At a press conference on Tuesday morning at Cannes, where the drug-trade drama “Sicario” will premiere in competition, Emily Blunt talked about a topic that seems to be prevalent at every festival panel this year: sexism in Hollywood. “In this film, you’d been asked early on if you’d write my part for a guy,” Blunt said, as she turned to director Denis Villeneuve.
“People were afraid [of the screenplay] because the lead was female,” Villeneuve said. “The screenwriter was asked to rewrite it several times.” But then Lionsgate came onboard, and allowed for the character to stay a woman.
Blunt plays an FBI agent enlisted on a mission to Mexico with potentially shadier characters played by Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin. There aren’t any other women in the unit. “I get asked a lot, ‘You play a lot of tough female roles,’” Blunt said. “I don’t see them as tough.” She added: “I found this character damaged and vulnerable. She’s struggling in the role of being a female cop. It’s not safe.”
When asked about the lack of female co-stars onscreen, Blunt said with a resigned shrug: “It’s something I’ve become quite used to. It happens quite a lot on films. There aren’t a ton of chicks around.”
A reporter told Blunt about the report that several women at Cannes were turned away from the red-carpet premiere of “Carol,” because the festival mandates a high-heels-only policy when it comes to footwear. “I think everyone should wear flats, to be honest,” Blunt said. “We shouldn’t wear high heels anymore. That’s just my point of view I prefer to wear Converse sneakers. That’s very disappointing.”
Villenueve jumped in: “As a sign of protest, Benicio, Josh and I will walk the stairs in high heels tonight.” The line got a big laugh, and now every photographer on the red carpet will be angling to see if they keep that promise.
Later that evening, she walked the red carpet in tall metallic stiletto sandals, but changed to flats for the “Sicario” afterparty.