Mary Poppins Returns is set to land in theaters on December 19, and with less than a month to go, anticipation for the sequel is amping up considerably. The cast and crew have spoken about the magic of getting involved with the legendary story of the beloved English nanny, and Lin Manuel-Miranda has even shared which part of the film was the hardest for him to create.
The Hamilton star has taken on the role of a lamp-lighter who is a friend to Mary Poppins, much like Burt the chimney-sweep was her friend in the original film.
As reported by People, the 38-year-old actor appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday, speaking about the upcoming film and explaining that a period of about 10 seconds in the final cut of the movie was probably the hardest thing he’s ever had to do in his life.
“You would think it’s the incredibly elaborate dance numbers, and that was hard. But there’s one scene in this movie where I light a lamp, ride a bike, steal an apple from a cart, throw it to an orphan child all while singing in a Cockney accent. That moment is the hardest 10 seconds of my life.”
According to Manuel-Miranda, this film is taking place about 25 years after the original film, and Poppins is returning to the same children — Jane and Michael Banks — now all grown up and with families of their own. Jane and Michael are portrayed by Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw respectively, while the role of Mary Poppins herself, made so popular in the original by Julie Andrews, has been taken on by Emily Blunt for this installment.
“She’s absolutely perfect in this movie and it is not hard to pretend to be having fun with Mary Poppins on these amazing adventures,” Manuel-Miranda said of working with Blunt on the set. “It was one of the best jobs of my life.”
Blunt spoke earlier in 2018 about her part in the film, and shared that she had not rewatched the original in preparation for playing Mary Poppins. She called the character “batty, eccentric, hilarious and incredibly rude and vain” from her readings of the books, and admitted she has made Mary Poppins her own in working on the film, rather than trying to recreate Andrews’ version of the nanny.
“I like that idea that she sweeps in and takes it all over and makes everything great. Really this is my version of her.”