If you couldn’t already tell, visiting the set of Mary Poppins Returns was one of our favorite things that we got to do last year. From meeting Lin-Manuel Miranda (who plays Jack) to chatting with production designer John Myhre, it was one of those experiences that you don’t stop dreaming about (and rightfully so). Well, grab your umbrellas because we’re about to bring more magic into your life by unveiling what we learned from Emily Blunt (AKA Mary Poppins) about her exciting role in the film! Here are five things we found out:
- She grew up watching the original film. Like many of us, Emily Blunt is no stranger to the original Mary Poppins. As a child, she found Mary Poppins to be a memorable character that she continued to love as she grew older. “I think the film is one of those films that’s seared into people’s memories as an emblem of their nostalgia in many ways. I remember it very fondly and took great comfort in it as a child. Something struck me about [Mary Poppins] coming in, so capable and so magical, and just sweeping it all up and making it right,” Blunt describes. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!
- She went into the role with the mindset of approaching Mary Poppins as she would any other character.Mary Poppins is a character that has always been perceived as nothing short of wonderful by so many people. This well-known sentiment was even something Mary Poppins Returns hair and make-up artist Peter Swords King kept in mind when creating Mary’s look: “We have to remember she’s practically perfect in every way so her hair is very stylized and it doesn’t move a lot because she’s Mary Poppins. We’ve chosen a style that’s very practical. You try to keep Mary Poppins iconic, you know, she is Mary Poppins.”
Stepping into a role as iconic as Mary Poppins is exciting, but it doesn’t come without nerves. Blunt elaborated on how she went about diving into the role in Mary Poppins Returns: “I just try approach her as I would any other character. And not be caught up in the white noise of, ‘Oh my god, you’re Mary Poppins!’ I think that’s been my main focus, is just to approach her calmly, like any character. How would I play her with what I’m given on the page.”
- The dancing didn’t come easy, but director Rob Marshall makes you feel like you can do anything. The film features musical numbers that not only include singing, but also dancing. Although dancing wasn’t something that came naturally to Blunt, director Rob Marshall helped her gain confidence. “He just has this way of making you feel like you can do anything. He’s got this wonderful ceremonious approach to filmmaking. He makes it magical and special for everybody. You do feel in such safe hands with him, and in the same way he approaches me as an actor, he approaches me as a dancer now. He just wants it to feel like a confident, exciting experience and he wants it to feel characterful as opposed to perfect,” Blunt explains. Is it just us or does it sound like everyone needs a Rob Marshall in their life?
- She’s honored to be able to introduce new songs in the film.
Mary Poppins Returns is comprised of magical new scores and songs that bring the story to life. This is an aspect of the film that Blunt has expressed appreciation. She told us that “to be the person to birth some of these songs has been such a huge honor, really. You’ve got only songs that have been written for me and what my ability is. So in that way it’s felt like a collaborative experience and one that I was invited into.” How great is that?!
- Working with the cast has been inspiring.From all of the kids to Lin-Manuel Miranda, the movie cast that Blunt had the opportunity to work with was in her words, “remarkable.” She further elaborates: “Our kids are particularly brilliant and it’s been wonderful and quite moving to see them grow up in this experience and become quite pros. And Lin [Manuel Miranda] is just thrilling because I think he might be one of the most positive people I’ve ever met, and nothing is a step too far from him and that energy is quite infectious to be around.”
We can probably all agree that there’s just so much to love about Emily Blunt, especially as Mary Poppins. Don’t miss her and the rest of the Mary Poppins Returns cast when the film is in theaters on December 19!