Blake Lively

Blake Ellender Lively[a] (née Brown; born August 25, 1987)[2] is an American actress. She is the recipient of various accolades, including three Teen Choice Awards, a People's Choice Award, and nominations for two Critics' Choice Awards and an Academy of Country Music Award.

Blake Lively
Blake Lively Cannes 2016 3.jpg
Born
Blake Ellender Brown

(1987-08-25) August 25, 1987 (age 34)
OccupationActress
Years active1998–present
Spouse(s)
(m. 2012)
Children3
Parent(s)
Relatives
Signature
Blake Lively signature.svg

Lively, the daughter of actor Ernie Lively, made her professional debut in her father's directorial project Sandman (1998). She starred as Bridget Vreeland to commercial success in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) as well as its sequel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (2008). She appeared opposite Justin Long in the comedy Accepted (2006). And she gained notability and widespread recognition for her portrayal of Serena van der Woodsen in the CW teen drama television series Gossip Girl (2007–2012).

She has starred in rom coms including New York, I Love You (2008) and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009). Lively starred opposite Ben Affleck in the crime thriller The Town (2010) and appeared with her future husband Ryan Reynolds in Green Lantern (2011). She was in the ensemble cast of Savages (2012), and she garnered acclaim for portraying the titular character in romantic fantasy The Age of Adaline (2015). She appeared in the survivor horror film The Shallows (2016) and the psychological drama All I See Is You (2016). She starred in the box-office hit A Simple Favor (2018) opposite Anna Kendrick and in The Rhythm Section (2020), where she received critical praise.

In 2021, she made her directorial debut with the music video for Taylor Swift's I Bet You Think About Me, receiving positive critical reception and a nomination for an Academy of Country Music Award.

Early life

Lively was born as Blake Ellender Brown on August 25, 1987, in the Tarzana neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.[3] Her mother, Elaine (née McAlpin), worked as a talent scout, and her father, Ernie Lively ( Ernest Wilson Brown Jr.; d. 2021), was an actor.[4] Lively was named after her grandmother's brother.[5][6] She has an older brother, Eric, and three half-siblings from her mother's previous marriage, Lori, Robyn, and Jason. Her parents and siblings have all worked in the entertainment industry.[7][8]

During her childhood, Lively accompanied her parents to the acting classes they taught, as they did not want to leave her with a babysitter. She said that watching her parents teach helped her learn the "drills" and gain confidence as she got older and began working in the industry.[8][9] She made her professional debut at age 10, when she appeared in the 1998 film Sandman, directed by Lively's father. She describes her role as a "bit part".[10] She was initially not particularly interested in acting and wanted to attend Stanford University.[5]

She attended Burbank High School, where she was a cheerleader, a member of the championship choir, and class president.[11] Her elder brother asked his talent agent to send her on a few auditions during the summer months.[4] She was subsequently cast as Bridget in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) and filmed her scenes between her junior and senior years of high school.[12]

Career

2005–2006: Career beginnings

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants was released in 2005. Lively's performance earned her a nomination for a Teen Choice Award for "Choice Movie Breakout – Female.[13] In 2006, Lively co-starred with Justin Long in Accepted, and Lively had minor roles in the horror film, Simon Says. Accepted was not well received by critics, but Lively's performance was, earning her a 'Breakthrough Award' from Hollywood Life.[14] Lively starred in Elvis and Anabelle (2007) as Anabelle, a bulimic girl who hoped to win a beauty pageant. Lively said of getting into character for the role that she had "shed serious weight" for her height. She stated that that process was difficult for her because food is "the No. 1 love of my life."[15] MovieLine.com praised her performance in the film and credited it as having been her "breakthrough role".[16]

2007–2012: Gossip Girl

Lively was cast in The CW's series Gossip Girl, based on the novel series of the same name by Cecily von Ziegesar, which premiered in September 2007. Already having deferred college for a year, Lively intended to turn the role down and become a student, but was told that she could attend college part-time while filming the show (she later said "This is advice to anyone: when they say, 'We promise, but we can't put it in writing,' there's a reason they can't put it in writing").[17] She played the role of Serena van der Woodsen in the teen drama until 2012 when the show ended.[18][19] Her first magazine cover was the November 2007 issue of CosmoGirl, where she discussed her time in high school and her career prior to Gossip Girl.[20]

 
Lively at the 2011 Toronto Film Festival

In 2008, Lively reprised her role as Bridget in the sequel The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2. Similarly to the first film, Lively's performance was positively received by critics.[21][22] As of November 2008, the film had earned over $44 million at the box office.[23] In 2009, she appeared as Gabrielle DiMarco in the romantic comedy New York, I Love You, a sequel to the 2006 film Paris, je t'aime. Despite positive critical reception, the film failed at the box office.[24][25]

