Thank you to Disney Studios for hosting me during the Mary Poppins Returns Event!
Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer play the now grown up Michael and Jane Banks in Mary Poppins Returns. They’re facing personal loss and financial difficulties when Mary Poppins shows up once again to lend a hand. What was it like for them to take on these iconic Disney roles?
They were both Director Rob Marshall’s first choice for their roles. “He doesn’t hold back,” says Ben. “You feel his love. You feel his excitement about what you might bring.”
It’s not just the director’s excitement. Emily’s children are excited for the movie, too. Her daughter found a Mary Poppins Returns book while they were shopping. “There was Emily Blunt was on the front, and then she found a photo of me! And she’s never been more impressed by me ever. It was so funny. She kept telling everyone we met. ‘Mom’s in a book!'”
Emily had the chance to work with Karen Dotrice, the original Jane Banks in Mary Poppins. “For the first time, she saw Cherry Tree Lane since she was a little girl. She was really moved, and sort of blown away by the whole thing.”
Ben found it easier to create the sadder moments in the film than the ones that were open-hearted and happy. “I think that the final scene when we’re on the balloons was quite challenging.”
One thing that that wasn’t a challenge was working together on set. The sibling chemistry they had in the film came naturally. “We were really lucky,” says Ben. “We just immediately got on, and enjoyed each other’s company, and giggled about things, and gossiped.”
The both loved the amazing scale of the movie and the big dance numbers. “You can’t catch your breath almost,” says Emily. “Just when you think you’ve had enough, just when you’ve gorged yourself, then along comes Dick Van Dyke, and then there’s that dance. And just, more, more, more, more. It’s amazing.”
I have lots more to share about Mary Poppins Returns right here on As The Bunny Hops-you don’t want to miss it! Mary Poppins Returns is in theaters on December 19, 2018!
In Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” an all new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and Lin-Manuel Miranda plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London.
“Mary Poppins Returns” is directed by Rob Marshall. The screenplay is by David Magee and the screen story is by Magee & Rob Marshall & John DeLuca based upon the Mary Poppins Stories by PL Travers. The producers are John DeLuca, p.g.a., Rob Marshall, p.g.a. and Marc Platt, p.g.a. with Callum McDougall serving as executive producer. The music score is by Marc Shaiman and the film features all new original songs with music by Shaiman and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Shaiman. The film also stars Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks; Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks; Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen; Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and introducing Joel Dawson as the Banks’ children, with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins; and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy. Angela Lansbury appears as the Balloon Lady, a treasured character from the PL Travers books and Dick Van Dyke is Mr. Dawes, Jr., the retired chairman of the bank now run by Firth’s character.