Julie Andrews Repeatedly ‘Bit the Dust’ Filming the Opening Scene of ‘The Sound of Music’

Bloopers and outtakes are often a delightful way for fans to go behind the scenes on their favorite shows and films. We see these perfect, polished final products, but getting to see our favorite stars mess up their lines or totally miss a stunt helps demonstrate both just how hard these stars work to get it right and the fact that they’re human just like us — with the benefit of editing and a makeup team.

Still, we mostly associate bloopers with comedies where the actors can’t stop cracking up at their own jokes or action movies where a thrilling scene flops. If we had a blooper reel for The Sound of Music, it turns out that we’d see Julie Andrews taking a tumble during the iconic opening scene. 

Julie Andrews is a beloved classic actor

Andrews is an iconic actor who has starred in some classic films in cinematic history. Born in 1935 in England, Andrews got her start in entertainment as a young adult doing stage work in her home country throughout the late 1940s.

As Biography.com reports, she moved to America and starred in the musical The Boyfriend in the mid-1950s. She continued to wow in stage productions of My Fair Lady — playing Eliza Doolittle, the role Audrey Hepburn would bring to the big screen — and Camelot.

The Sound of Music cast member Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews | Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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In 1964, Andrews made the leap from the stage to film, but her filmography heavily leans on her stage skills — especially her experience with musicals. Her two biggest and most memorable roles were as Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music and the title role in Mary Poppins.

Andrews would continue on to undertake many other film projects — including several with her husband Blake Edwards. Unfortunately, a botched surgery meant that Andrews lost her famous singing voice in 1997, but she has continued to have notable appearances including voice work in Shrek 2 and Despicable Me

‘The Sound of Music’ is a long-standing fan favorite

The Sound of Music premiered more than 50 years ago, but it remains a fan favorite to this day. The tale is set in 1930s Austria and follows Maria, a young woman who left a convent after proving to be too disruptive to become a nun.

Meanwhile, widower and Navy Captain Georg von Trapp is in desperate need of a governess for his seven unhappy and mischief-loving children. Former governesses had run from the job after the children intentionally tormented them into quitting, but strong-willed Maria proves up to the task — with the help of a song

The lighthearted tale takes a turn for the romantic when Georg and Maria find themselves falling in love, but Maria’s commitment to a life as a nun and Georg’s existing engagement to be married to someone else add a flair of drama to the mix.

In the end, though, their individual struggles are dwarfed by the looming threat of Nazi rule as World War II begins. 

Julie Andrews took many tumbles filming ‘The Sound of Music’

Andrews’ character is marked by her poise and kindness, but Andrews revealed that her real-life performance was a bit less graceful — especially during one iconic scene. The opening sequence of the film features a smiling Andrews twirling alone on a mountainside field as she sings the title song. It’s idyllic and peaceful, setting the tone for the happy moments that will fill most of the film to come. 

The filming of the scene, however, was far less gentle. Andrews recounts that the helicopter circling her in order to shoot the scene made it very difficult to keep her balance. It was so difficult, in fact, that she repeatedly found herself taking a tumble on the steep hill. As Good Housekeeping reports, Andrews explained: “I really tried. I mean, I braced myself, I thought, ‘It’s not going to get me this time.’ And every single time, I bit the dust.”