Emily Blunt has played plenty of leading ladies during her prolific acting career, from Mary Poppins to Evelyn Abbott in A Quiet Place. But the Golden Globe winner is ready to shed her polished Hollywood image in her newest film Pain Hustlers.
Starring alongside Chris Evans, Blunt tackles the complex role of Liza Drake, a high school dropout who gets a job at a shady pharmaceutical startup in Central Florida. Eager to portray a darker, more unpredictable character, Blunt underwent a glamorous makeover and didn’t hold back, surprising director David Yates with her raw, fierce performance.
Emily Blunt Wanted an Edgier Role
Emily Blunt stars as Liza Drake, a high school dropout who lands a job at a pharmaceutical startup in Central Florida. To director David Yates, Blunt’s desire to tackle a darker, more complex character was evident from their first meeting. “Emily loved the character and she loved the idea of this story. I think what appealed to her more than anything was the fact that we were not taking a very straightforward approach to the story. It’s a bit subversive, it’s a bit naughty, it’s got some humor at play,” – EW
The British actress, known for playing buttoned-up characters, underwent a glamorous makeover to portray hustling Liza. With long blonde hair, heavy makeup, and curve-hugging outfits, her transformation left Yates “quite surprised.” But he praised Blunt’s commitment, saying she “didn’t hold back” in embodying Liza’s cunning ambition.
Emily Blunt and Chris Evans Share a Raw Chemistry
Starring alongside Blunt is Chris Evans as the ambitious CEO who draws Liza into his fraudulent scheme. Evans, who has shed his own Captain America image in recent roles, shares a raw, passionate chemistry with Blunt onscreen. ” According to EW, she says, ‘You know what, David? I’m so sick of seeing leading female characters who have to be so honorable and straightforward.’
Yates said Evans jumped at the chance to work with Blunt on such an intense, high-stakes drama. “He told me, ‘I’ve always wanted to do something like this with Emily,'” Yates revealed. “They both had so much fun peeling away their heroic layers.” according to CBR
A New Kind of Female Antihero
With Liza Drake, Blunt joins the ranks of actresses playing complex female antiheroes. But Liza is unique in her working-class roots and cunning determination.
While Blunt has played her share of strong women, few have possessed the moral ambiguity of Liza. In bringing this tricky character to life, Yates believes according to EW- “I think Emily was excited by creating that character for the audience to see a woman who’s fallible and culpable and accountable for her actions.”
In Pain Hustlers, Emily Blunt makes a gripping departure from the noble characters that catapulted her to fame. Portraying high school dropout Liza Drake, she unveils a grittier, more ferocious side that will leave audiences stunned. Director David Yates praised Blunt’s willingness to disappear into this dangerous yet ambitious character. Alongside Chris Evans, she raises the stakes in this thriller about greed gone wrong. Audiences will surely see Blunt in a whole new light when Pain Hustlers hits theaters next month.