Emily Blunt on the “darker backdrop” of Mary Poppins Returns

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Emily Blunt has been chatting about what drew her to the role of Mary Poppins, which she plays in an upcoming belated sequel entitled Mary Poppins Returns. As with the original Mary Poppins movie from 1964, the novels of P.L. Travers provide the inspiration for this film.

In a brand new interview with Variety, Blunt said this about her motivations for stepping into Julie Andrews’ iconic role for this hotly anticipated follow-up:

“[The director Rob Marshall] 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.”

Blunt added that, although the project has Julie Andrews’ blessing, she didn’t go asking her for tips. Blunt also avoided rewatching the original Mary Poppins while preparing and making the new one:

“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.”

We’ll find out exactly what Blunt’s interpretation is when Mary Poppins Returns hits UK cinemas on December 21st, 2018. It’ll be interesting to see how dark that dark backdrop gets.

In the meantime, Blunt can be seen in a terrifically atmospheric horror movie named A Quiet Place. It’s in cinemas now, and it’s well worth a look.