The Transformation Of Emily Blunt From 19 To 39 Years Old

Emily Blunt is the archetypal English rose. With her plummy diction and unwavering air of sophistication, she wouldn't look out of place in the House of Windsor. The actor is famed for her regal elegance on the red carpet, making the most simple looks appear majestic. However, even Hollywood A-listers need some time to refine their style. Despite her princess-esque finesse, Blunt is no exception.

The truth is, Blunt's early red carpet looks weren't the most fetching. Having started out in the early 2000s, which, admittedly, wasn't fashion's greatest decade, Blunt's aesthetic in her teens and early 20s reflected the madcap mishmash of styles that defined the era. And the actor herself is the first to admit this. "I was far too tanned. I was wearing a very bright yellow dress," she joked to W Magazine regarding her fashion faux pas. "I always laugh at how sweaty I looked." However, she's come a long way since those blush-making days of Y2K sartorial blunders. Now, Blunt flexes her fashion chops. Always impeccably turned out, she favors glam yet simple frocks on the red carpet, and elegant hairdos. Throughout the years, she has undergone many hair transformations, and the lucky thespian can sport almost any hair color and still look like a million bucks (or pounds!).

We're serving up some early noughties realness, 2010s sophistication, and roaring '20s resplendence, so get ready for the transformation of Emily Blunt from 19 to 39 years old, one that even Miranda Priestley wouldn't scoff at.

A young Emily Blunt struggled with a stutter

Born into an upper middle class family, Emily Blunt may have been raised in prosperity and social privilege, but she had to struggle against ableism to make it as an actor. One of her greatest obstacles was her stutter, for which she was mercilessly bullied. In an interview with You, she lamented a lack of understanding about speech disorders, which has caused widespread social stigma.

"A stutter is such a dreadful imposter in your body. ... It's very readily bullied and made fun of. And misinterpreted. People don't get that it's a biological disability that's usually hereditary," she explained. Once she grew more confident, Blunt decided to embrace creative pursuits. But her career in the entertainment industry began in an unlikely place. As she revealed in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Blunt was initially scouted as a potential teen pop idol. "I got terrified and pulled out, because I felt they were wanting me to be like Britney Spears," she admitted. 

Instead, she pursued theater work. In 2001, she landed a role in "The Royal Family" on London's West End, alongside Dame Judi Dench. A year later, she played the titular tragic heroine in "Romeo and Juliet." Although The Guardian gave the latter a lackluster review, Blunt was praised for her palpable stage presence. During this period, a fresh-faced, teenage Blunt sported The Rachel and wore unmistakably early 2000s attire, including a mesh-sleeved top, beaded belt, and low rise jeans.

The actor started out in period dramas

By 2003, Emily Blunt landed her first roles on the small screen. The 20-year-old's English rose charm was utilized for period dramas, such as "Boudica" and "Henry VIII," where she played Catherine Howard, the eponymous king's tragically departed fifth wife. Somewhat resembling a young Kate Winslet, Blunt looked every bit a film star in the making, carrying herself with an imposing confidence and possessing a maturity beyond her years.

All the while, however, Blunt was the reluctant actor. "I really didn't want to be an actress," she admitted to You. "I had a deliberate resistance to it because I couldn't imagine doing a job where you had to speak all the time." She explained that her dream had long been to follow in her mother's footsteps as a linguist, or even a translator for the United Nations.

In addition to acting never being her first love, falling into the entertainment industry at such a young age left Blunt with a multitude of regrets. Namely, she regrets not going to university and instead jumping straight into her career. "I just wish I'd had that experience and that time to really mess up, and to be around fellow people who had no idea that they were throwing caution to the wind," she confessed to The Times in 2011. But while she may have missed out on the college experience, the young upstart would soon be living the dream.

A breakthrough with My Summer of Love

In 2004, Emily Blunt landed her first film role with the indie romance, "My Summer of Love." The newly brunette Blunt exhibited her on screen magnetism, playing wealthy teen Tamsin, with whom working class protagonist Mona (Nathalie Press) becomes intensely infatuated. With her sultry gaze, Blunt was perfectly cast as the bored rich girl with a tenuous grasp of the truth. Speaking with Knight at the Movies, she revealed her inspiration for Tamsin came from the privileged girls she had encountered in life. "I think everyone's also been a Tamsin at one point," she conceded.

During this period, Blunt attended the British Independent Film Awards with a mystery man. She wore a classic LBD with a shawl draped around her arms and neck, which, as Abe Simpson would say, was the style at the time. At this point, her hair had become less Rachel and more post-Y2K chic.

"My Summer of Love" received positive reviews and propelled Blunt toward Hollywood stardom. The film also allowed her to perfect her craft under the tutelage of director Pawel Pawlikowski. "Working with him was so freewheeling and terrifying, because there was no script and it was improvised, so it's a weird feeling of jumping off a cliff every day. All you had was instinct," she told The Guardian. The film also turned Blunt into a queer icon. In an interview with the Advocate, she said she was proud to be embraced by the LGBTQ+ community.

