Emily Blunt reveals how much she hates playing 'likeable' female characters

The actress is irritated by scripts in which women are described purely by their looks

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The Independent Culture

Emily Blunt has criticised Hollywood for putting too much pressure on female characters to be good-looking and “likeable”. 

The English actress is currently starring in the big screen adaptation of Paula Hawkins’ bestselling thriller The Girl on The Train, playing the lead as self-destructive divorcee Rachel. 

The gritty role involved developing an “internal understanding of the character, as opposed to trying to keep a peripheral awareness of how you might be looking” and saw Blunt wear prosthetic under-eye bags and varicose veins to reflect the effects of alcoholism on Rachel’s body

The story appealed to the 33-year-old because she found her character to be more “credible” than many other women in films. “There’s this facade, because we want women to be likeable - my least favourite word in Hollywood right now,” she told Radio Times. “She’s got to be relatable and likeable and pretty and held in some sort of feminine ideal that we strive for. Actually, I want to play people who are less about being likeable, more about being credible.”

Blunt revealed that she is regularly “irritated” by scripts in which the female characters are described purely by their physical appearance while the men are given “insightful” introductions about their personalities.

Eva Green, Maisie Williams and Emily Browning are among other high-profile actresses to condemn sexist scripts, with Green recently saying that she is fed up with stereotypical love interest roles. “I don’t want to be the woman in the script where it goes, ‘There’s a beautiful, mysterious woman…’” she told news.com.au. “I want to be as equal as a man.”

The Girl On The Train arrives in UK cinemas on 5 October, while the full interview with Emily Blunt can be read in the latest issue of Radio Times