Ever since it was confirmed that Dick Van Dyke would be making a cameo in Mary Poppins Returns, moviegoers have been waiting with bated breath for the announcement that Julie Andrews would be doing the same. Unfortunately, it has now sadly been confirmed that the 81-year-old actress, who picked up the Best Actress Academy Award for her performance as the world’s most famous nanny, won’t actually be appearing in Mary Poppins Returns.
But while this news is understandably devastating, the actress has a very good and utterly lovely reason for deciding against appearing in the film. That’s because Julie Andrews doesn’t want to get in the way of Emily Blunt, who is replacing her as Mary Poppins, especially because Andrews is convinced that the Sicario actress is the perfect choice to step into her shoes. Director Rob Marshall recently revealed that Julie Andrews won’t be appearing in Mary Poppins Returns, confirming that he’d approached her about doing so but this request was instantly dismissed.
“Julie will always be, for me and for everybody, the most astonishing performance as Mary Poppins, winning the Oscar and bursting onto the scene so brilliantly. But Emily is the perfect person to carry the torch, and I know Julie feels the exact same way. She loves her. Julie was incredibly gracious, and we talked about it in a very general way but she made it clear right up front. She said, ‘This is Emily’s show, and I really want it to be Emily’s show. I don’t want it to be, ‘Oh, here comes that Mary Poppins.’ I don’t want that. I really want her to take this and run with it, because she will be brilliant.’”
Rob Marshall made the above remarks to Entertainment Weekly during the publication’s visit to the set of Mary Poppins Returns. It wasn’t as though Rob Marshall and Julie Andrews were complete strangers when he asked her to join the film, too. That’s because the duo previously worked together on the 1995 Broadway play Victor/Victoria, where he helped with her choreography.
Rob Marshall and Julie Andrews have remained close friends ever since this collaboration. When he decided to ask her about appearing in Mary Poppins Returns, a request he made alongside his producing partner John DeLuca at a party several years ago, Rob Marshall knew he’d be getting an honest response. Sadly, it wasn’t the answer that fans were hoping for.
The lack of a Julie Andrews cameo in Mary Poppins Returns might actually be a positive for the film. Emily Blunt has admitted that her main inspiration for her interpretation of the character doesn’t actually come from Julie Andrews’ original performance in the iconic 1964 musical.
Emily Blunt admitted to Entertainment Weekly that she did start to watch the film for tips, but soon decided that doing so was a hindrance.
“I started to watch the film and then decided that wasn’t the way that would best serve me trying to come up with something original, so I just read the books and I found so much there. The books quickly became the source for me. I’m one of these people that, when I have an instinct about a character and I find an ‘in,’ I just go with it. The character jumped off the page and I immediately had an instinct about how to play her, and it’s in the direction the books were leading me to go.”
We’ll finally get to see what Emily Blunt does as the character of Mary Poppins when Mary Poppins Returns is released on December 25, 2018. And from the sound of things, Julie Andrews will be the first in line to support her heiress.
[Featured Image by Disney]