Emily Blunt snubbed of Screen Actors Guild Awards win

Casey Wiederhold, Associate Photography Editor

As the Screen Actors Guild Awards took place on Feb. 26, I was patiently waiting for the “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie” category. Emily Blunt was nominated for her recent performance as Lady Cornelia Locke in the Amazon Prime series, “The English.” I was stunned to find out that Blunt lost the award to Jessica Chastain.

With Blunt being nominated and losing, I was disappointed. “The English” was released in November 2022, and I got around to watching the series over winter break. The series is Blunt’s first in the western genre, and she made an emotional debut. Most of her scenes were filled with her performing action-movie-sequences or having a conversation that moves the audience.

“The English” follows Locke as she seeks revenge on the man who she believes killed her son, and as she travels to the New World, she meets Eli Whipp (Chaske Spencer) as he travels to Nebraska. The pair end up falling in love, however, nothing ever comes of it because of Locke’s condition. In episode four of the series, Locke is sexually assaulted and as a result, she develops syphilis.

Blunt deserved the award, mainly because she works so hard at what she does. In the 2019 SAG awards, she was nominated for both “Mary Poppins Returns” and “A Quiet Place” showing off her wide range of acting skills.

“The English” is no different. In the fifth episode of the series, there is an emotional scene where Locke is overtaken by fear, and she runs away from Whipp. She strips herself down to her corset and proceeds to cover herself in dirt. This action symbolizes of washing away the guilt of her son’s death and being able to find herself again.

Typically, I don’t enjoy watching a scene where a character covers themselves in dirt. However, I grew up watching Blunt’s films, so I know when she performs in scenes like that, it’s an emotional sight. It reminded me a bit of the memorable bathtub scene from “A Quiet Place” where Blunt’s character is giving birth in the tub. The two scenes could not be more different, but the emotional performance is there. Blunt’s characters force themselves into complicated scenarios, and giving Blunt opportunities to show her range of emotions.

Blunt is an underrated actress, from her film “The Devil Wears Prada,” when she began to ascend in popularity, to her most recent film “Jungle Cruise,” with Dwayne Johnson. Blunt’s talents are overlooked by the other actors that she works with playing the more titular roles in films, where she is the leading female, however, she is not the lead of the film.

While watching “The English” I found myself constantly pushing for the romantic arc of Locke and Whipp. Although it did begin to develop, my hopes were diminished by the end of episode five, when Locke went to wash away her guilt. Blunt’s portrayal of Locke is interesting because she puts all she can into her performances. Although it is what most actors do, when I watch Blunt on the screen, I am always mesmerized by her.

Blunt portrays several toughened characters, who have gone through emotional or physical trauma that they are hardened into a new person. Locke is one of these characters, as she quickly learns to handle a gun and kills those who wrong her. Though she feels remorse for her actions after they occur, Locke keeps her guard up around others. Especially when hiding her syphilis from Whipp, who she finds comfort in.

Among the other nominees in Blunt’s category was Chastain, who won the SAG award for that category. Chastain won the award for “George and Tammy,” her most recent limited series. Both actresses were ranked high on my predictions list for who was going to win, though I thought that Blunt had it in the bag.

When turning on the SAG awards, the first award of the night was for  “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie,” I sat on the edge of my seat, hoping that Blunt’s name would be called and there would be some sort of cute interaction between her and her husband, John Krasinski. I still saw those cute interactions, with a pang of disappointment in the back of my mind.

I am transported to wherever the movie is taking place when I watch Blunt perform. Her talents are not recognized by the award shows, however, they are recognized by her fans. They show constant support for her and appreciate all that she does. I will always be in favor of Blunt winning all of the awards.