Saturday, 24 May 2014

Mary Poppins: Dame Julie Andrews revealed she feared for her life when flying as the magical nanny

    May 23, 2014 18:55
    By Nicola Methven

Julie was so scared that she unleashed a torrent of swear words at Walt Disney himself

Dame Julie Andrews has revealed that she feared for her life while filming the flying scenes in Mary Poppins.

The actress, who had never acted in films before the 1964 movie, said she was dropped from a great height as she “flew” across the skies as the famous nanny with her magic umbrella.

And afterwards she turned the air blue - using language that shocked the watching Walt Disney.

Speaking on Graham Norton’s BBC1 chat show, Dame Julie said: "It was dangerous making the flying stunts, which they saved for me until the end of the filming.

"Presumably most of the film was in the can by then and if an accident happened, it was safe. I was hanging around on a very high wire in an excruciating harness and I felt it drop by about a foot and I thought, ‘Oh my god, my luck is running out. This is it’.”

The swearing came after she asked to be lowered softly to the ground. “The word went down the length of the studio - at which point I dropped like a ton of bricks to the stage,” she recalled.

“There was a silence and I let fly with a few good Anglo-Saxon four-letter words that Disney had never heard before.”

Dame Julie proved an enormous hit in the film and went on to star in other classics, including The Sound of Music in which she played trainee nun Maria.

The mum-of-five told how she once gave an impromptu performance of the film’s opening number to some holidaymakers. “I had to get fit for a role so I used to go to Switzerland and I was walking around in the mountains.

"One day I thought, ‘This is ridiculous, there’s not a soul around’ and I sang The Hills are Alive… just as a whole bunch of Japanese tourists came over the hill. You should have seen their faces.”

Reminiscing about Mary Poppins, she also remembers that the stern author of the book, PL Travers, wasn’t sure about her suitability for character.

Dame Julie said: "I met her for tea once and she said, ‘Well, you’re far too pretty for the role - but you have the nose for it’."





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