Julie Andrews Said Her Role in ‘Duet for One’ Was 1 of Her Most Challenging

Julie Andrews is one of the entertainment industry’s most beloved actors, a star who is probably best known for her work in musicals and comedies. From The Sound of Music to The Princess Diaries, Andrews has appeared in some of the most beloved films of the past few decades – and for fans worldwide, her buoyant personality and charming demeanor are the perfect accompaniments to any lighthearted productions. Still, Andrews has also made waves with some of her dramatic choices. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Andrews opened up about what it was like to film the 1986 British drama Duet for One, revealing that it was one of the hardest projects she’s ever taken on. 

What is ‘Duet for One’ about?

By the time Duet for One was released, Julie Andrews was one of the biggest stars in the world, well-known for her parts in classics such as Mary Poppins. Her incredible singing voice and fresh-faced beauty made Andrews a hit with fans of all ages – and when Duet for One hit theaters in 1986, viewers and critics sat up and took notice.

The film starred Andrews as a renowned concert violinist named Stephanie Anderson, who is struck when she is suddenly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Slowly, Stephanie’s world crumbles as her connections and family abandon her, and she loses the ability to play the instrument she loves so much. According to IMDb, Duet for One ends ambiguously, with Stephanie succumbing to an overdose and dreaming about all the people in her inner circle returning to support her. 

What did Andrews say about ‘Duet for One’ being her hardest acting role?

Julie Andrews and Alan Bates posing for 'Duet for One' during a photo shoot
Julie Andrews and Alan Bates posing for ‘Duet for One’ | Bill Kennedy/Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair on YouTube, Julie Andrews discussed some of her most iconic acting roles, including her part in Duet for One. After discussing how the screenplay for Duet for One “came across” her desk, Andrews revealed, “In this case, I played a violinist. It was one of the hardest films, in terms of getting into the role, that I’ve ever done.”

“I’ve had to do longer films and more exhausting films, but this one was deeply sad,” Andrews said. “And I was confined to a wheelchair most of the time. I did a lot of research and went to the clinics where a lot of patients would go for counseling or to get together. They were very, very helpful to me and it’s such a terrible illness.” The veteran star described how the film wasn’t a big box office success, opening on Christmas day and closing just several days later. Still, Andrews noted that she’s “very proud” of having worked on the film.

Julie Andrews hasn’t acted in many dramatic productions

Certainly, Duet for One isn’t Julie Andrews’ best-known project. In fact, it stands as one of the few dramatic roles that the star has ever taken on. A few of her other dramatic parts over the years include the 1966 film Hawaii, the political thriller Torn Curtain, released that same year, and That’s Life!, released in 1986. In the 1990s, Andrews took a step back from filmmaking, retiring to live a more private life.

Fans were thrilled when she burst onto the scene in 2001 with a prime role in The Princess Diaries. Since then, Andrews has worked consistently, lending her skills to movies and shows as a voice actor, launching her own podcast, and even stepping in front of the camera from time to time. 

RELATED: Julie Andrews Says This Word When Smiling For Pictures Instead of ‘Cheese’