When actress, producer and director Blake Lively took to the red carpet during 2022’s Met Gala, all eyes were on her. Despite the fact that she was on the arm of her husband, actor Ryan Reynolds, voted People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2010, all eyes were on her.
The statuesque California beauty has had many major moments with fashion. Still, the incredible copper Versace dress, with the surprising reversible patina train, created a true “wow” moment at an event replete with them.
It was Lively’s demeanor, too, her beaming smile and elegant poise, which further endeared her to her legion of fans, cultivated across a career that spans 24 years.
Lively was born into a show business family, and as a young child with four older siblings, she began attending acting classes led by her parents. Not because of any particular interest the future actress showed, it was just easier than getting a babysitter.
“I did not want to be an actor because my whole family did it — going into the family business was the last thing I wanted to do.”
Lively was first cast by her father at the age of 10 in a bit part as Trixie the Tooth Fairy in 1998’s musical Sandman, but it took a while for the acting bug to get under her skin. She would later joke that the availability of craft services while on set had something to do with stoking her interest.
An overachiever in high school, she had her heart set on Stanford, not stardom. But then came her breakout role of Bridget, alongside Amber Tamblyn and America Ferrera, in 2005’s The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, which she took on while still in high school. The film explored themes of friendship and young adulthood and earned Lively a Teen Choice Award nomination for Best Breakout Performance.
After the film, Lively returned to school for her senior year, where she was class president, involved in cheerleading and choir.
But her notoriety soared after she was cast in the Teen Drama Gossip Girl as Serena van der Woodsen, a role she played from 2007 through 2012, which New York Magazine has called “the greatest teen drama of all time.”
Her performance would earn her three Teen Choice Awards during the series’ run. It would also garner her the cover of Vogue, classically styled a la Veronica Lake, at the age of 21.
Lively has proven that her talent translated to the silver screen as well. She and husband Reynolds met when they co-starred in 2011’s The Green Lantern. Then there was 2015’s the Age of Adaline where she captivated audiences and critics alike for her subdued yet engaging portrayal. She also starred in the box office hit, A Simple Favor in 2018, and gave a brave, toned-down performance in the gritty international spy drama, 2020’s The Rhythm Section.
“All my eggs are in one basket, and that’s my family. That’s where my heart is. That’s where my everything is.”
While a much sought-after actress, Lively, 35, has also embraced domestic life since marrying Reynolds in 2012.
Two years later they started their family with the birth of daughter James, and have since welcomed two more daughters, Inez and Betty.
It’s a bright and joyous world for the family of five outside of the glitz and glamour. Lively describes herself as an unabashed foodie and cook — Martha Stewart is one of her idols — who values the peacefulness of domestic life as much as the fanfare associated with her Hollywood career. Baking cupcakes and crafting are favorite activities for the down-to-earth star with 34.4 million Instagram followers and counting.
As a nod to her love of family, while all the attention at the Met Gala was focused on her dramatic dress, Lively quietly held a reminder of family in her hand, a Judith Leiber clutch designed to resemble the Brooklyn Bridge with the letters B, R, J, I, B down the front, the first initials of her cherished family of five, demonstrating that even when the spotlight glares, Lively grounds herself with what most fills her heart.
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