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Emily Blunt opens up about why the GOP debate "scared" her

By Maggie Parker
Updated September 15, 2015 07:20 PM
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Credit: Anthony Harvey/FilmMagic

Emily Blunt only recently became an official U.S. citizen, but she’s already having second thoughts.

“You know, what scared me was watching the Republican debate after becoming a citizen,” the 32-year-old tells PEOPLE at a special New York screening of her new film Sicario.

In the movie, Blunt plays an FBI agent enlisted to aid in the escalating war on drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. But it wasn’t the violence depicted in the film that got the British-born actress questioning her decision to leave behind the monarchy – it was the GOP debate on Aug. 6.

“That scared me more than this movie,” Blunt says. Asked whether she has any regrets about becoming a U.S. citizen, Blunt laughs and says she will always consider herself only “half American.”

Blunt, who shared the screen with Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow, says she’s proud to be playing a strong woman in Sicario, opposite costars Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin. “I was so thrilled because there are so many women in law enforcement, we just don’t make movies about them,” Blunt tells PEOPLE.

RELATED: Toronto International Film Festival: Cast of Sicario

“The interesting part for me was when I spoke to the four female FBI agents just to get some research on their lifestyle,” she adds, “when I asked them, ‘Do you deal with sexism in you job?’ they all said, ‘Oh, it’s not a problem for me. You just bite back and they’re fine.’ They all had the same sort of response, that it’s not an issue for them. I just loved that, they deal with it, they are very important members of law enforcement, they’re respected. I don’t know, we just don’t see them in cinema much.”

It’s a problem Blunt attributes to sexism in filmmaking.

“I think there is maybe a little more sexism in Hollywood. I think we like to crunch numbers on all of these things. We like to crunch numbers on how women are gonna be received,” says the actress, who has a daughter with husband John Krasinski.

“I hope this film will contribute to changing that.”

Blunt also hopes more actresses will join her in taking on the action industry, mentioning Meryl Streep as an example.

“She could take some people down,” Blunt says, laughing.