Emily Blunt is on the board for the American Institute for Stuttering because it’s a cause that she can relate to personally. Emily used to be a stutterer until she was 14 years old.
“I think it started to eke itself out; between the age of 7 and 14 was when it was really bad,” Emily explained to New York Magazine. “And around 12 it was at its worst. Not an awkward age at all to be unable to speak. Some people can grow out of it. It’s easier for girls, funnily enough. Genetically, it’s more common in boys.”
But Emily did eventually grow out of it with some help from a teacher.
“I had a really amazing teacher at that age, when I was 12, and he was really kind and helpful and encouraged me to be in the class plays, which previously I had no interest in being in ’cause I couldn’t talk. He said, ‘Well, why don’t you try it in a different voice? Try to do a funny voice or an accent. Maybe that would help,’ ” the actress recalled. “But it really did, I was actually able to speak fluently. Once you’re able to hear yourself speak fluently, albeit in a ridiculous accent, you gain the confidence to think this could happen again and again.”
“It was easier after that night, of that school play. It all became a bit easier.”
And in case you’re wondering if she saw Colin Firth in The King’s Speech, she did. And she “absolutely loved it.”
“It was the most authentic portrayal of a stutterer I have ever seen,” she said. “I spoke to Colin about it and was in wonderment how he managed to do it. Apparently the screenwriter had also had a stutter, which was really helpful. He really managed to capture that hesitancy, that vocal-cords-locking-out syndrome that happens.”
“What’s exciting about what Colin did was he actually put a face to stuttering, actually opened up people’s minds around the world to the plight of someone who has one,” Emily added. “So I think a lot of stutterers are very grateful to that film and the awareness he brought.”