Was Emily Blunt Intimidated By Playing Mary Poppins? What She Said About the Iconic Character

British actress Emily Blunt poses for photographers

British actress Emily Blunt poses for photographers | DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

It’s almost hard to believe we’re talking about a movie sequel called Mary Poppins Returns 54 years later when no one thought it was creatively possible. Yet, when you add the appeal of Emily Blunt to the equation, you can see why it was hard for anyone to say no.

We already know her as one of the most beautiful actresses in the film industry, including being one half of one of the most popular married celebrity couples (i.e. John Krasinski).

What’s most impressive is Blunt didn’t wither under the pressure to continue one of the most iconic roles in movie history.

How did Emily Blunt find out she won the role?

According to recent reports, it was director Rob Marshall who instantly thought Emily Blunt would be ideal playing Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins Returns. In a recent ABC special about the making of the film, Marshall mentioned he offered the part to Blunt somewhat like a marriage proposal.

Blunt described her initial feeling as a “combination of panic and joy.” No doubt other actresses wouldn’t take winning this role so well, especially if they didn’t have Blunt’s already spectacular acting credentials.

Even if she was never approached for the Poppins role, Blunt would have still become one of our most beloved actresses before she hits middle age.

How did Emily Blunt feel about Julie Andrews not being in the film?

A lot of rumoring went on about whether Julie Andrews was even approached about being in Mary Poppins Returns. Initial reports from Variety said she was approached to do a cameo playing a different character. Rob Marshall offered it to her, but we all know now she turned it down so she wouldn’t overshadow Emily Blunt.

Blunt said in the above Variety interview that Andrews was extremely generous making this move. It also proves Julie Andrews isn’t a diva who wants to steal the show from a younger actress. We can’t always say that about every legendary star.

What’s interesting to note is the above story about approaching Andrews was refuted by people like the film’s composer, Marc Platt. He says she wasn’t approached to begin with, though the story of Blunt’s reaction to Andrews’ move makes for a better story overall.

Was Blunt intimidated about her approach to Mary Poppins?

Thanks to Emily Blunt’s intelligence and passion as a top-tier actress, she planned out her Mary Poppins approach logically. As all great actresses do, they find a fresh approach to a well-worn character.

Blunt saw a lot of things that needed to be addressed from the original film. Any fan of Mary Poppins knows the character in the books was somewhat different from the character portrayed in the movie adaptation.

As Blunt told Entertainment Weekly, she turned off all the white noise of the public saying she “had balls of steel.” Turning this off and approaching the Poppins character like Blunt approaches every character helped bring a fresher angle.

One interesting approach by Rob Marshall was to hone in on each character for a more intimate character portrait. We’ll apparently be learning more about Mary Poppins’ cheekily sarcastic personality than we ever did in the original classic. Despite the sequel throwing in all the same innovative special effects as the original, it’s gratifying to see them slow down and focus on the characters.

Offbeat Emily Blunt connection between Mary Poppins Returns and A Quiet Place

Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place

Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place | Paramount Pictures

Did you know the one thing connecting Emily Blunt between recent A Quiet Place and Mary Poppins Returns is a bathtub? If you saw the former film, then you know about the chilling scene of Blunt’s pregnant Evelyn Abbott lying in a tub while alien creatures invade her family’s home. In Mary Poppins Returns, we see Mary do a backdive into a bathtub, subsequently taking her and the cast into a magical underwater world.

Yes, quite the contrast, but you have to wonder if Emily Blunt thought about this while filming the Poppins bathtub scene.

Visit us at The Cheat Sheet each week for more celebrity news.