MARY POPPINS RETURNS Only Emily Blunt Could Do It

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Award winning actress Emily Blunt stars as Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns, a sequel to the classic 1964 film.  She leads an all-star cast including Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Emily Mortimer, and Ben Wishaw.  The stunning musical is directed by Academy Award winner Rob Marshall with music by Tony Award winner Marc Shaiman.

THE CALL FOR MARY POPPINS RETURNS

At a press conference for Mary Poppins Returns, Emily Blunt described how she joined the project.  “I think [Rob Marshall] even called my agent and said something big is coming down the pike for Emily. And I got a voice mail from Rob, who is my dear friend, and we have known each other a long time, and the voice mail certainly had a sort of charged energy to it. Like I was, “Oh my god, what is it,” you know?  What is this project?  And when he called me, because he is so beautifully ceremonious and wants every moment of the process to feel special and transporting and memorable for you, that even the phone call had such a sense of ceremony to it.”

SAYING YES TO MARY POPPINS RETURNS

“He said, “We’ve been digging through the Disney archives and, we’ve been and by far their most prized possession.”  And I was like “What, what is that?”  I couldn’t think, like what it was, you know, and when you said Mary Poppins, I thought like the air changed in the room.  It was so extraordinary, such an extraordinary rather unparalleled moment for me, because I was filled with an instantaneous yes. But also, with some trepidation, all happening simultaneously in that moment because she is so iconic.  She had such a big imprint on my life and on everyone’s lives. People hold this character so close to their hearts.”

Jane (Emily Mortimer), John (Nathanael Saleh), Annabel (Pixie Davies), Ellen (Julie Walters). Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) Georgie (Joel Dawson) and Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) in Disney’s original musical MARY POPPINS RETURNS

CREATING A NEW VERSION OF MARY

“And so, you know, how do I create my version of her?  What will my version of her be because there’s no point?  No one wants to see me do a sort of cheap impersonation of Julie Andrews because no one is Julie Andrews.  And so, she should be preserved and treasured in her own way of what she did.  And so, I knew this was going to be something that I wanted to take a big swing with, and I knew I could do it with this man who is the most emboldening, meticulous, brilliant director in the world. I was in safe hands with him.   However much I knew I had my work cut out for me.”

Director Rob Marshall added, “And can I just add one quick thing. That there is not another person on this planet who could have played that part but you, no one.”

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