Jaeden Martell is becoming the go-to actor for Stephen King projects, but horror fans are unused to hearing the actor without his signature stutter heard in It.
Martell, 19, took on the role of Bill Denbrough in the movie adaptation of Stephen King’s novel It (2017) and reprised this role in the sequel two years later. Now, Martell takes on Craig in Mr. Harrigan’s Phone, playing opposite acting legend Donald Sutherland.
The horror film, based on a short story of King’s, released to Netflix on October 5, 2022. But for Stephen King fans, you might be surprised to hear Jaeden Martell take on the role with no stutter to be heard.
No, Jaeden Martell doesn’t have a stutter in real life
If you were convinced by Jaeden Martell’s performance in It, you might be surprised to learn that the young actor does not actually have a stutter.
Jaeden Martell revealed in an interview from 2019 that he perfected his natural-sounding stutter before the audition process, researching the speech impediment on YouTube and watching how other actors (such as Colin Firth in The King’s Speech) carried out the sound.
Bill Denbrough’s stutter is an important part of his character in both the film and book series. He is nicknamed “Stuttering Bill,” so it was essential for the actor taking on the role to portray this.
Jaeden speaks on acting with a speech impediment
As Jaeden Martell does not have a stutter in real life, he underwent training to portray the speech impediment.
“At first, I went over the script and marked off where I wanted him to stutter, then after a while, it became second nature so I would stutter when it felt natural. For a while afterwards, when reading scripts and going over lines for movies or auditions, I was stuttering. My brain was putting the stutter in. I wouldn’t stutter in real life, but I would when rehearsing lines,” Martell revealed in an interview with Boys By Girls.
“I had to tone it down, but it had to be noticeable and it had to be big enough in the moments where Bill felt frustrated with not being able to get his words out,” he continued.
Stephen King fans convinced by Jaeden’s stutter
Jaeden Martell has been praised for his portrayal of a speech impediment in the It movie series. One fan tweeted: “Generally when actors play characters with stutters it sounds at the very least bad if not super offensive so I have to say that Jaeden Martell did Bill’s stutter way better and more naturally.”
Another agreed: “It’s nice because Jaeden was very respectfully informed about the subject.”
Another major production Martell appeared in was Knives Out (2019). After watching the film, one viewer tweeted: “I’m so used to Jaeden Martell having a stutter though, it was weird hearing him without it.
And we’re sure Mr. Harrigan’s Phone viewers are having a similar experience this October.