Lively portrayed the younger version of the titlular character in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee (2009) to critical acclaim.[26] Paul Byrnes, of the Brisbane Times, described Lively's performance in the film as "sensational".[27] In October 2009, Lively began filming her scenes for her role as Kristina "Kris" Coughlin in the 2010 film The Town, based on Chuck Hogan's novel Prince of Thieves.[28] The film, which was directed by and starred Ben Affleck, was released in the United States on September 17, 2010. On her performance, Variety wrote that Lively was "almost unrecognizable [and] has fierce, pained moments as the moll and single mother .. tossed aside."[29] In December of that year, Lively appeared in the music video for The Lonely Island's "I Just Had Sex" together with Jessica Alba.[30] Lively played Carol Ferris, the female lead and love interest of Hal Jordan in the superhero film Green Lantern, which was released in June 2011.[31] The film grossed a worldwide total of $219,851,172.[32] In 2011 she was featured in the annual Time magazine 100 influential people.[33] Additionally, AskMen.com named her the most desirable woman of 2011[34] and People magazine named her one of 2012's Most Beautiful at Every Age.[35]

In 2012, she starred in Oliver Stone's Savages alongside Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, Salma Hayek, and John Travolta. Lively replaced Jennifer Lawrence as Ophelia, after the latter dropped out to do The Hunger Games. HitFix film critic Drew McWeeny said Lively's performance was "smart and sad precisely because she plays O as such a broken, needy little soul".[36] Also that year, she was selected as the face of the new Gucci fragrance, Gucci Premiere. She appeared in a short film ad directed by Nicolas Winding Refn for the fragrance.[37]

2013–present: Film career

In October 2013, Lively was named the new face of L'Oreal, marking her first major makeup campaign.[38] Lively starred in the film The Age of Adaline (2015), opposite Michiel Huisman and Harrison Ford, playing a woman who "stops aging after recovering from a near-fatal accident."[39] The film was a modest commercial success, grossing $65.7 million from a production budget of $25 million.[40] The Atlantic stated that Lively showed her "potential as a leading lady" primarily in the second half of the film, citing her "clipped delivery and coy restraint" as well as her "capable perform[ance]" within the emotional intensity of the film.[41] In 2016, Lively starred in the survival horror film The Shallows.[42] It received positive reviews and Lively's performance was praised by critics. That year, Lively also starred in Woody Allen's romantic comedy film, Café Society which premiered at the 69th Cannes Film Festival and received critical acclaim. Lively enjoyed her experience working with Allen stating, "It's really cool to work with a director who's done so much, because he knows exactly what he wants", adding that he was "very empowering".[43]

Lively starred opposite Jason Clarke in psychological drama All I See Is You (2016), which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to mixed reviews.[44] In 2018, Lively starred in the mystery-thriller A Simple Favor, alongside Anna Kendrick and Henry Golding, and directed by Paul Feig.[45] The film was released on September 14 and Lively's performance was acclaimed.[46] Variety wrote that "She has her moments .. many of them physical .. Lively's Emily is both repellent and irresistible."[47] Lively next played the lead, a drug-addicted prostitute turned assassin, in The Rhythm Section, the film adaptation of the Mark Burnell novel of the same name, produced by Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, and directed by Reed Morano.[48] The film was released by Paramount Pictures on January 31, 2020.[49] Variety noted Lively's performance as "display[ing] a realistic near-incompetence in the face of danger [that] makes her relatable in ways very few cinematic assassins have ever been."[50]

In May 2021, it was announced that Lively will star in Lady Killer as the lead character, Josie Schuller.[51] Lively made her directorial debut as the co-writer and director of the music video for Taylor Swift's song "I Bet You Think About Me" featuring American singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton, released on November 15, 2021, from Swift's re-recorded album Red (Taylor's Version) (2021).[52] In April 2022, it was announced Lively would make her feature directing debut with an adaptation of the graphic novel Seconds by Bryan Lee O'Malley, with Edgar Wright writing the screenplay and producing.[53]

Other ventures

Betty Buzz

In 2021, Lively launched Betty Buzz,[54] a line of non-alcoholic drink mixers.

Celebrity homemaker

Lively describes herself as a "foodie and cook",[55] and has said Martha Stewart is her "idol". She is also a fan of Nigella Lawson's work.[56] In 2008, Lively baked a cake with Stewart during an episode of The Martha Stewart Show.[57] In 2009, Lively stated that she "hoped one day to have an interior decorating company", citing her love for antiques and fascination with "colors and textures and layering things".[9] In 2010, she attended a tailor-made workshop at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, and has spoken of her desire to return to the culinary school for further instruction.[58]

She has remarked that, when travelling, she always takes cookery classes to immerse herself in the local culture.[59][60] In 2010 and again in 2011, Lively spoke publicly of her desire to become a restaurateur.[61][62] In 2011, she created a s'mores cupcake to be sold at Sprinkles bakeries.[63] In 2012, Lively's wedding reception was featured in Martha Stewart Weddings; food photography was the focal point of the picture spread. In 2013, she appeared in Elle Decor to recount her experiences designing a custom La Cornue oven for her newly purchased Bedford home.[64] In 2013, she filmed a cooking segment for Vogue's website, demonstrating how to make a brie pastry.[65] In 2014, she launched Preserve, a digital magazine and e-commerce website with hand-made one-of-a-kind items all selected by Lively;[66] on October 9, 2015, Lively closed the site, stating that it had been launched before it was ready, and that she plans to rebuild and relaunch it properly.[67]

