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SYFY WIRE Oppenheimer

Oppenheimer Star Emily Blunt’s Greatest Genre Roles, from A Quiet Place to Looper

With the release of Oppenheimer, we give actress Emily Blunt's genre roles a closer look.

By Tara Bennett

Whether it's stealing scenes or commanding the frame, actress Emily Blunt proves time and time again that she can do it all. Drama, comedy, singing, dancing, or even narrating the heck out of a documentary, she makes it look easy. By all accounts, Blunt positively shines alongside a ridiculously talented ensemble of actors in Christopher Nolan's upcoming historical biography, Oppenheimer, playing biologist and botanist Katherine “Kitty” Oppenheimer, wife of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy), aka the "father of the atomic bomb."

In Blunt's 20 years of making films, large swaths of her resume include some very choice sci-fi, fantasy, and genre films. Obviously, SYFY WIRE lives in that genre lane, so we've long admired her taste and commitment to participating in some truly memorable genre projects. And we love that Blunt consistently returns to genre projects amongst her meaty dramatic roles and more light-hearted comedies. As such, with Oppenheimer opening wide this weekend, SYFY WIRE presents our favorite Blunt genre films.

RELATED: Could Oppenheimer's Atomic Bomb Really Have Destroyed The World?

Emily Blunt's Best Roles in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Other Genre Films

The Huntsman: Winter's War (2016)

The sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) pits Blunt's Princess Freya against Charlize Theron's Queen Ravenna, and that match-up is gold in our eyes. Essentially, the sisters aren't great at coping when dire things go down, so these messed up sisters wreak a lot of havoc in the kingdom. Per usual, Theron and Blunt pull out all the stops playing broken queens of magic, and the movie works best when they're in the frame, together or apart. 

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Blunt and her Oppenheimer castmate Matt Damon worked together before in this under-the-radar, sci-fi gem. Blunt plays the mysterious Elise Sellas, who keeps popping up in the life of Brooklyn Congressman David Norris. The story has a lot of fun twists, turns, and themes explored regarding destiny. But their flirty chemistry is another big reason to watch. 

Jungle Cruise (2021)

On the other hand, the chemistry between Blunt's Dr. Lily Houghton and The Rock's Frank Wolff in Jungle Cruise is barely tepid at best. However, Blunt returning to action-heroine mode is always a good time. Houghton's extremely competent character (and Blunt, the actress) look like their having the most fun throughout the movie.

Into the Woods (2014)

Not a lot of folks were aware that Blunt has a top-notch voice until she got to show it off beautifully playing the Baker's Wife in this adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's stage musical. She's paired with James Corden's Baker, and together they play out one of the best arcs in this cautionary tale about dreams coming true in a haunting way.

Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

Who could imagine anyone filling the spit-spot shoes of Julia Andrews as Mary Poppins? Most audiences couldn't contemplate someone being a worthy recast of Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns, but then Blunt's name was announced, and everyone shut up because she just nailed it. Equal parts austere and loving, Blunt is maybe the only actress today who could so ably run with the baton given by the legendary Andrews.

A Quiet Place Part II (2020)

Blunt returns to play ultra protective, post-apocalyptic mom, Evelyn Abbott, in A Quiet Place Part II. She's just as great in this sequel, but there's less for her to play outside of the major action beats. However, if you want to get a taste of her on-screen chemistry with her Oppenheimer hubby, Cillian Murphy, there's plenty to appreciate here as Evelyn and Emmett thrown down. 

RELATED: Oppenheimer First Reactions: Christopher Nolan's "Stunning" New Film Praised as A "Total Knockout"

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) 

Much like Linda Hamilton became a bad-ass, sci-fi legend after playing Sarah Connor in Terminator 2, so too did Blunt after playing Rita Vrataski in Edge of Tomorrow. The sci-fi, time travel twister features Blunt stealing scene after scene from blockbuster poster boy, Tom Cruise. She's intense, mercurial, frightening, and heroic, and she kicks the action star's butt for half of the movie. You have to have some chops to sell that, and she does. 

Looper (2012)

Poker Face creator Rian Johnson's complex time travel film, Looper, stars a trio of fantastic performances from Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Blunt. It's a high-concept story that remains incredibly grounded because of those performances. And Blunt still manages to standout, especially for her shattering performance as the very protective mother, Sara. 

A Quiet Place (2018)

In the fantastic sci-fi, horror thriller, A Quiet Place, Blunt plays matriarch and feral mom, Evelyn Abbott. Married to Lee (John Krasinski), the couple have two kids, with another one on the way. A lovely life, except they now exist in the nightmare reality of trying to survive aliens who have landed and wiped out huge swaths of the population. Sonically-tuned to even the most subtle of noises, the aliens force the Abbotts to exist in silence. Blunt is amazing as the terrified mom, and executes the harrowing scenario of giving birth in utter silence with chilling perfection.

Check out another amazing performance by Blunt when Oppenheimer arrives exclusively in theaters everywhere this Friday, July 21. Get tickets now!