After attending Hurtwood House sixth form college from the age of 16 – a college known for its stellar performing arts programme – Blunt made her first appearance in stage musical Bliss at the 2000 Edinburgh Fringe.
Just three short years later, she was on TV in this British drama, which tracked the life and times of ancient warrior queen Boudica. She played Isolda.
Stiff upper lip? Blunt’s pearly pronunciation is there, but the stiff upper lip is conspicuously absent.
Henry VIII (2003)
Acclaim is heaped on Blunt’s follow-up to Boudica , another dive through the history books that sees her playing 16-th century queen Catherine Howard.
The two-part drama was made by Granada Television for ITV, and followed the breakdown of King Henry VIII’s first marriage all the way to his sixth wedding and ultimate death.
Stiff upper lip? Aha, there’s the confident, poised Blunt we all know and love.
Foyles War (2003)
More TV, as Blunt appears in an episode of this classic TV drama entitled ‘War Games’.
She plays Lucy Markham in a plot that involves a young secretary falling to her death from a high-rise building at the same time that a member of the home-guard is shot dead.
Stiff upper lip? Beginning to quiver, time for more exercises we feel.
Agatha Christies Poirot (2004)
Blunt pitches up in the timeless Poirot tale ‘Death On The Nile’ as Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle.
Shot almost entirely on location in Egypt, Blunt plays man-stealing Linnet, who snatches away another woman’s fiancé and heads to Egypt for the honeymoon – only for the jilted lover to stalk her every move.
Stiff upper lip? It’s back – Blunt playing a ruthless woman who turns her nose up at anything that doesn’t meet her exacting standards.
My Summer Of Love (2004)
Blunt’s big screen debut, the actress stars in Pawel Pawlikowski’s adaptation of Helen Cross’ novel. She plays upper middle class woman Tamsin, who meets working class Mona and realises how different their lives are.
The film ended up winning a BAFTA, while critic Roger Ebert noted it was a story “more about being an age, than coming-of-age”.
Stiff upper lip? She’s upper-middle class again: stiff upper lip in full swing.
Gideons Daughter (2005)
A trip back to tellyland for the Roehampton native, who stars against Brit acting royalty in the form of Bill Nighy and Miranda Richardson. Some of their magic rubs off, as Blunt receives a Golden Globe Award for her efforts.
She plays the titular daughter, grieving the death of her mother and bearing a serious grudge against her adulterous father, who betrayed his wife even as she lay in her death bed. Tough stuff.
Stiff upper lip? Pout and stare = killer combo.
More A-list tangoing, as Blunt stars alongside Susan Sarandon and Sam Neill.
As klepto Mara, Blunt makes life hell for Sophie (Sarandon) when she’s employed as her husband’s new co-worker. But soon things start to go missing in Sophie’s home, and she’s sure Mara’s behind it all.
Stiff upper lip? Nothing stiff about that upper lip.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Blunt’s big break lands her opposite the terrifying and amazing Meryl Streep. The latter is the ice-cold editor of a high profile fashion magazine, whose very presence strikes fear in the hearts of any in her path.
As her assistant, Blunt shows off killer comedy timing and the kind of razor sharp cattiness that you’d usually only expect to find in an Andrew Lloyd Webber stage production.
Stiff upper lip? Stiff as a board. Emily (the character) enjoys making Andy’s life hell through her snippy remarks.
Wind Chill (2007)
Simply called ‘Girl’, Blunt heads up her first horror film as a cautionary tale to car-poolers the world over.
Hitching a ride home with a young man from her school, Girl finds herself on a journey down Route 606 when the driver turns out to be a crazed admirer who isn’t going her way home after all.
Stiff upper lip? Absent again – all the better to scream with.
The Jane Austen Book Club (2007)
Riding the success of Devil Wears Prada , Blunt lands a role in this high profile wet blanket, alongside Maria Bello, Maggie Grace and Kevin Zegers.
It was lauded as a feel-good chick flick – but not much else besides. As Prudie, Blunt’s a member of the titular club, which consists of six Austen fans who all start to take on characteristics of certain Austen characters the more they read her books. Spooky.
Stiff upper lip? Prim and proper – but with a penchant for prose.
Dan In Real Life (2007)
A chance to flex those comedy muscles against King of the Laughs Steve Carell. Except it’s all a bit more dramatic than that.
