Is Kate from 'Sicario' A Real Person? Emily Blunt's FBI Agent Almost Didn't Exist

Emily Blunt tackles a challenging new role in Sicario, a thriller about the war on drug cartels in Mexico. Blunt plays Kate Macer, an FBI agent who is tasked with leading an anti-cartel initiative. In addition to the dangerous nature of the assignment, Macer must also battle with the ethical nature of the U.S. government's role in the war against drugs. Given that the conflict with drug cartels is a real-world issue, is it also possible that Blunt's character Kate in Sicario based on a real person?

In fact, not only does Kate Macer not exist in real life; she almost didn't exist in the film, either. Screenwriter Taylor Sheridan, an actor who is known for his role of Deputy Chief David Hale on Sons of Anarchy, intentionally created the character of Kate as a woman — and then was pressured to rewrite the protagonist as a man. At the Cannes Film Festival, Director Denis Villenueve claimed to Vanity Fair, "The screenplay was written some years ago and people were afraid that the lead part was a female character. I know several times [Taylor Sheridan] had been asked to rewrite the role." Thankfully, Sheridan declined, and eventually found a studio and production team who wanted the script as is. As a result, the character you see on-screen is a courageous, complex woman who stands on her own in a male-dominated world, and Blunt gives the performance her all.

Here are some other actors who've taken on roles of women in law enforcement, government, and general bad-assedness.

Jodie Foster

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Foster's portrayal of FBI agent Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs is nothing short of legendary.

Sandra Bullock

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While it may not have had the most feminist premise, Miss Congeniality saw Bullock as an undercover FBI agent whose instinctual intelligence saved the day. She also performed physical combat onstage in a dress, which I'm guessing is harder than it looks.

Charlize Theron

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Furiosa in Mad Max was one of the best female characters in cinema in recent years, and Theron's performance received rave reviews.

Melissa McCarthy

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McCarthy scored majors laughs in Spy as CIA analyst Susan Cooper, who ends up becoming a field agent in a death-defying mission.

Jessica Chastain

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The character of Maya in Zero Dark Thirty is based on the real-life CIA agent whose efforts played a key role in finding Osama Bin Laden. Chastain won the Academy Award for this role.

These characters, while incredibly different, all had to battle to overcome intimidating opponents — both physical and societal. And even if Kate Macer isn't based on a real person, the character still went through some serious battles to make it to the big screen.

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