Emily Blunt and Michael Bublé were a winning combination

With a new film career came a new beau. Now that "My Summer of Love" had enabled Emily Blunt to mingle with A-listers, she also found herself locking lips with one. Per W Magazine, Blunt first met Canadian crooner Michael Bublé backstage at one of his concerts in 2005. This was before she became a major star and it seemed Bublé had no idea who she was. "He was thinking, 'Oh yeah, actress, like every other waitress...'" she joked to GQ. "But he quickly showed his true colors. ... He's a bit rough. He's my bit of rough!"

The smitten couple attended numerous glitzy events together, with Blunt showcasing her dyed dark brown locks contrasted against her newly sun-kissed skin. As was typical of the mid 2000s, she wore a figure-hugging satin dress complete with lace detailing, as she appeared super loved-up with Bublé on the red carpet. Accordingly, as noted in W Magazine, Blunt relocated to Vancouver to live with her love. At the time, Bublé was significantly more famous than the up-and-coming Blunt, which she deemed a blessing, telling the outlet, "If someone is not fulfilled in what they do and you're a successful girl, it will work against you."

Ironically, once Blunt did enter the Hollywood big leagues, she and the Canadian superstar called it quits. In 2008, they parted ways, having gushed to People about the deepness and intensity of their love just one year earlier.

Hollywood comes calling

By 2006, Emily Blunt found herself sharing screen time with Hollywood royalty when she snagged a supporting role in "The Devil Wears Prada." Accordingly, she exhibited a striking maturity when hitting the red carpet, replacing her previous aesthetic with girlboss dresses, an overly bronzed complexion, and shimmering dark tresses. Speaking with W Magazine, Blunt revealed this newfound confidence was not lost on her mother, who lamented her daughter playing the "red-carpet robot" once she made it in Hollywood.

In "The Devil Wears Prada," which, incredibly, was Blunt's second-ever movie role, she played Emily, the stuck-up senior assistant to Meryl Streep's devilish Miranda Priestley. Although Emily could easily be dismissed as the catty female rival trope, Blunt sought to bring out the humanity and inherent insecurity of the character. "I decided that it would be better to play her as desperate and vulnerable, rather than b***hy," she told W Magazine. "She just defines herself by this association with her boss, and that's so sad."

Speaking with GQ, she likened her performance in the box office hit to John Cleese: "That physical stiffness, a flappiness, very British, very brittle humor." Moreover, she candidly discussed the body-negative aspects of the film, which paralleled the scrutiny she was now facing in Hollywood. "Everyone's deciding who hates your hair or your dress or they think you look pregnant because you have a slight bump. ... But that's the difference between being in LA and being in Vancouver or the UK," she reflected.

Finding love with John Krasinski

What happens when the posh Brit meets "The Office" star? No, that's not the beginning of a punchline, but rather the real life love story of Emily Blunt and John Krasinski. The couple met in 2008, though Blunt calls their first encounter "a sad, lame story." As she explained on Late Night With Seth Meyers, "My friend Gray goes 'Oh my god, that's my friend John.' ... He was sitting with our friend Justin Theroux, and he abandoned Justin and came over to us."

The couple made it red carpet official in 2009, at the Elle Women in Hollywood Tribute. As the 2000s came to an end, Blunt's style became progressively more sophisticated. Donning a dignified cream, strapless dress and impossibly glossy dark brown waves, she also went much easier on the fake tan than in her previous red carpet looks, displaying just the subtlest hint of bronzer.

Before long, Krasinski got down on one knee. "She did cry after I cried and we cried and then everyone around us was crying," he told Access Hollywood in 2009. A year later, they tied the knot in a private ceremony in Italy, per Us Weekly. Blunt later gushed about her hubby to InStyle (via PopSugar), declaring, "Meeting John really changed my life. When I feel the support that I have from him, I feel invincible." And though stans love applying a moniker to Hollywood power couples, Blunt told The Guardian she rejected their portmanteau of "Krunt."

Dipping her toes into two distinct genres

In the early 2010s, Blunt began experimenting with two decidedly different genres, action flicks ("The Adjustment Bureau," "Looper") and romcoms ("The Five-Year Engagement," "Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"). On a career roll, Blunt fashioned a new look for herself. She sported a blond updo and subtle makeup while donning elegant gowns, looking every bit regal and refined.

