AS Britain’s favourite nanny Mary Poppins, she sprinkles magic over the lives of the children in her care.
But Emily Blunt’s own formative years were far from the “practically perfect” tag from the classic kids’ story.
Life for the future Bafta-winning actress was blighted by a debilitating stutter, which brought relentless mocking by her classmates.
Aged 12, she stopped speaking altogether. She recalled: “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.”
However today, 35-year-old Emily has the last laugh on the bullies, as a Hollywood star with an £11million fortune, the lifestyle to match — and the lead role in top film for Christmas, Mary Poppins Returns.
She has certainly come a long way since her desperate parents Joanna and Oliver enrolled her in various therapies to try to cure her stammer.
It was only when Emily discovered acting in her teens that she began to overcome it.
She said: “It still comes back and flares if I’m really tired. When I was pregnant it was really prominent again.”
As well as her stammer, Emily had to put up with fellow pupils’ mickey-taking over her surname.
She said: “It was like a curse to be called my name as a child. Names like ‘Blunt pencil’, led on to the unimaginable — or the imaginable — as I got older.”
It all seems a far cry from her current life Stateside.
In 2010 she married US actor and director John Krasinski and they now have two daughters, Hazel and Violet.
In 2015 Emily became an American citizen but is still a proud Brit, saying: “It’s mainly for tax reasons. I didn’t want to renounce my Queen.”
And soon afterwards, after watching a televised Republican presidential nominee debate featuring Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, she controversially joked that she regretted her move.
Emily said: “I became an American citizen recently, and that night we watched the Republican debate and I thought, ‘This was a terrible mistake. What have I done?’”
Fox News presenter Steve Doocy claimed she had alienated half the country and said people would think twice before watching her films.
Despite one or two such hiccups Emily seems to have settled happily in Hollywood. She said: “I thought it was a horrible place, but I’ve learned to really like it, and we’ve made a good life out here.”
Unfortunately, hubby John, 39, who starred in the US version of The Office, has found it less easy to adjust to life when the couple visit Britain.
Emily said: “I think Americans are so welcoming to British people but I don’t think it works the other way round.”
She recalled how John would go to a cafe near her old flat and come back to tell her, “They’re always so horrible to me.”
Emily responded: “Take your baseball cap off. That’s why. No one wears baseball hats in England. You look so American.”
For three years Emily dated Canadian singer Michael Buble after meeting him backstage at a concert in 2005.
The couple shared a home in Vancouver but split up in 2008 amid rumours that he had cheated on her.
Michael has since said that he was “careless” and a “jerk”.
And it seems he is not alone in recognising Emily’s charms — her Mary Poppins co-star Emily Mortimer is just as enthusiastic.
Before the film’s release she said: “Emily Blunt is f***ing brilliant as Mary Poppins, that is all I can say.
“And really sexy. I think she is going to be a really sexy Mary Poppins.”
Sexy or not, Emily hates the racier side of cinema, including the X-rated scenes.
She said: “They’re just mortifying. I find it so clinical.”
Her male co-stars clearly don’t always share her view. When asked if a man she was filming with had ever got aroused, she replied: “Once. I think the reaction was . . . we were filming, and we were like, ‘Oop!’ I felt it against my leg.”
She recalled another embarrassing scene, from the 2012 movie Arthur Newman, in which she and Colin Firth played runaway lovers in America.
Emily said: “There was this one particular scene where I’m doing something sexual to Colin.
“We’d broken into an old people’s house so we were in these old people’s dressing gowns.
“They’d cast two elderly actors as the couple who owned the property and I don’t think they’d told them what to expect when they walked in.
“They came in and I could just see their jaws drop.
“Colin went up afterwards and she said with this Southern drawl, ‘Oh I love The King’s Speech’.
“And he said, ‘Ah well, thank you, I’m sure after this you probably won’t see this movie’. She went, ‘Oh no, I’ll definitely be seeing this film’.”
But Emily is determined her naked film scenes are all in the past. She said: “I’m not so keen on doing nudity, because I’m not 22 any more.
“And actually it’s not so much a moral thing as ‘I’ve done it before and do I really want to do it again?’
“Does it serve the film or is it gratuitous and seeing someone’s t*ts for the sake of it? Because I don’t think it’s necessary most of the time.”
In 2015 Emily vetoed a nude scene in crime movie Sicario and said: “It came out because we didn’t agree with it.”
When asked who “we” were, she replied: “My t*ts! They said, ‘We’re not doing it.’”
Emily grew up in London, the second of four children. Dad Oliver is a QC and her uncle, Crispin, is the Tory MP for Reigate, in Surrey.
Emily still has a strong relationship with her dad and follows his cases intently.
After one trial in 2015 she even called one of his victorious clients to congratulate him, saying: “I just wanted to say how happy I am to hear the fantastic news. I’m so pleased for you.’’
Even at a young age Emily could turn on the charm, mixing with the highest society — and sometimes dispensing with proper protocol.
Once she met Princess Margaret and thrust her “practically decaying” cuddly toy under her nose.
“Oh yes,” the Princess said, “I see that he is very well loved.”
Years later, during the summer holidays from boarding school, fledgling actress Emily performed at the Edinburgh Fringe festival — and was signed up by an agent.
It was the start of the career that led to Hollywood, where her big break came in 2006 when she played an uptight fashion assistant in The Devil Wears Prada.
But despite her success, she would not recommend her career.
She said: “It is a business that you enter into, especially as I did, and it appears to be made of rainbows and sunbeams.
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“Then you realise it’s called showbusiness because it is a business . . . you have to approach it in a harder way. I think you have to wear a helmet.
“You’re part of a machine that is moving and will overwhelm and drown you if you’re not tough in it.
“It’s a very precarious industry that can often be quite crushing, so any advice I have for anyone going into it is to do something else.”
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