Advocacy

During the 2008 United States presidential election, Lively expressed her support for Barack Obama. Lively and Penn Badgley appeared in a pro-Obama commercial, as part of MoveOn.org's Youth Vote program. The commercial, directed by Doug Liman, aired during Gossip Girl on the CW, MTV and Comedy Central.[68] In 2013, she appeared in a video clip for Gucci's "Chime for Change" campaign that aims to raise funds and awareness of women's issues in the areas of education, health, and justice.[69] In addition, Lively has worked to heighten public awareness of missing and exploited children and on-going efforts of law enforcement on their behalf.[70]

Personal life

 
Lively with future husband Ryan Reynolds, promoting Green Lantern at Comic-Con 2010

From 2007 to 2010, Lively was in a relationship with her Gossip Girl co-star Penn Badgley.[71][72]

Lively first met Ryan Reynolds in early 2010 while filming Green Lantern, in which they co-starred.[73] They began dating in October 2011[74] and married on September 9, 2012, at Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.[75] The couple have three daughters: James (born December 2014), Inez (born September 2016), and Betty (born October 2019).[76][77][78] The family reside in Pound Ridge, New York.[79]

Lively and Reynolds are close friends with singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, who named the characters in her song "Betty" after their daughters.[80][81]

Filmography

Film

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1998 Sandman Trixie / Tooth Fairy
2005 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Bridget Vreeland
2006 Accepted Monica Moreland
2006 Simon Says Jenny
2007 Elvis and Anabelle Annabelle Leigh
2008 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 Bridget Vreeland
2009 New York, I Love You Gabrielle DiMarco
2009 The Private Lives of Pippa Lee Young Pippa Lee
2010 The Town Kristina "Kris" Coughlin
2011 Green Lantern Carol Ferris
2011 Hick Glenda
2012 Savages Ophelia "O" Sage
2015 The Age of Adaline Adaline Bowman [82][83]
2016 The Shallows Nancy Adams [84]
2016 Café Society Veronica Hayes
2017 All I See Is You Gina
2018 A Simple Favor Emily Nelson / Hope and Faith McLanden [85]
2020 The Rhythm Section Stephanie Patrick [86][87]

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2007–2012 Gossip Girl[88] Serena van der Woodsen Main role
2009 Saturday Night Live Herself Host; episodes: "Blake Lively / Rihanna"
2018 When You Wish Upon a Pickle: A Sesame Street Special Delivery Person TV special[89][90]

Music videos

Year Title Role Artist Notes
2010 "I Just Had Sex" Unsatisfied Girlfriend The Lonely Island featuring Akon N/A
2014 "Part II (On the Run)" Herself Jay-Z featuring Beyoncé N/A
2021 "I Bet You Think About Me" N/A Taylor Swift featuring Chris Stapleton Co-writer, producer, and director; directorial debut

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2005 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Breakout Female The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants Nominated [13]
2008 Choice Female Hottie Nominated [91]
2008 Choice TV Actress Drama Gossip Girl Won
2008 Choice TV Breakout Star-Female Won
2008 Newport Beach Film Festival Achievement Award-Breakout Performance Elvis and Anabelle Won [92]
2009 ASTRA Award Favourite International Personality or Actor Gossip Girl Nominated [93]
2009 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress Drama Nominated [94]
2009 Choice Female Hottie Nominated
2010 People's Choice Awards Favorite TV Drama Actress Gossip Girl Nominated [95]
2010 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress Drama Nominated [96]
2010 Critics' Choice Movie Awards Best Acting Ensemble The Town Nominated [97]
2010 National Board of Review Best Ensemble Cast Won [98]
2010 San Diego Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress Nominated [99]
2010 Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Best Ensemble Won [100]
2011 People's Choice Award Favorite TV Drama Actress Gossip Girl Nominated [101]
2011 CinemaCon Award Breakthrough Performer of the Year Award Won [102]
2011 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress Sci Fi/Fantasy Green Lantern Nominated [103]
2011 Choice TV Actress Drama Gossip Girl Won
2012 People's Choice Award Favorite TV Drama Actress Nominated [104]
2012 Jupiter Award Best International Actress Green Lantern Nominated [105]
2013 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress Drama Gossip Girl Nominated [106]
2015 Choice Movie Actress: Drama The Age of Adaline Nominated [107]
2015 Choice Movie: Liplock (shared with Michiel Huisman) Nominated
2016 Saturn Award Best Actress Nominated [108]
2016 Teen Choice Awards Choice Style: Female Nominated [109]
2016 Choice Summer Movie Star: Female The Shallows Nominated
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress Won [110]
2017 Jupiter Award Best International Actress Nominated [111]
2021 Critics' Choice Super Awards Best Actress in an Action Movie The Rhythm Section Nominated [112]
2022 Academy of Country Music Awards Video of the Year "I Bet You Think About Me" Nominated [113]

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ Lively was born with the surname Brown, but uses her family's stage name, which came from her mother's name.[1]

References

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