Emily Blunt Opens Up About The Disorder She Lived With For Years

A stutter in their speech hasn't deterred numerous public figures from pursuing careers in the limelight. President Joe Biden, despite speaking for a living most of his life, stuttered heavily as a child. As he told a 2020 CNN town hall, reciting poetry to a mirror helped Biden manage it (although he still stutters "occasionally, when I find myself really tired.")

For pop singer-songwriter phenom Ed Sheeran, his stutter was the result of a medical procedure as a child. After attempting various speech therapies with little success, Sheeran discovered that rapping along to Eminem's "The Marshall Mathers LP" did the trick. "I learned every word of it back to front," Sheeran explained during a 2015 speech at the American Institute for Stuttering. "He raps very fast and very melodically, and very percussively, and it helped me get rid of the stutter."  

As for Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman, she speaks stutter-free these days, slipping in and out of accents at work, but she stuttered as a child out of nerves. During a 2011 Newsweek roundtable, Kidman revealed she would often get "so excited to get it out and I couldn't ... I just remember everyone always saying to me, 'Calm down, think about what you're going to say.'" Luckily, the "Being the Ricardos" star "grew out of it."

Kidman is far from the only thespian to have struggled with a speech impediment. Like Kidman, you would never guess from Emily Blunt's film roles, but she lived with a stutter as well for years. 

Emily Blunt wants to shine a spotlight on fellow stutterers

At July 11's American Institute for Stuttering (AIS)'s 2022 Freeing Voices Changing Lives Gala, Emily Blunt told People the importance of raising awareness about a "disability people don't know much about" — and one which many didn't know she struggles with. For Blunt, she discovered that immersing herself in roles alleviated her stutter as a teen, if not outright curing it. "Once you are a stutterer, you will always be a stutterer," she said during a gala speech. "I wouldn't say that's why I've ventured into acting," Blunt told People. "But it was just a bit shocking the first time I was able to speak, you know, doing a silly voice or an accent pretending to be someone else." 

Three facts Blunt emphasized about stuttering was that "it's biological and it's often hereditary and it's not your fault," per People. With her grandfather, uncle and cousin all afflicted with the speech disorder, Blunt noticed her own stutter at six or seven years of age. 

An AIS board member, Blunt has been attending the foundation's fundraising galas for years, often acting as the Mistress of Ceremonies. In a 2019 gala interview, Blunt summarized the heart of her work with AIS, saying, "In this environment that we're in right now where we're working valiantly against that — I think we need to raise awareness that stutterers out there need a great deal of support, and there are a lot of us."