Emily Blunt, the British actress, turned mute at the age of 12 because she was so anguished at having a stutter, she has disclosed. Blunt developed the speech impediment at the age of 10 and found it progressively harder to cope.
“I remember that when it first started to kick in I thought it was a habit, but when it really starts to ingrain itself upon you it becomes an anguished situation to live your life in, especially when you’re a kid, when you’re only trying to appear very cool. I was definitely not cool,” said Blunt, who appeared in The Devil Wears Prada and won a Golden Globe nomination for her starring role in The Young Victoria.
Aged 12, she stopped speaking altogether. “[I thought] ‘Why am I like this? Why have I got this stupid voice problem? Everyone else can talk, what’s my problem?’ My friends started to accept my stutter as just who I was but I didn’t like being accepted in that way.
“It felt like a mental mountain that I found impossible to overcome.”
Blunt’s mother took her to see specialists but they failed to help. The stutter disappeared when a teacher suggested Blunt spoke in a Northern accent for a school play. “I wouldn’t say that I ceased to stutter after that, that it was some huge revelation. But for the first time in five years I was able to speak fluently,” she told The Daily Beast website.
The actress, now 27, was speaking before a benefit event in aid of the American Institute for Stuttering.
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