Dame Julie Andrews, embodiment of grace, poise, and everything that is lovely and gentle, will not—alas—make a cameo in the upcoming film Mary Poppins Returns. But, as befits Andrews, her reasoning is graciously deferential.
Vulture reports that Andrews will not appear in the film out of respect for Emily Blunt, who will portray the titular character in this sequel. Andrews believes that, as the original Mary Poppins, her role is to step aside and allow new talent to thrive in the limelight.
Director Rob Marshall recounted his conversation with Andrews to Entertainment Weekly.
“Julie was incredibly gracious, and we talked about it in a very general way, but she made it clear right up front,” he said.
Marshall continued, “She said, ‘This is Emily’s show, and I really want it to be Emily’s show. I don’t want it to be, ‘Oh here comes that Mary Poppins.’ I don’t want that. I really want her to take this and run with it because she will be brilliant.’”
That said, Andrews is very enthusiastic about the sequel and trusts that the story will “be cared for.”
And by the way, the film will not be devoid of cameos. Dick Van Dyke will make a brief return—but as an avaricious banker, not Bert. In the original film, he also plays the role of Mr. Dawes senior; now he’ll return as his heir.
I’m eager to see how Emily Blunt—who is magnificent—interprets the role. Still, I think we’re within our rights to indulge in the great Dame’s original performance. So, let’s take a moment to do just that.