Emily Blunt Discusses Her Take on Mary Poppins and Action Movies

Emily Blunt is currently doing press for A Quiet Place, but of course, people are asking about her other films. Her next big movie that I’m aware of is Mary Poppins Returns which is due later this year. Variety recently asked her a few questions about that film including what her take and inspiration for the film was and if she reached out to Julie Andrews who played the character back in 1964. Here are her responses with the questions:

What drew you to “Mary Poppins Returns”?

[The director] Rob Marshall called me a couple of years ago and pitched it to me. The script hadn’t been written and they hadn’t written the songs, they were just crafting a narrative. He explained that this was much more in the same world as the books. It’s set in the ’30s during the Great Depression, which is when P.L. Travers wrote them. It was the idea of having a darker backdrop in which hope could reappear from the skies. I loved the idea and I love and believe in him.

What he did for me was huge. Having somebody like Julie Andrews, who is iconic, play somebody like Mary Poppins, who is also iconic, it could have felt like I was rolling aside this huge boulder. But Rob made it feel so intimate for me and empowering for me, so I could have my own version of her. I didn’t watch the original during the process. I had a memory of the movie seared into my brain from when I was a child, but I didn’t want the distraction of the amazing Julie’s version of her. I just read the books. This is my interpretation of Mary.

Did you reach out to Julie Andrews?

No, but Rob said she was very excited and gave it her blessing. I hope she comes to the premiere. I think Rob will show it to her at some point.

What’s your take on Mary Poppins?

She’s really eccentric in the books. She’s kind of batty and vain and rude. And she made me laugh so much. It’s hard to sum up exactly what my interpretation was, but it’s whatever leapt off the pages of the book to me.

I think it’s great that Blunt tried to make Mary Poppins her own instead of trying to follow in Andrews’ footsteps. After all, Blunt is good, but she’s no Andrews. Of course, outside of Mary Poppins Returns, Blunt was asked if she wanted to be in a superhero film and if she enjoyed doing action films like Edge of Tomorrow.

Do you want to do a superhero film?

Not particularly.

Do you enjoy action roles such as “Edge of Tomorrow”?

I do. I mean it’s hard. I have had two children since “Edge of Tomorrow.” I think it will be a slightly different kind of grind to do the sequel, but I think they do want to do a sequel at some point.

I do think it’s important to see girls kick some ass. If I’m invited to do that, I’m going to keep doing it.

I was genuinely surprised at her response to the superhero question simply because her husband John Krasinski seemed pretty excited at the hypothetical of playing Reed Richards with Blunt as Sue Storm. Of course, we know that they are working on a sequel to Edge of Tomorrow, so I’m sure we’ll see Blunt return for that film. Do you want to see Blunt as Sue Storm or a different superhero? Are you excited for her take on Mary Poppins?

Mary Poppins Returns will hit theaters December 25, 2018.

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