While her career has been full of ups and downs, Emily Browning's filmography is definitely not boring. With roles in films such as Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events, Sucker Punch, and Sleeping Beauty, Browning has made a name for herself as a versatile talent who can do pretty much anything. Of course, even the most talented artist has limits to what they'll do for their art. In the case of Emily Browning, that limit is simple: she's done with being eye candy.
During an interview with The Guardian, plugging her involvement in the new Tom Hardy film Legend, Browning discussed her early career and how a short stint living in Los Angeles during the filming of Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events started her on a path to learning what she did and did not want to do in the film industry. The big caveat that she says she now includes for anyone who's going to cast her is the following:
I’m so determined not to play the hot babe that doesn’t say anything, that can’t have an opinion, but it’s so difficult to resist all of that. Hollywood movies are made for white men, and that’s something I think about and which bothers me all the time.
Is she right? You could argue both sides. In a less enlightened age, Emily Browning's agent certainly would be telling her that she's limiting her possibilities to work in the Hollywood system. However, as a hunger for more female-driven content has continued to build in the world of film, actors like Emily Browning should find themselves in higher demand. With filmmakers and actors equally invested in tipping the scales in the favor of equality, the only thing left is for the work to speak for itself. Maybe comments like Browning's will help usher in more change?
Granted, some would use roles in films like Sucker Punch and Pompeii to counter Emily Browning's claims that she aims for only roles of substance. You can at the very least say that her roles in said films did not have her just standing around and taking what ever happened in stride. The same can be said for her current role in Brian Helgeland's crime drama Legend, in which she plays Reggie Kray's wife, Frances Shea.
Because Frances' life, and even her death, are a bit of a mystery, Browning has taken the opportunity to use the facts at her disposal to create a tough and bold figure that still had her doubts and moments of venomous vitriol. Judging by how she's talked about the role in recent interviews, it seems like those looking to make a film as serious as Legend should be lining up to cast Browning, while those looking to cast the next Transformers film should probably look elsewhere.
Legend opens in theaters on October 2nd. We can't wait to see how Emily Browning plays opposite two Tom Hardys!