Carell plays Dan, a widower whose kids are kept under their father’s watchful gaze. Emily appears in the form of Dr Ruthie Draper, a childhood friend of Dan’s. The pair quickly become an item - but can it last?
Stiff upper lip? Certainly not – Ruthie’s a bowl of sunshine.
Charlie Wilsons War (2007)
A brief appearance in this Tom Hanks biographical comedy meant Blunt shared credits with some more Hollywood big wigs – not least Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Amy Adams, meanwhile, would become a future co-star.
Blunt mostly turns up in order to sex up the politics, stripping down to her smalls for a scene with Hanks.
Stiff upper lip? Who’s looking at her lips when she’s wearing only a shirt and undies?
The Great Buck Howard (2008)
Time for a different Hanks, as Blunt stars in this Colin Hanks vehicle. Her character even ends up romantically involved with him – who’s next on her list, Rita Wilson?
Here, Blunt is Valerie Brennan, a publicist who reluctantly signs on to promote the exploits of Troy (Hanks) and mentalist Bucky Howard (John Malkovich) on their cross-country tour.
Stiff upper lip? A frightening shade of red, and not even slightly stiff.
Sunshine Cleaning (2008)
Blunt stars with her future husband John Krasinksi in this dark comedy, which finds her playing recently-unemployed underachiever Norah.
When her sister Rose (Amy Adams) needs more money to pay for her kid’s schooling, the pair take a job as crime scene cleaners. What starts out as a messy nuisance soon bonds the sisters like never before.
Stiff upper lip? More sneering than snooty.
The Simpsons (2009)
Now she’s really made it. Only the best and brightest are fortunate enough to have their image immortalised in bright yellow ink by those folks over at The Simpsons , and Blunt received that very honour in 2009.
She appears in episode ‘Lisa The Drama Queen’ as Juliet, a massive fan of Josh Groban who Lisa meets in art class. Together, they escape from reality into a fantasy world.
Stiff upper lip? More of a Simpsons -styled duck bill, really.
The Young Victoria (2009)
Despite the film being criticised for exaggerating the real facts in order for greater dramatic impact, Blunt received plaudits for her role as the titular queen.
She earned another Golden Globe nomination, only losing out to Sandra Bullock’s stampeding The Blind Side awards coup.
Stiff upper lip? As stiff as they come – she’s Queen Victoria, after all.
Another horror, this time a short film by first-time director Toby Spanton. Blunt is Emma, who along with her boyfriend Mike (Tom Riley) sees a murderer getting rid of a dead body.
When said killer discovers that he has been spotted, a game of cat and mouse ensues as he attempts to off the witnesses. Claustrophobic.
Stiff upper lip? Stiff with terror.
Wild Target (2010)
Time to lighten up after all these weighty dramas and torturous horrors. This comedy based on the 1993 French film Cible Emouvante sees Blunt re-pairing with Bill Nighy, a middle-aged assassin.
Blunt plays Rose, a con artist who is targeted by Nighy’s assassin. But instead of killing her, the assassin spares her life and becomes close to his former victim.
Stiff upper lip? Stiff enough to con a chap out of £900,000. Impressive.
The Wolfman (2010)
A miserable misfire, as Joe Johnston’s troubled werewolf yarn took years to get made, and then received scathing/indifferent reviews upon release.
Blunt dons a corset again as Gwen Conliffe, the fiancée of a young man who has disappeared, feared dead. When the man’s brother Lawrence (Benicio del Toro) turns up, he’s attacked and starts to go through some odd changes…
Stiff upper lip? Relatively, but we think it’s just the grieving.
Gullivers Travels (2010)
Commitment to this Jack Black update of Jonathan Swift’s tome meant that Blunt had to give up the role of Black Widow in Iron Man 2 – she’s probably kicking herself now.
A critical bellyflop, Travels finds Blunt playing royalty once more as Princess Mary, the Princess of Lilliput and future wife of hopeless romantic Horatio (Jason Segel).
Stiff upper lip? She looks strangely cheerful for a princess here...
Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
More animated kicks, as Blunt is transformed into a garden gnome (gnomette) in this animated reimagining of William Shakespeare’s play. She’s Juliet, whose love affair is forbidden as a war rages between blue- and red-hat wearing gnomes.
After this, Blunt’s jumping into Philip K. Dick adap The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon, then Salmon Fishing In The Yemen, The Muppets and Looper .
Stiff upper lip? Very ceramic.