I was honored to be invited to the #MaryPoppinsReturnsEvent, a Disney press junket for Disney Mary Poppins Returns. As a guest, my expenses were covered in return for a series of articles about my experiences and reviews of the programming.
I have been sharing my experiences of visiting Los Angeles for the Mary Poppins Returns Event over the last few days. I hope you haven’t missed any of it, but if you have you can click on Mary Poppins Returns movie to get caught up. Today, I’m sharing what I learned during our interview with Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer who play Michael and Jane Banks.
In the original Mary Poppins, Michael and Jane were young children who sent off a note about a special nanny they were requesting. In Mary Poppins Returns, Michael and Jane are back but now they are all grown up. Michael has 3 children of his own: Anabel, John, and Georgie and finds himself leaning on his sister to get through a difficult time. Once again, Mary Poppins returns to with her magic and playful manner to bring hope to a desperate situation. I hope you’ll enjoy my highlights.
About Disney Mary Poppins Returns
MARY POPPINS RETURNS stars Emily Blunt as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure; Lin-Manuel Miranda as her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London; Ben Whishaw as Michael Banks; Emily Mortimer as Jane Banks; and Julie Walters as the Banks’ housekeeper Ellen; with Colin Firth as Fidelity Fiduciary Bank’s William Weatherall Wilkins; and Meryl Streep as Mary’s eccentric cousin, Topsy. The film also introduces three new Banks’ children played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and newcomer Joel Dawson. 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.
Mary Poppins Returns will be released in U.S. theaters on December 19, 2018.
Take a look at this latest Disney Mary Poppins Returns movie trailer
Get to know Ben Whishaw & Emily Mortimer from Disney Mary Poppins Returns‘
It was clear in our interview with Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer that these two had a chemistry free from sibling rivalry. They laughed at the same thing, talked about having the same vices and favorite moments from the film, and finished each other’s sentences.
Ben says of his chemistry with Emily, “We were really lucky. We just immediately got along and enjoyed each other’s company, and giggled about things and gossiped.” Emily added that weeks and weeks of rehearsals and then filming gave the two of them time to truly develop their friendship.
Take a look at their special moments from being a part of Mary Poppins Returns.
Reflecting on the joy of working with director Rob Marshall
Rob Marshall has said repeatedly through the interview process he got his first choice of all the actors for Mary Poppins Returns. Ben Whishaw reflected on what that meant to him and what it meant to have Rob Marshall as an encouraging director.
“When Rob likes you, he really, really, really, really… He doesn’t hold back. You feel his love. You feel his excitement about what you might bring to the table. In a way that’s everything…“
Emily added, “My dad always said that if you tell people they’re beautiful or wonderful and clever and talented and special and amazing, they are.” Emily talked about how Rob had a way of building the cast up, of making them believe in themselves. She continued, “He’s so encouraging and makes you feel special … It’s great.”
Making the Mary Poppins Returns red carpet and press junket a family experience
Emily Mortimer brought her 15 year-old son, Sam, to the Los Angeles World Premiere of Mary Poppins Returns. When we spoke she was also planning to bring her 8 year-old daughter, May, to the premiere in London.
She said, “It’s such a treat to come to these things, but you forget, because you get stressed out about (how you look and sound). You’re put up in these incredible, fancy hotels, and given delicious food, and get to be around all these wonderful people. When you bring your kids, you see it through their eyes, and, and you appreciate it. We’ve had such a sweet time together these last few days. I just kind of look over at him, and seeing his little face. It just makes it all seem okay.“
Are the Banks children’ children excited for Mary Poppins Returns?
Emily’s children have seen the original Mary Poppins and loved it. Her children are excited for Mary Poppins Returns. Emily shared with us a precious moment she had with her daughter while in a bookstore.
“May found my picture in this (book). We were in Barnes & Noble the other day and she found the book of Mary Poppins Returns, which I didn’t realize they did a book. But there was Emily Blunt was on the front. Then she found a photo of me. She’s never been more impressed by me ever. It was so funny. She kept telling everyone we met. Mom’s in a book!”
What was their most challenging scene in Mary Poppins Returns
For both of Ben and Emily it was the scenes where the emotions truly had to come in play for their characters Michael and Jane Banks, these are the moments that they felt the most challenged.
Ben Whishaw’s most challenging scene in Mary Poppins Returns
Ben shared, “I think that the final scene when we’re on the balloons was quite challenging. I mean, everything was. But that had to be the climactic moment.” He was describing going from being stressed and miserable to being joyful and relaxed. He continued, “It’s weirdly much easier sometimes to play misery, grief or whatever. Being open-hearted and happy can be quite hard.”
Emily Mortimer’s most challenging scene in Mary Poppins Returns
Emily chose a different moment as her most challenging. “I remember feeling quite confused by how to be when we walked into the (Banks’) house, and it was all empty of all the furniture, and we were clearing out the stuff, and saying goodbye to the house. The temptation was to be (devastated). This is a terrible moment in their lives.” Emily struggled to show Jane as upbeat and trying to make the best of the situation. She added how director Rob Marshall helped, “Rob was really good, and he said ‘you’ve done your grieving. Just say goodbye to your house and try to be. