×

Emily Blunt: ‘If Women Are Given a Voice, They Use It’

Emily Blunt discussed how women are transforming the world during Variety’s Power of Women event in New York.

Blunt said the topic of girls’ education “moves and matters” to her greatly. After recounting daily conversations with her 4-year-old daughter, Hazel, about what she learned in school (“The other night … she said, ‘Do you know how to get to Harlem? You take the A train, it’s the quickest way'”), the actress said she learns from her children.

“They yearn to learn, they crave it,” she said of her daughters. “They are lucky enough — and as was I and as were most girls that I knew growing up — that your dreams were never going to fall on deaf ears, and that your thoughts and voice mattered and could make a difference.”

Blunt then praised the work of the Malala Fund, the nonprofit funded by Malala Yousafzai and her father, Ziauddin, in 2013. Malala Yousafzai has “the most compassionate of hearts, but courage and will of steel.”

“When the bullets rained down on these girls, the world stopped in their tracks and they listened to Malala, but most importantly, so did millions of girls around the world put in the same position. This courageous, eloquent, and inspiring girl became their light,” Blunt said, referencing the young activist shot by the Taliban for pursuing an education.

Blunt implored lawmakers to take action to help young girls denied an education.

“There are over 130 million girls missing out on an education because they have to work or they are married by the age 12 or they lack access to school facilities or have to care for younger siblings,” she said.

When given a chance, Blunt said women can move mountains.

“If women are given a voice, they use it. When they are handed the purse stings, the communities thrive. When they are given a job, they flourish. They organize better. They galvanize more passionately and they are more likely to encourage peace where peace should be the priority,” she said.

Blunt most recently starred in her husband John Krasinski’s directorial debut, “A Quiet Place,” which received rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. Later this year, Blunt will appear in “Mary Poppins Returns” alongside Lin-Manuel Miranda. Her “Mary Poppins” co-star Emily Mortimer introduced her at the event.

When she isn’t onscreen, Blunt, along with Krasinski, works to draw attention to and raise money for the Malala Fund. The fund hopes to give girls around the world the ability to have 12 years of education — schooling that is free, safe, and of quality.

Blunt and Krasinski — parents to two daughters, ages 4 and 2 — had been looking to get involved with a charity that promoted education and women’s issues.

“From the first time we met, I knew Emily would be a great friend to me and to all girls fighting for their education,” Yousafzai told Variety for this week’s Power of Women issue. “I am so grateful for her ability to see the faces of millions of girls in her own daughters.”

Blunt and Krasinski have so far raised money for the fund by auctioning off a double date to the New York premiere of their film “A Quiet Place.” In the fall, the couple hopes to visit Colombia or India to see Malala Fund’s work firsthand. Those are new regions for the organization. Until now, it has focused on supporting educators and educational champions in places where it is difficult for girls to attend school, such as Afghanistan, Nigeria, Pakistan, and countries hosting Syrian refugees.

Yousafzai also sends reports to Blunt from the field.

“When Malala goes back to the communities it’s so exciting because women are at the front of the crowd,” says the actress. “They’re telling you how they’re organizing. They’re telling you what’s happening. As we’re finding out in this climate that we’re living in, when women are given their voice they will use it.”

More Film

  • Samuel-W.-Gelfman

    Samuel Gelfman, Roger Corman Film Producer, Dies at 88

    Samuel Gelfman, a New York producer known for his work on Roger Corman’s “Caged Heat,” “Cockfighter” and “Cannonball!,” died Thursday morning at UCLA Hospital in Westwood following complications from heart and respiratory disease, his son Peter Gelfman confirmed. He was 88. Gelfman was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Caldwell New Jersey [...]

  • Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON

    Box Office: 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Pulls Ahead of 'Hobbs & Shaw' Overseas

    Sony’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” might not have hit No. 1 in North America, but Quentin Tarantino’s latest film is leading the way at the international box office, where it collected $53.7 million from 46 markets. That marks the best foreign opening of Tarantino’s career, coming in ahead of 2012’s “Django Unchained.” “Once [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content