In 2011's "The Adjustment Bureau," she teamed up with Matt Damon to play a mystery woman enticing Damon's protagonist into a world of intrigue and excitement. Reflecting on the film's themes of looking into the future and changing the past, Blunt admitted she has some painful childhood regrets that still haunt her. "I didn't get into this really great school that my sister went to. ... She gets in, because she's a brainiac, and I don't because I'm obviously not," she revealed to Cinema Blend. "I remember at 16 being devastated, and my life was over." However, Blunt explained, not getting into the prestigious school ultimately worked out for her, since she would never have become a Hollywood A-lister if she'd followed the same path as her sister.

The following year, she starred alongside Jason Segal in "The Five-Year Engagement." Though the Brit beauty and comedy mainstay seemed an unlikely pairing, critics praised their "warm chemistry." Blunt told Vogue that she decided to dip her toes into the romcom genre because the film possessed "the juicy stuff" that she believed so many romantic comedies are lacking.

Emily Blunt the singing sensation

She may have abandoned a career as a teen pop star, but Emily Blunt showed off her mighty pipes in 2014's Disney flick, "Into the Woods." Reunited with Miranda Priestley, aka Meryl Streep, she teamed up with fellow Brit and funnyman James Corden to play the Baker's Wife. Despite her knack for singing, Blunt told Playbill that she was extremely nervous when she took on the role and doubted her capabilities. "It was exciting and challenging and daunting. ... Ultimately, I feel like my life was so enhanced by this experience," she gushed. "It was joyous, actually, getting to sing with a 60-piece orchestra — getting to feel like I was in another play." Indeed, Blunt needn't have worried, as her performance and warbling skills were highly praised.

Replacing the bright blond hair for muted highlights, the singing sensation showcased her honey-tinged waves. Now in her early 30s, Blunt embraced a more mature look on the red carpet, though flashes of vibrant color in her strapless dress added a sense of fun to her increasingly subtle repertoire of refinery.

The following year, Blunt also garnered attention for her performance in a totally dissimilar film to the Disney production. In action thriller "Sicario," she ditched the glam for combat gear, playing an FBI agent on the hunt for a drug lord. She gained plaudits for the role, with Rolling Stone declaring that she put in a "powerhouse performance that ranks with the year's best."

The actor welcomed two children

Speaking of "Into the Woods," Emily Blunt was pregnant when playing the role of a woman who desperately longed to have a baby, though she kept it low-key. In 2012, she told Manhattan (via Us Weekly) that she was excited to start a family with John Krasinski. "We want to have children. ... We're both from big families, so I think it's something we want," she revealed. In February 2014, she gave birth to her daughter Hazel, who is named after the Nick Drake song "Hazey Jane," per The Guardian.

After giving birth, Blunt exhibited her perfectly styled ash blond bob, having switched out her flaxen-highlighted, messy beach waves for understated, sleek locks. Stunning in a yellow two-piece gown, she was looking more like royalty — both the Windsor and Hollywood variety — every year. Having relocated to New York, where she and Krasinski purchased a $11 million home in Brooklyn, Blunt confessed to having concerns about whether Hazel would develop an American accent. Subsequently, she admitted to fearing that her daughter would call her "mom" as opposed to "mum," telling Magic Radio that she hoped to be known as "mummy."

In 2016, Blunt and Krasinski welcomed a second daughter, Violet. But Hazel wasn't too happy when her mom became pregnant again. "The first response when I said, 'You know, Hazel, there's a baby in there, you're going to be a big sister,' she looked at me, and she went 'nope,'" she recalled to Jimmy Kimmel.

Abandoning her British roots

By 2015, Emily Blunt seemed content to change her hair color on an almost yearly basis. Her locks were now golden blond, though they weren't as sleek as the previous year, falling in gentle curls. She also wore less bronzer than usual, instead opting for a dramatic smokey-eyed look contrasted with natural lipstick. New year, new Emily — and the changes weren't confined to her hair and makeup. 

That year, Blunt became a U.S. citizen, having attended an oath ceremony with John Krasinski in Los Angeles, per Contact Music. Discussing the decision with The Times, she confessed that she did it for tax reasons. "But I felt quite sad, actually. Having to be sworn into a country that wasn't mine," she conceded.

But Blunt's decision to embrace life as an American was not without controversy. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she joked that she regretted becoming an American citizen after watching the Republican presidential debate. "This was a terrible mistake. What have I done?" she quipped. She made further tongue-in-cheek jibes about Americans in an interview with Jimmy Kimmel. When the host suggested that Brits tend to look down on Americans, Blunt replied, "Oh, we do, very much. Because we're better than you, but now I'm only half better." Outraged ensued, and Blunt faced hefty criticism from the right-wing media. Fox anchor Anna Kooiman suggested Blunt should leave Hollywood and declared she would never watch another of her movies, a remark that Salon deemed absurd.

