Disclosure: This post is part of my all expense paid trip to Los Angeles, CA provided by Disney, in exchange for coverage. However, opinions are 100% mine.
Included in my recent press trip to Los Angeles for the Mary Poppins Returns Movie world premiere, I had the opportunity and honor to interview Emily Blunt who plays the role of Mary Poppins.
Emily told us that when she told others that she was going to be the iconic “Mary Poppins” in Mary Poppins Returns film, she only got the response, “oh my god” with some gasp. This is a truly iconic role to reprise, but Emily Blunt truly is the perfect fit for the role. Continue reading to learn more about Emily Blunt and her role as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns.
What was your favorite costume to wear and why?
Emily: I have to say I really loved the red suit with the skirt that kind of flowed out when I danced with 30 Lamplighters, I was like yes, you know. And I remember Rob Marshall really wanted like a Ginger Rogers type of look to that and it’s not actually accurate for the time period to have a skirt that opened up like that. So that’s where Sandy Powell, the great Sandy Powell created all those very tight pleats so that it looked very chic and sort of straight-lined. And then when I turned, the whole skirt kind of opened up and she’s just so exciting to work with, Sandy Powell.
I mean all the costumes are so extraordinary but I think the red suit was pretty epic, loved it.
What was your favorite scene in the movie?
Emily: God there were so many that I loved. I mean, I love the poignancy of the Ballad that I sing to the kids cause it’s sort of her revealing her most tender side cause she’s such a weird eccentric lady and she’s stern and shows great humanity and shows great depth because she comes into their lives to heal and to bring order to chaos and reintroduce the idea of Magic but she doesn’t let you know that so it’s sort of exciting to play someone who’s in command of the environment and yet pretends kind of not to be.
And expects nothing in return so I would say that scene with the kids was really moving and then I loved that big, the cover is not the book number, with Lin, it was like wild, you know. That was really fun.
Emily showed us her enthusiasm for this film. If you sat down with Emily to discuss Mary Poppins Returns, you’d feel the magic radiating from her smile and whole being. We listened about her experience reprising Mary Poppins in this amazing film, she talked so much about the songs, the costumes and the film itself. Emily learned so much about Mary Poppins through the books written by P.L. Travers and we could simply tell that she enjoyed this role in the new film so very much.
It’s your version of Mary Poppins, how do you feel about that?
Emily: Well I think she’s much closer to how she is in the book. That’s how I played her. And in the book, she’s incredibly rude and vain and funny and enigmatic and weird. She’s sort of bizarre and layered and so for me, it was sort of how do I find those cracks of humanity in a super human and where are me? And I said to Rob Marshall, I said the sternness, I really want all the sternness and this sort of imperious quality to her, like to drop when she goes into these Fantasias. She should be like an adrenaline junkie and that sort of duality of the character.
You know, that when she goes into these adventures, you’ve got to see her childlike wonder and her thrill and enjoyment of it. And then when it’s over, she pretends none of it happened and she had nothing to do with it. So it’s like so cool playing someone with that duality to them.
Describe the impact of Mary Poppins for you being a Mother?
Emily: I mean, I feel my whole household is full of imagination and childlike wonder cause my kids are so young and so I do feel like I’ve sort of rediscovered life through their eyes really. I mean Hazel is a bit disappointed that there aren’t dolphins in her bathtub so I feel like actually in a way, Mary Poppins has kind of shot me in the foot, like I know I’m only going to be less than. So I think for everyone else like all of their friends are gonna be like your Mum’s Mary Poppins, that’s so cool, and my own kids would be like, you should see it, it’s not like. They are gonna be like she is so not Mary Poppins, yeah.
What’s it like working with Dick Van Dyke?
Emily: Oh My God. It was so overwhelming I have to say because he’s so sprightly and cool, just what a gorgeous human and he walked on set and he just said I feel the same spirit here that was there on the first movie, and of course, we all wanted to cry. And we’d sit around him and just want him to tell us stories about the original and he sang “Jolly Holiday” to me. I was just like that’s it, I could die now, that’s it. I could die and be happy. It’s just lights out, awesome moment.
And I think probably actually my other moment of Oh My God, I’m playing Mary Poppins was in the scene with him where he has that beautiful monologue that was so gorgeous to Michael Banks and we’re all crowded around him and the music starts, and he finishes the monologue and in the scene, he crosses his arms and he looks up at me like that. And I just remember looking at those iconic blue eyes and I was like Wow, that was so wild.
Emily Blunt even chatted about her big dance number that you’ll see in Mary Poppins Returns. This big dance number was done with Lin Manuel and Emily said it was the first time she’d ever done such a big dance number before but the director Rob Marshall and his choreographers made this experience super easy to get into the rhythm and have fun with the performance.
It was honestly so much fun to watch Emily’s face during this interview. You could tell that she still has all of the feels for having the honor to reprise Mary Poppins. Every so often during our interview, Emily would pause and say, “Holy Smokes”, as if the reality that she is Mary Poppins was settling in again. Emily has an amazing personality and I’ll say it again, she truly was the best option to recreate this iconic character from our childhood.
In Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” an all-new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London.
“Mary Poppins Returns” is directed by Rob Marshall. The screenplay is by David Magee and the screen story is by Magee & Rob Marshall & John DeLuca based upon the Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers. The producers are John DeLuca, p.g.a., Rob Marshall, p.g.a. and Marc Platt, p.g.a. with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer. The music score is by Marc Shaiman and the film features all-new original songs with music by Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman. The film also stars Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks; Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks; Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen; Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and introducing Joel Dawson as the Banks’ children, with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins; and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from the PL Travers books and Dick Van Dyke is Mr. Dawes, Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character.
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Mary Poppins Returns releases in theatres nationwide December 19, 2018!
If you’re a huge Mary Poppins fan too, be sure to get your hands on these Mary Poppins Returns Funko Pop Disney Collectibles. These collectibles are the perfect size for stocking stuffers this holiday season and bring home some magic! I was lucky and got Mary Poppins with Kite! Check the others: