Emily Blunt shares Julie Andrews’ reaction to Mary Poppins Returns casting
After a string of increasingly dark roles including Edge of Tomorrow (2014), Sicario (2015), and Oct. 7’s hotly anticipated The Girl on the Train, Emily Blunt is ready to lighten up. “I enjoy the challenge to be versatile… [but] I want to find the silliness again,” she tells EW.
And her next major role will be a big departure from The Girl on the Train: She’s stepping into Julie Andrews’ iconic shoes as Mary Poppins in Rob Marshall’s Mary Poppins Returns, currently slated for a December 2018 release. “I feel a little more trepidation with this [character] because she’s so emblematic of people’s nostalgia,” Blunt says. “It’s such an important character in people’s childhood.”
While Andrews’ version of the magical nanny was sweet but firm, Blunt says her Mary Poppins will be slightly different — closer to the character from P.L. Travers’ original series. “We’re delving into the books a lot more,” she explains, “which is a different version of the character, I’ll say that much.” When she’s reminded that book Poppins is slightly tougher than fans of the 1964 film might expect, Blunt gives a coy smile: “She’s a little meaner, yeah.”
Blunt hadn’t yet spoken to Andrews when she sat down with EW in early August, but Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall had — and he relayed the experience to her. “Rob said he was in the Hamptons, and he saw [Andrews], and he said, ‘It’s top secret, but Emily Blunt’s playing Mary Poppins,’” Blunt recalls. “And she went, ‘Oh, wonderful!’”
“I felt like I wanted to cry,” she says. “It was lovely to get her stamp of approval. That took the edge off it, for sure.”
I’ve added some photos of Emily attending The Hollars New York screening (August 18). I’ll be updating the gallery with missing event photos as soon as possible.
Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin are reprising their characters for the sequel to 2015 drama Sicario. The crime thriller revolved around an FBI attempt to take down a Mexican drug cartel with the help of a shady character, played by Del Toro.
“We’re in full development with the studio,” producer Molly Smith told The Hollywood Reporter. “I just got a draft (of the script), and we’re really excited.”
Fellow producer Trent Luckinbill added, “We can’t reveal the plot, but you’ll see them (Blunt, Del Toro and Brolin) all come back. “You have such a great character with Benicio, who was as dark as he was… That character resonates so well with audiences. People want to know what happened to him, so it’s a perfect foray for us to explore.”
A director for the sequel has yet to be named, but the producers hope Denis Villeneuve will return. “He’s a busy man, but he’s certainly part of the process with us right now,” Luckinbill added.
Emily Blunt is bored by comparisons between her The Huntsman: Winter’s War character and Elsa from Frozen.
The British actress plays Freya, a royal sorceress with freezing powers in the new fairytale movie, and it has been observed that the character bears a striking resemblance to the frosty magical princess in Disney’s blockbuster. Emily said the comparison was “boring” when asked at a press conference in London if she’d used Frozen as a reference for her performance.
“It’s just because we’ve got white hair,” she joked before adding, “I watched Frozen a hundred times and I’m very disappointed there’s not a song in this movie. “No, it was not really a reference point; it was actually a case of (me thinking), ‘Oh God, I’m going to be asked a lot of Frozen questions. How boring.”
Freya, the sister of the evil Queen Ravenna – played by Charlize Theron – becomes a feared icy enchantress at the start of the new movie after a tragic event awakens her magical powers. Instead of being a new version of Elsa, Emily feels her character is a complex one with deep moral motivations, despite her villainy.
“The origin of the character is a very normal girl with normal hopes and desires for life,” the actress said. “She just wants to get married and have a child, then suffers this great loss and through that she becomes hardened. “Her hair turns white and she becomes this ice queen who just wants to kidnap children and strip love out of their lives, with good intentions, obviously, as she wants to protect them from future heartbreak.”
Emily Blunt’s daughter is “coming around” to the idea of having a sibling.
The 33-year-old actress is expecting her second child with husband John Krasinski. They already have a two-year-old, Hazel, and Emily admits it has taken some time for her to understand that their family will soon be expanding. “She’s coming around to the idea of it (the baby) now,” Emily told British television show This Morning. “She dismissed it wholeheartedly when I first brought it up and now she’s quite excited I think!”
Emily’s latest role sees her star as Freya in The Huntsman: Winter’s War. For the part, the actress was transformed with white hair, pale skin and an array of incredible costumes. However, when it came to Hazel visiting her on set, Emily laughed that the tot was not worried by her mother’s makeover.
“The thing that was strange was that she had no reaction whatsoever to me being in costume and full hair and make-up,” Emily said. “It’s just a Friday night for Hazel, it’s just how I dress on a Friday night I guess! “It was quite moving in a way because I think you realise that children don’t really see all of that (the hair and make-up). They just pick up on your essence and that you’re still their mother. She was just completely unfazed by it.”
British star Emily confirmed her second pregnancy back in January. Since then, she has been trying to take it easy as much as possible recently, but acknowledges that having a two-year-old is making this pregnancy a little more interesting than the first.
“It’s fine. I’m not working that much. I’m just doing a few days of press here and there, it’s really totally fine,” she shared. “And I think the first pregnancy you’re very self indulgent in some ways. It’s all about you and having naps and pre-natal yoga and all that stuff. And this time around it’s not really the same – you’re running around after a child that you already have…!”