Life Imitates Art: Colin Firth Struggles to Shake King’s Speech Stammer

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The King's Speech

Laurie Sparham / The Weinstein Company / Everett Collection

He perfected the speech impediment while preparing for his Oscar-winning role. Now it appears he’s having trouble parting with it.

Colin Firth was stammer-free throughout his humorous yet humble acceptance speech for the Best Actor Academy Award. But old habits die hard, it seems. Speaking to British magazine WestSide, he explained that he sometimes lapses into the stammer he developed particularly for the movie.

“You can probably hear even from this interview, there are moments when it’s quite infectious,” Firth told the magazine. “You find yourself doing it and if I start thinking about it, the worse it gets. If nothing else it’s an insight in to what it feels like.”

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He learned the stammer through watching archived footage and speeches of King George VI, practicing speaking with the stammer often enough that it became simplistic. Firth notes he paid particular attention to how the king overcame the impediment. Perhaps that’s a lesson that he should take to heart now.

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