It’s been over fifty years since the original Mary Poppins was released, and for many it is Disney’s greatest. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Emily Blunt, who will play the title role in reboot/sequel Mary Poppins Returns, she admitted: ‘I feel a little more trepidation with this because she’s so emblematic of people’s nostalgia. It’s such an important character in people’s childhood.’
Stepping into the shoes of one of cinema’s most beloved musical characters is undoubtedly daunting. Fortunately, Blunt received a big confidence boost after getting thumbs up from none other than Dame Julie Andrews herself.
Blunt revealed: ‘Rob [Marshall, director of the new film] said he was in the Hamptons, and he saw Julie Andrews and he said, ‘It’s top secret, but Emily Blunt’s playing Mary Poppins.’ And she went, ‘Oh, wonderful!’ I felt like I wanted to cry. It was lovely to get her stamp of approval. That took the edge off it, for sure.’
Other cast members confirmed for the flick include Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame, who will star as a new character opposite Blunt called Jack the street lamplighter. Meryl Streep will play Poppins’ cousin, Topsy, while Ben Whishaw is rumoured to be playing a grown-up Michael Banks.
Blunt also revealed ‘We’re delving into the books a lot more, which is a different version of the character.’ She acknowledged that Mary is ‘a little meaner’ as a result.
Blunt stars in The Girl on the Train, which is out in cinemas soon.