By Ramin Setoodeh
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.
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