Emily Blunt's stutter felt like 'an imposter' in her body


Emily Blunt's childhood stutter felt like "an imposter living in [her] body".

The 'A Quiet Place' actress battled a speech impediment when she was growing up which made it difficult for her to pronounce her own name, and has said the stutter was passed down through her family, and felt as though there was someone else living inside her body who prevented her from speaking.

She said: "I started noticing it at six or seven [years old]. My grandfather, my uncle and my cousin all stutter. It feels like you've got this imposter living in your body."

Emily, 37, overcame her stutter when she was a teenager, after a teacher noticed she was able to speak freely whenever she launched into impersonations.

The teacher then encouraged Emily to audition for the school play, and the actress found the more she lost herself in characters, the less self-conscious she was and the more her stutter would diminish.

Now, the 'Mary Poppins Returns' star helps other children find similar ways to cope with the speech impediments through her work with the American Institute for Stuttering (AIS).

She explained: "Well, I think of all the causes, my work with the stuttering community is the one that pierces my heart probably most profoundly because of my own personal experience with it ... I know it in every nuance and so to be able to help and to be able to offer up any advice or assistance or emboldenment that I can, it just is the greatest pleasure for me because it's a very misunderstood, misrepresented disability, and ... it's one that is very often bullied and laughed at because people look funny and sound funny when they stutter."

Emily - who has two daughters, Hazel, six, and Violet, three, with her husband John Krasinski - also wants to encourage children to "fall in love" with their stutter.

Speaking to People magazine, she added of the AIS: "They understand that how these kids relate to their stutter is usually the issue. You've got to fall in love with the fact that you've got a stutter to accept it. But it's not all of you. Everyone's got something - and this is just your thing."