Skip to main content

Emily Blunt’s Issue With Acting Alongside Meryl Streep Again In Mary Poppins Returns

Emily freezes up in Devil Wears Prada

Things at the movie theater are going a bit differently this Holiday Season. Star Wars isn't releasing a new blockbuster, potentially opening up the market for another release. While action fans will be interested in James Wan's Aquaman, all eyes are on what Disney will do with Mary Poppins Returns. Rob Marshall is directing a sequel to the 1964 classic, with Emily Blunt taking on the practically perfect role from Julie Andrews.

Mary Poppins Returns also has an impressive supporting cast, including appearances by legends like Angela Lansbury and Meryl Streep. The latter is playing Mary's eccentric cousin Topsy, marking the third time Blunt and Streep have acted opposite each other on the silver screen. While both the actresses and the fans seem eager to see this pairing again, Blunt has one problem with the upcoming appearance: their characters are at odds. As she tells it,

It is a bit hilarious that we always play people who are contentious with one another. From Prada to the Witch and the Baker's Wife and now to cousins who drive each other insane, I did finally ask her, 'When are we gonna play lovers or something?!' She said, 'Dream on.'

That Meryl Streep. In addition to being the most celebrated actor ever, she's got a sense of humor as well. Because while Emily Blunt would rather play a friendly character with Streep after duking it out in The Devil Wears Prada and Into The Woods, Streep was sure to sass her, and let her know it's never going to happen. Typical Miranda Priestly.

Emily Blunt's comments to EW once again show what a close relationship she and Meryl Streep have formed over the years. The Devil Wears Prada was a star-making moment for Blunt, as she played Miranda's subservient assistant-- also named Emily. The movie was a smash, and the duo of actresses evidently got quite close. In fact, Blunt ended up honoring Meryl during her 2011 Kennedy Center Honors ceremony. But despite their good rapport, they've always at odds on screen.

Still, movie fans love the pairing of Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep, as the actresses seem to play off each other well. Streep is also a common collaborator with Amy Adams, with that duo earning their share of award nominations together. Mary Poppins Returns looks like its going to have a solid Awards Season this year, as the musical sequel has already racked up a handful of Golden Globe noms.

The 2019 Golden Globe nominations were only recently announced, with Mary Poppins Returns having a solid, albeit surprising performance. The sequel ultimately got four nominations, those being Best Motion Picture Comedy, Best Actress in a Comedy (Emily Blunt), Best Actor in a Comedy (Lin-Manuel Miranda), and Best Original Score. Surprisingly, none of Marc Shaiman's new songs were nominated for Best Song, with those spots being taken up by tracks from A Star Is Born, Boy Erased, Black Panther, Dumplin', and A Private War. That's definitely a big surprise, considering how much music factors into Mary Poppins movies.

The Witch tells the Baker's Wife the quest in Into The Woods

While Mary Poppins and Meryl Streep's Topsy are cousins, they've been teased to have a somewhat strained relationship in Mary Poppins Returns. While the film hasn't hit theaters yet, it should be interesting to see how Topsy helps shine a light on Mary's mysterious family. Her Uncle was a side character in the first film, singing "I Love To Laugh", so perhaps Meryl's character is related to him? We'll have to wait and see. But clearly, she and Mary aren't best buddies.

Meryl Streep and Emily Blunt's performances in The Devil Wear Prada were serious highlights for the 2006 movie. Streep ultimately got an Oscar nomination for her performance as Miranda Priestly, while Emily Blunt's career seemed to skyrocket in the wake of the film's success. Miranda throws endless insults Emily's way throughout the course of the movie, with the latter's eagerness to please adding plenty of moments of comedy throughout the film's runtime.

After nearly a decade apart, Meryl Strep and Emily Blunt would once again appear onscreen together in 2014's Into The Woods. Based off the beloved Broadway musical of the same name, both actresses belted out tunes by Stephen Sondheim, while also bringing realism and heartfelt performances to their respective characters The Witch and The Baker's Wife.

Unfortunately, it also put the actresses at odds onscreen together. The main plot of Into The Woods revolves around the Baker and his wife assembling items to appease The Witch. She mocks and sometimes frightens the couple, eventually getting what she wants and reversing the curse that kept them from having a child. So yeah, they weren't exactly buddies in that project

Into The Woods also has particular significance in regards to Mary Poppins Returns. That movie musical was helmed by Oscar winning director Rob Marshall. Marshall also ended up directing Mary Poppins Returns, crafting the new version of the title character around Emily Blunt. And since he worked with her and knew her voice from Woods, she was offered the role on the spot.

As for Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep's performances in Mary Poppins Returns, they're largely a mystery. While some songs and clips of Emily Blunt have been revealed ahead of the film's release, Streep and her character Topsy haven't been shown much. Aside from a brief shot of Meryl in the movie's trailer, the size of her role and how she relates to the main narrative are currently a mystery. But one thing is clear: she's not going to be the best of friends with her practically perfect cousin.

Mary Poppins Returns will pick up with the Banks family on Cherry Tree Lane, decades after the events of the original film. Jane and Michael are now fully grown adults, and Michael has three young children of his own. With the family grieving Michael's wife and in some financial trouble, Mary once again returns to take care of the Banks children-- both generations of them.

Mary Poppins' master plan and Meryl Streep's role will be revealed when Mary Poppins Returns finally arrives on December 19th, 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Corey Chichizola
Corey Chichizola

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.