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"The songs had a wonderful vaudeville quality about them which I immediately recognized, and I thought, yes…..maybe I can contribute something to this."

Julie Andrews on Mary Poppins



Mary Poppins Curiosities
 
The author of the "Poppins" books, P.L. Travers, approved heartily of the casting of Julie Andrews after hearing her only on the telephone. Andrews granted the interview from her bed after the delivery of her daughter, Emma Walton.
 
PL Travers said that Julie Andrews was much prettier than Mary Poppins was supposed to be, but her nose was perfect.
 
Originally Walt Disney had considered Bette Davis for the part of Mary Poppins based on the cold characterization portrayed in the P.L. Travers books. Disney eventually chose Julie Andrews for the part, when he saw her in Camelot; he instantly liked her and loved her whistling and sense of humor.
P.L. Travers so detested this film adaptation of her novel, she left the premiere in tears. Reportedly, she most objected to the altering of Mary Poppins' character from cold and intimidating in the novel to warm and cheery in the film. She also took issue with the film's perceived anti-feminist ending, in which Mrs. Banks gives up her campaigning for women's rights to stay at home as a housewife.
 
Matthew Garber was paid 10 cents for every time they filmed the tea party scene. He was afraid of heights, so somebody offered to pay him a "bonus" 10 cents for every take.
 
The chorus performing as the animated Pearly Band during "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" was comprised of songwriter Richard M. Sherman, vocal coach J. Pat O'Malley and Julie Andrews.
 
Mary Poppins and Mrs. Banks never speak to each other in the film.
 
Julie Andrews provided the whistling for the animatronic Robin during the song "A Spoonful of Sugar".
 
Julie Andrews was determined to nail the lullaby "Stay Awake". She took nearly 50 takes (most reports suggest 47) in the Disney recording studio to create the perfect "soft" voice quality for the song.
 
Julie Andrews was left hanging in mid-air during one particularly long camera setup. The stagehands unwittingly lowered her wire harness rather rapidly. "Is she down yet?" called a grip. "You bloody well better believe she is!" fumed Andrews.
 


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