Jason Schwartzman Saving Mr. Banks

How early in the process did you actually get to meet Richard Sherman?

Like, let’s see, I met, I signed on to being in the movie in late June/early July, and I met him two weeks later.

I have to imagine, that has to be the richest resource of anything.

It is the richest resource, because his memory is like a laser, and because he’s a storyteller, he really knows how to explain things to you in a way that you can understand and he’s excited to tell you stories. It’s not like, it’s not like he can’t be bothered. He wants to explain it and make it make sense and I just asked him lots of questions and he also was like, he was such a tremendous resource, like he gave me all his demos and all of like, his demos, the sheet music, all of the P.L. Travers sessions and my piano teacher and I transcribed all of the music from that and I learned the style that he played piano at that time was. I was trying to learn the songs based on like, you know, if you buy a Mary Poppins song book at the store, that’s sort of like a more of a generalized rendition of the music.

It’s not really the exact same thing.

As opposed to how it would be if you were to play it for someone in a demonstrative form. Does that mean demonstrate, demonstrative? Like if you were to show someone a song, so I got to learn the songs in the style that would have been more correct in 1961.

Is what we hear your piano playing?

Yeah, for the most part.

It must be insanely meta for that kind of thing.

Well, for me, honestly, that was the way into the whole thing because I just spent hours just playing the songs and learning them and slowing them down. It really just helped me get into the idea of what it would have been like to write these, because you know, in a way, I play more music in the movie than I speak and I sort of felt then that’s his voice.

You’re speaking through the music, totally.

I wanted to speak correctly.

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