If you asked me if Blake Lively could act four years ago, I would have wrinkled my nose and shrugged my shoulders. I watched her in movies like the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants movie franchise, Accepted, and in the popular television show Gossip Girl. I was once a pre-teen girl, so don’t judge me on my film choices. Lively never stood out to me. She always played such a vapid character who didn’t have much depth.
I shut her off as another teen idol who is popular only because of her looks. However, it turns out that she was far from being a bad actress. She was simply a victim of bad character writing and development. It was when I saw the film The Town starring Ben Affleck and Jeremy Renner, I began to change my mind about Lively. She only had a supporting role in the film, but she was able to win me over in just a few minutes.
NOTE: Spoilers in this article
Blake Lively stars as your typical Boston white trash in The Town. She truly embodied the stereotype so well that it felt like she was a character from Dennis Lehane’s films. One interesting fact: Ben Affleck was so convinced by Blake Lively’s audition, he asked her what part of Boston she was from. To his surprise, Lively was actually born and raised in California. He also chose her because he was blown away by her performance in the film The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. I remember watching her and I was like: “What happened to Serena Van Der Woodsen?” I certainly did not miss Serena’s vapidness, but it was just like a hidden side of her just jumped out. She always portrayed elegant and privileged young ladies in her teen roles, it was impressive to see her take on a mature and risque role. I initially thought she was one of those actresses like Jennifer Aniston who are good at playing a version of themselves, but can’t leap into taking the role of a completely different character. She charmed in The Town, but I still needed to see more for me to really fall in love with her.
I watched Hick on Netflix recently and I thought it was a good film. Chloe Grace Moretz and Eddie Redmayne starred alongside Blake Lively in this film. It was fun seeing an ensemble of young actors and actresses in one screen. Lively played a mature character similar to the one she played in The Town only this time she didn’t exude the vibe of white trash. I was sad when her character died in the end. She did a good job with trying to get the audience to sympathize with her character in my opinion. I actually think she does a better job at portraying underdog screw-up women as opposed to her usual perfect teen heartthrob roles.
I haven’t seen the film Savages, but I didn’t hear too much good things about it. I am dying to see her in a film done by either Martin Scorsese or Christopher Nolan. She still hasn’t blown me away in an “oh my gosh, she needs to win an Oscar” kind of thing. However, I now know that it’s not because she’s a terrible actress. She just needs better roles where she can truly show her skills. I mean it took me a while to get over Anne Hathaway as the princess of Genovia, but after a string of great roles, I ended up respecting her a lot more.
I think that the best way for her to really shine to stop doing teen roles and find that one gig that will ask her to reinvent herself. Nicole Kidman in The Hours and Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone are just some examples of roles that can get her noticed. I know Paul did a post about Zac Efron, and why we shouldn’t shut out these young actors and actresses. I still need a lot more convincing when it comes to Zac Efron, but I definitely agree that it is rather foolish to dismiss young talent. A few years from now they will be the next Johnny Depp and Meryl Streep of Hollywood.