‘Sicario’ Star Emily Blunt Finds That Strength Knows No Gender

Emily Blunt has found herself facing battles behind the camera as well as on screen as Sicario‘s Kate Macer, much of which has concerned the actress’ gender. The film focuses on a volatile drug war near the Mexican-U.S.A. border and, even before filming began, there were rumors that the studio preferred a male character in the action film, reports Entertainment Tonight.

“It was never going to be rewritten, but a financier approached Taylor Sheridan, the writer, and said, ‘If you make her a dude, we will up your budget,’” Emily said, smiling flatly. “The sad state of affairs of this business.”

The Sicario actress believes that, while Hollywood and the filmmaking business in general is focused on crunching numbers from films that were past successes and green-lighting new projects from that perspective, the key is to keep plugging away at executives, until change comes on a bigger scale.

“I just believe that we’ve got to keep writing fantastic roles for women and keep forwarding this fight because I think the tides are turning,” Ms. Blunt said.

Blunt Sees the American Strength in Her Character

“I think she’s also the audience’s surrogate in many ways,” Blunt said in an NPR interview, “because she’s dragged into this incoherent world. Even though she’s a highly skilled FBI agent… it’s daunting and incoherent to her.”

Emily recognizes the complexity of the situation represented in the film, and she points out that the drug trade problem isn’t any one entity’s responsibility.

“I think this is really capturing the reality of the situation which is that it is a war; it is an all-out war. You see the gray matter of the situation. I think that you see that America has some complicity in it, as does the rest of the world. That it’s coming from both sides; it’s not just them and us, who’s the good guy, who’s the bad guy. I think it’s a film that asks a lot of questions.”

Sicario Adds Dimension to Blunt’s Character

So often, action films portray the hero as some invincible force that is never really out for the count, but Emily thinks that Sicario excels at building a character with flaws, and that makes Kate Macer seem that much more real.

“I think it’s important to show different layers. Nobody is just tough, nobody is just vulnerable. And so you try and peel back the layers, try and make it interesting, but also play the reality: Which is that really even though she’s highly skilled at running a kidnap response team, she’s limited to that. She’s never really done any investigative work. And she also is pulled into a world that is completely alien to her that she disagrees with, that she resents and tries to rage against.”

Sicario, starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro, will arrive in theaters on October 2.

[Featured image courtesy of Lionsgate]