From sunshine Barbie to a fierce red-head in 'A Simple Favor': The spiritually rejuvenating journey of Blake Lively
Throwback to 2005 when Cargo pants and Uggs were in but Blake Lively was busy rocking pointy heels and bold strappy dresses. Ever since her entry into Hollywood with her debut in 'The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants,' she's delivered fiercely well. Even to the extent of befriending Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld shortly into the world of stardom and then raising her star scale by playing Serena van der Woodson in CW's hit show 'Gossip Girl.' Fast-forward to 2018, she's one of the biggest stars of Hollywood, married to another big A-lister, Ryan Reynolds, sharing their hilariously dry sense of humor on social media and just being a proud parent to two adorable children. Plus, her commitment can be seen when she deleted her pictures on Instagram and went to the extent of unfollowing her husband while promoting her new upcoming movie 'A Simple Favor,' starring alongside Anna Kendrick.
The trailer of 'A Simple Favor' is enough to make us exclaim "wow!" and the movie itself, slated to release on September 14 has our expectations soaring. Not only because the plot circles around Blake Lively, who plays the role of a mysterious bombshell Emily Nelson who disappears, but also because we see Blake in fiery red hair and knee-high red leather boots. It's something that is a total opposite of Serena van der Woodson. Given the fact that Serena was such a popular character, Blake ensured that she was not stuck as Serena for the rest of her Hollywood career. She escaped from the bubble that Hollywood often foists on newcomers. We had seen that fire coming.
Born to a family heavily engaged in the entertainment business, the 30-year-old starlet began her acting career at age 10, when she appeared in the 1998 film 'Sandman', directed by her father. Not keen on acting then, she was dreaming of attending Stanford University. Even at the age of 17, when she got her big break with the role of Bridget in 'The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants,' she was still heavily consumed with high school. At that time she said in an interview that she's "been so busy with high school and I'm in all the clubs there, I'm in all AP classes, I've been in cheer, choir, and class president so my past four years at high school have been very busy. I left prom last night to come here." It was pretty clear, that a teenager, who left her prom and called herself a "loser," in the same interview, would go on to take Hollywood by storm a decade later with her impeccable sense of style and natural flair for acting.
Just a year later in 2008, she starred in the movie 'Accepted,' along with comedy pros Justin Long and Jonah Hill. Her director, Steve Pink, immediately praised the young beautiful emerging actress and said in an interview that she "classed up the joint." Describing her acting skills, he said, "She just kind of shows her intelligence and also kind of her powers of irony…always fully in effect with Blake." Off to a very good start and high recommendations, it was only a matter of time before she took over the world of acting.
In 2007, Blake Lively starred in 'Gossip Girl' as the protagonist and the world came to love her and the show alike. Even with immense fame, she gave grounded interviews that actually made people love her even more. In her sitting with the Associated Press, she clearly stated that she is nothing like high-class Serena in real life. "Serena was brought up very differently than I was brought up…Serena was given everything her whole life… I grew up in a small little town in California — Burbank. I went to high school [and] what we would do on our nights off [was] go to a school fundraiser, go to a football game, where these people have masquerade balls or go lounge at The Palace Hotel and sip martinis."
Concretizing her sunshine personality, Blake Lively was in no hurry to conquer, because she knew she could.
By 2008, she was already named the 'Golden Girl' of Hollywood and there was hardly any teenager and adult alike in the States, who did not want Serena van der Woodson's hair and dressing style. A quick research by 'The New York Times' then found out that there was a raging request for "Serena" hairstyle across multiple salons, which meant long wavy blonde locks that looked very effortless. The craze was only next to Jennifer Aniston's "Rachel" hairstyle in the '90s. In 2009, the same publication found out that the Google search of "Blake Lively hair" displayed 713,000 results. And what was Blake's response? "I didn't really realize the extent of it…That's always kind of odd, but unbelievably flattering," the 22-year-old 'Golden Girl' humbly said.
In 2010, breaking away from her role of a sunshine Barbie, she played a role of a woman who lived an unbelievably hard life, in the film 'The Town.' Blake described this role as the toughest one she played and addressed it to be "really eye-opening." "The idea of living that life was so tragic that it was just nice to go home to my own bed and have an appreciation for my life and my world and my upbringing. Because who knows why you're dealt the cards you're dealt, and I felt really lucky to have the life that I have and the opportunity to dream," she commented.
Unlike other celebrities, we have to grant that Blake has remained comparatively off juicy celebrity gossips. In 2011, she was in the headlines for her break-up with Leonardo DiCaprio and her potential relationship with 'Green Lantern' co-star Ryan Reynolds. But instead of letting the tabloids bring her down, she took it as an opportunity to promote the release of 'Green Lantern,' where she played Reynold's love interest. Instead of addressing the rumors of her dating Reynolds, she said in her interview that she was committed to playing her role and she even dyed her blonde hair, brunette.
"If I connect with a role, with a character, with a story, with the filmmakers that to me is the reward. That to me is the success and if [fans] receive it well then terrific and if they don't then at least I had a good time making it. That's how I feel," she said. Without much of a controversy, the then 25-year-old married Reynolds in a secret ceremony and continued bagging star roles in films such as 'Savages,' alongside Salma Hayek.
If her story comes as an all-success story, much too-unrelatable, then here is where 'Preserve' should be mentioned. She launched an online magazine in August 2014 but was shut down by October 2015, following criticism of not being able to manage. However, that is the only tragedy you can expect because, for her, that was a learning experience to better herself even more.
Thereon, it has only been a fantastical dream, the kind that can be described as a modern fairytale. She became a mother to James in 2014 and in 2016, she gave birth to Inez. In an interview with Marie Claire she said, "All my eggs are in one basket, and that's my family. That's where my heart is. That's where my everything is."
One of the most written about subjects regarding Blake is her sense of style. She owns everything she wears, and her style statement is fresh, not something you've seen it before. Here's why; she is her own stylist. Even till date. Period. One of the main reasons why she got excited to film Gossip Girl is because she got to dress up and have her say in the style statement she was exuding. Hopefully, even the rad-red-look we see in the upcoming movie is her choice, because that would be so Blake Lively of her! To expect the unexpected winning. Always.
Recently she's been rocking 50 shades of pant-suits while promoting 'A Simple Favor,' while still trolling her husband on social media. Standing as an ethereal Hollywood goddess, she still has that wide sunny smile we spotted in football-loving 'Bridget,' perhaps that is why she still looks so approachable that we'd like to go grab coffee with her on a rainy afternoon.