Emily Blunt will be the one bringing the magic governess Mary Poppins to life later this year in Mary Poppins Returns. The actress looks near perfect in the first trailer that has been released, but she admits the role wasn't necessarily that easy. Ultimately, while Blunt says she was really excited to take on the part, she says that both the character, and the previous actress to play her, had her more than a bit fearful of taking on the role. According to Blunt...
I was filled with a mixture of two emotions -- I was obviously very excited, but I was also frozen with fear because, well, Mary herself is so iconic, and Julie Andrews is so iconic, too. All I could do was try to see Julie's version as just sort of white noise and try to find my own version of Mary. And what a gift of a character she is!
There's really no argument that both Mary Poppins and Julie Andrews are iconic, and each has achieved that status in part because of the other. Mary Poppins is probably Andrews most famous role alongside Maria from The Sound of Music. Andrews won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in Mary Poppins. The movie helped make Andrews a star, and Andrews performance, in turn, made the movie memorable.
That can certainly be intimidating when you're the one tasked with bringing the character back to life more than 30 years later. Emily Blunt tells the Daily Mail that while she absolutely loved playing Mary Poppins, but, in order to do so, she had to basically put Julie Andrews entirely out of her head and find her own performance. Of course, at the same time, Mary Poppins Returns is also being written as a sequel to the original, so you don't necessarily want the performance to be too different, making the balancing act potentially complicated.
The initial teaser for Mary Poppins Returns only has Mary say a single line, so it's difficult to say exactly how the performance will come across. It does include a call back to the original film, with Mary's reflection seeming to have a mind of its own. I also thought that Emily Blunt's voice actually sounds quite similar to Andrews' performance, though that doesn't mean the two will act exactly the same.
It's going to be a magical Christmas this December when Mary Poppins Returns arrives in theaters. Fans of the original, such as myself, have some pretty high expectations, but with a stellar cast led by Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, and including a returning Dick Van Dyke, there's a lot of reason to be excited.