Well+Good

Why Emily Blunt’s childhood stutter could be the secret to her acting success

Photo: Well+Good Creative

After seeing Emily Blunt‘s diversified, flawless, boss-babe turns in movies like The Devil Wears Prada, The Girl on the Train, and Into the Woods, you’d likely never guess a childhood stutter helped the actress stumble into the field. In fact, without the speech problem, she might have never become one of Hollywood’s most beloved leading ladies.

“I used to do a lot of funny voices and accents because I could speak more fluently if I didn’t sound like me,” Blunt told People. And because of those impressions, a teacher suggested that the then-12-year-old Blunt should audition for the school play. “He said, ‘I think you’re funny, and you should do it. Have you ever thought about doing it in a different voice?’ So I did the play in a stupid voice and spoke fluently.”

“I used to do a lot of funny voices and accents because I could speak more fluently if I didn’t sound like me.” —Emily Blunt

Between different forms of therapy growing up and her love of acting, Blunt was able to help put her stutter to rest—but it still resurfaces from time to time. “It still comes back and flares if I’m really tired, or when I was pregnant it was really prominent again,” she said. “It runs in my family. I had an uncle, cousin, grandfather who stuttered.”

Dealing with a stutter isn’t easy—especially during those socially tough, recess-on-the-playground years—but take Blunt’s experience as proof that your struggles don’t have to define you. Instead, make them work for you. Her stutter led her to discover a great passion that gave way to a successful career, so who knows? Whatever you’re dealing with might pan out similarly—so long as you work to view your obstacle as window rather than a closed door.

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