opinion," she explained. "It's a very hard thing for a British person to start discovering their own worth, but at some point you've got to." Well, we can't wait to see this mini-series that Blunt has helped bring to life — both in front of and behind the camera!

Emily Blunt relearned the importance of family in lockdown

COVID-19 changed all of our lives — and celebrities were not exempt. For Emily Blunt, the pandemic lockdown gave her a chance to recalibrate and reconnect with her priorities. What she discovered was that her number one priority was always family.

"We would try to muddle our way through homeschooling, just like everyone else — but I think this time at home gave people the ability to take stock in what you have and to notice every detail of your children," she explained to OK! Magazine. Ultimately, Blunt learned to savor the moments of "togetherness." The lockdown meant that all of the chaos of everyday life slowed down. "When you strip all of that away — all of that white noise and madness — you just get to be with each other. I think that was a real discovery for me. How do you want to spend your time? What matters? I think that's what I learned a lot about during the last year." Sounds like Blunt had a bit of an epiphany during lockdown! Let's just hope she can take those lessons into the post-pandemic world.