Emily Blunt on the problem with the word 'likeable'

'What does that mean? To be witty and pretty and hold it together and be there for the guy?'

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Emily Blunt has explained the problem she has with the word ‘likeable’.

The actress stars in the much-anticipated film The Girl on the Train where she plays Rachel. Blunt described the character as not particularly “likeable” and explored the gendered connotations of the word.

“With so many movies, women are held to what a man considers a feminine ideal,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “You have to be pretty, You have to be ‘likeable’, which is my least favourite word in the industry. Rachel isn’t ‘likeable’. What does that mean? To be witty and pretty and hold it together and be there for the guy? And he can just be a total drip?”

The casting of Blunt for the role has been criticised with fans of the bestselling book arguing she is too attractive to play a character who is described in the book as overweight with a drinking problem. The book's author Paula Hawkins told the magazine that is irrelevant as Blunt successfully portrays the "self-loathing" nature of the character.

The Girl On The Train - Trailer 2

Discussing her character's drinking problem, the 33-year-old also noted the double standards which permeate both the Hollywood film industry and society on a larger scale when it comes to attitudes about alcohol and sex.

“A woman is a drunk, a whore, whereas the guy’s like a partyer, a player,” she said. “I’ve been around both women who drink too much and guys who drink too much and it’s just as ugly on the guys. It makes me crazy. 

“I don’t think that women should be seen as any less sexual than a guy. And maybe she doesn’t want to settle down and that’s OK. And maybe she doesn’t want a kid and that’s OK. And she’s just happy playing the field. There’s so much judgement with women.”