Blake Lively started her career in the role of Bridget in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, the first step to her designation as an A-list celebrity. She wasn't initially interested in acting despite a performing arts family who encouraged her to try out for Sisterhood. A decade later, her film, A Simple Favor, opened to critical acclaim, and her 2019 project The Rhythm Section is creating tons of buzz. Lively's career encompasses diverse roles that show impressive range, from her portrayal of the New York elite in Gossip Girl to a stranded surfer struggling to survive in The Shallows.
Through it all, Lively has remained poised and ever-so-stylish; her fashion sense is nearly as admirable as her acting chops. Additionally, she's married to Ryan Reynolds, and theirs is one of the most relatable modern celeb marriages, and certainly the funniest. She's also an awesome mom. In other words, Lively is a force to be reckoned with personally and professionally, which makes her journey to stardom worth exploring.
Her Performances Earned The Respect Of Her PeersPhoto: Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com
Regardless of critical acclaim, numerous directors and fellow actors took notice of Lively's on-screen presence. She told Collider when she auditioned for The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, director Rebecca Miller said she couldn't see anyone else in the role and wouldn't make the film without Lively.
The Town co-star and director Ben Affleck noted in Interview: "[she] brought a sense of complexity and nuance to the character that [he] felt was really important." Working with acclaimed actors also gave Lively the chance to expand on her techniques, something she found "really eye-opening since I'm still discovering my own method."
She Eventually Landed A Leading RolePhoto: Andrea Raffin / Shutterstock.com
In 2015, Lively landed her first leading role in the romance Age of Adaline. She jumped genres once again after "act[ing] the pants off everyone else in [the] trashy Oliver Stone" film Savages (2012), and went from a gritty crime drama to a period piece about a woman who stops aging at 29.
Acting beside the likes of Harrison Ford and Ellen Burstyn, Lively "[had] a refreshingly naturalistic acting style, and she [brought] a quiet, unshowy gravity to the role" of Adaline, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
- Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com
Inspired by her husband's film Buried, Lively also starred in a feature that focused on solo survival. Critics called her performance in The Shallows (2016) "lean and mean." It is one of her most exciting films yet, and fans can go ahead and check off solo survival from the list of genres Lively has explored.
Shooting with a fake bird and a fake shark was challenging, but Lively took it in stride: "I got to have a strong acting challenge in a movie that people actually might see, just because they threw a bikini into it." She even did a significant amount of stunt work, which included filming scenes in a pitch-black water tank and jumping off huge props. To top it all off, she was pregnant with her second child during the film's reshoots.
On choosing to do The Shallows, Lively told EW, "It was terrifying, and one of the most vulnerable things you can do but you got to do it, right?"
She Did Some Of Her Best Work In 'All I See Is You'Photo: Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com
While some actors are satisfied sticking with the familiar, Lively continues to push boundaries and seek out stories to which she feels connected. All I See Is You (2016) follows a blind woman who must re-navigate life after she regains her sight following surgery.
After reading the script, Lively says fell in love with Gina and her journey. Critics appreciated her performance, as David Ehrlich wrote: "This was Lively’s finest performance and the best indication that she possesses enough subtlety and self-awareness required to remain a star long after Gossip Girl is a distant memory."
In an interview with Vanity Fair, Lively said while All I See Is You was the "most intense" film on which she's ever worked, it is also the one she is "most proud of."