A family affair for A Quiet Place

When John Krasinski decided to direct and co-write "A Quiet Place" in 2018, he only wanted one woman to play his on-screen wife: Emily Blunt. At the film's premiere, the loved-up collaborators looked every inch the Hollywood power couple, albeit the down-to-earth, indie variety. Blunt's hair had now been dyed several shades lighter and the tan was completely gone. The near-flaxen locks complemented her fresh-faced, fair complexion and comfy, casual attire.

Krasinski had nothing but praise for his leading lady, sweetly admitting that watching his wife on screen was a revelatory experience, one which cemented his adoration and respect for her. "The air changes in the room when she starts doing what she does," he told Vanity Fair. "It's so honest and so pure and so powerful. It's like a superpower." Blunt told the outlet that playing the silent role of a mother who must protect her children against deadly monsters with hyperacusis (zero tolerance to sound) spoke to her on a profound level as a mom herself. "It was a film that represented some of my deepest fears — of not being able to protect my children," she admitted.

The film was a hit and also received commendation for casting a deaf actor, Millicent Simmonds, to play a deaf character. As deaf actor Marlee Matlin once said of Hollywood's history of casting non-deaf people in deaf roles, "Deaf is not a costume." Of the casting decision, Krasinski told Variety that it was "non-negotiable."

Becoming Mary Poppins

The role of Mary Poppins is undoubtedly iconic, having been immortalized by Julie Andrews in the eponymous 1964 film. So when a sequel, "Mary Poppins Returns," — with Emily Blunt in the title role — was released, it was met with skepticism (The New York Times argued she was less than convincing in the role). However, Blunt eventually won over numerous critics. In fact, Time argued that her performance was "closer to Travers's original vision of the character than she is to Julie Andrews's interpretation, as indelible as the latter is." While Andrews is a national treasure, Blunt's transformation into Mary Poppins proved she was well on her way to becoming a British icon herself.

When Blunt attended the film's Japanese premiere, she was clearly adapting to life as a Disney star, looking every bit the fairytale princess in swept up blond hair, a jeweled gown, and equally — though tastefully — bling jewelry.

The pitfalls of playing such an iconic character were not lost on Blunt. "No one can out-Julie Julie Andrews, so I had to do something that felt organic and representative of what I had taken from the books," she told Vanity Fair. Despite her efforts, Blunt's kids were far less enthusiastic about their mom donning the famous Mary Poppins petticoat and umbrella. In fact, her daughters prefer the original Mary Poppins. "They've seen mine once and that seemed to be enough for them," Blunt admitted to The Guardian. "Whereas Julie Andrews has been watched on a loop."

The actor hasn't let fame interfere with her family life

Without a doubt, 2020 was a year that none of us will forget any time soon, and the year saw some big changes in Emily Blunt's life. After settling in New York and embracing life as an American citizen, she and John Krasinski decided to relocate to London. As she explained to Jimmy Kimmel, the move delighted her, as her children began to develop English accents. "They've been in a proper school with, like, school uniforms, and miraculously, they're sounding quite British, you know, which I'm completely over the moon about," she joked, before hilariously imitating her daughter's "cockney" Dick Van Dyke-esque accent.

2020 also saw some changes to Blunt's personal style. At the premiere of "A Quiet Place 2," just before the start of the pandemic, she showcased her ash blond hair with striking platinum highlights, which she wore in a stiff ponytail. To counteract the austere nature of the hairdo, she donned a skin-tight red leather dress, a style that was entirely new to Blunt's sartorial history.

With her new home in the United Kingdom, Blunt is attempting to maintain a modicum of normalcy in her private life, away from the perils of celebrity. "It's a strange thing to navigate," she told The Times. "Because Hazel came home the other day and we were in the kitchen and she goes, 'Are you famous?' ... We've never said that word in our house. We don't talk about it."

Teaming up with The Rock

Now that Emily Blunt lives in the United Kingdom, she's loving the company of her former co-star and now brother-in-law Stanley Tucci, who lives in London with her sister, Felicity. "I absolutely worship the guy," she gushed to People in 2022. In addition to enjoying her family time, the 2020s have seen Blunt once again transform herself with a vastly different look. The actor went back to brunette and showcased a more sophisticated neutral color palette for her attire, somewhat resembling the casual outfits of Kate Middleton, which may be Blunt's way of paying homage to the country she left behind and then returned to.

Her choice of films also changed alongside her look. The eloquent Brit and wrestler-turned-actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson may seem an unlikely match, but it appeared the pair got on extremely well when making the fantasy flick "Jungle Cruise." "He said to me once, 'I love that your debut was onstage with Dame Judi Dench and mine was in the wrestling ring ... with razors,'" Blunt joked to The Hollywood Reporter in a joint interview with Johnson.

2022 will also see Blunt try out another new genre, the western, when she stars in the Amazon/BBC drama "The English." Blunt is never one to shy away from experimenting with both her career and her appearance, so we're excited to see what new looks she may have planned for the future. To be blunt, she would make Miranda Priestley proud.