“Stutterers are my heroes,” the AIS board member and actor told the crowd. “That’s why I am here.”
Blunt opened up to Variety on the red carpet earlier in the evening about her own battle with the speech disorder. “It’s not that you’ll never not be a stutterer. I’ll always be one,” she said. “Occasionally it will sort of rear its head if I’m on set or having to pitch an idea. It’s pressurized situations that are quite hard for stutterers. A pressurized situation where you have to be persuasive and communicative are quite challenging still for me.”
During the gala’s opening remarks, the “Jungle Cruise” star acknowledged that fellow stutterer President Joe Biden had sent his regards and ongoing support to guests, despite not being able to attend. The evening also included a fireside chat with AIS clinicians who provide trailblazing therapy to children across America.
When discussing the fact that stuttering is a prominent hereditary trait in her family, Blunt recalled the different ways her parents tried to deal with her childhood speech disorder.
Laughing amongst a crowd of peers who shared her plight, Blunt said, “My mom sent me to, like, cranial osteopathy. And then she tried everything. I would listen to dolphins at night… I think she thought it was because I wasn’t relaxed. And I was like, ‘No, I am fine! I am calm.’”
At one point, she told the audience her mother even suspected that her cello lessons, where she laid the instrument against her ribcage, were the root of the problem. “She couldn’t white knuckle it,” Blunt said. “You don’t know what it is. You don’t know how to help your child.”
As Eli Golden of Netflix’s upcoming “13: The Musical,” who has dealt with a speech impediment himself, told Variety about hearing Blunt speak: “I think everybody wants to be a little bit like Emily Blunt in some way. The fact that she can do what she does right now is really inspirational.”