The star picked up a Best Supporting Actress award for her turn in A Quiet Place.
One of the most controversial categories at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards is Best Supporting Actress.
Oscars frontrunner Regina King, whose heartbreaking performance in If Beale Street Could Talk has been winning her awards left right and centre, wasn’t even nominated at the SAGs, which left the category wide open for a surprise win.
And that winner was Emily Blunt, who took home her first SAG Award for her turn in husband John Krasinski’s horror film A Quiet Place. Blunt was steely and determined as Evelyn, a mother trying to save her family from a vicious pack of post-apocalyptic monsters who hunt for prey by picking up on sound waves. In a twist of fate, Blunt isn’t actually nominated at the Oscars, making her the second person in SAG history to win an award for a performance snubbed by the Academy Awards. (She’s in good company. The other person is Idris Elba.)
When Blunt’s name was announced the star looked visibly shocked, turning immediately to her husband who had already leapt to his feet to cheer. During her emotional acceptance speech, Blunt praised Krasinski and his talent as a filmmaker and a partner.
“Oh my goodness me,” Blunt sighed. “Guys, that truly has blown my completely slicked hair back.”
As the audience laughed, Blunt took the opportunity to honour her husband in the most beautiful way. “I’m so moved and completely lost and unprepared,” she said. “I’m going to share this completely with my husband John Krasinski, because the entire experience of doing this with you has completely pierced my heart directly. You are a stunning filmmaker. I’m so lucky to be with you and to have done this film with you.”
As Krasinski was moved to tears in the audience by his wife’s speech, Blunt continued: “Thank you for giving me the part, you would have been in major trouble if you hadn’t, you didn’t really have an option but thank you.”
“And thank you to the two major poems in our life, our daughters Hazel and Violet,” she added. “Who will have to be at least 45 before they can see this film, but they’ll be proud of you, nonetheless.”
Blunt and Krasinski made a pact when they first got married never to work together, but they broke that agreement so that they could collaborate on A Quiet Place.
Krasinski originally wanted to offer the part to his wife, but was “too scared” that she would turn him down. Blunt, reading the script one day in a break before beginning work on Mary Poppins Returns, was so moved by the story of family and loyalty within the film that she begged Krasinski to give her the role. “I went sort of gray,” she told The Hollywood Reporter. “I couldn’t imagine the thought of letting someone else play the part.”
Speaking to People magazine, Krasinski said: “I never have loved my wife more than after we did this movie, and we were really nervous about it. It really could’ve gone the other way, we could be announcing our divorce right now if it did go the wrong way.”
But I think, for me, it was a trust thing. We trust each other in day-to-day life for sure, but when you trust each other in this way it’s really different. But the way we went about it was sort of the way we go about our marriage, which is ‘Let’s be really honest. Let’s be honest from the beginning so that nothing surprises us, but we get to say all the things we feel.”
He added: “So I let her go through the script and let me know any changes she wanted to make, I pitched the entire movie to her and said how we were gonna shoot it and said ‘Is there anything you’d change?’ We were really honest with each other from the beginning. By the time we were shooting, it was just the best.”
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Blunt added that she wanted the work to speak for itself. “I didn’t want it to be like, ‘Oh how adorable, they’re working together,’” she said.
“It was the only idea that had come our way that seemed bigger than our marriage. The narrative of our marriage was not going to overwhelm this movie and this amazing opportunity for him as a director, as a filmmaker, as a writer. I knew this was a big swing for him.”
Speaking backstage at the SAGs after her win, Blunt hinted that she might be considering a move into directing in the future.
“I’ve seen now behind closed doors just what it costs you emotionally and physically to kind of get through directing a film and helming something as ambitious a A Quiet Place,” she said. “I would like to think I would want to do it one day. I’m still learning and absorbing, I’m very interested in all facets of making a film. So maybe one day.”
Whenever that day comes, we’ll be ready in line with our tickets.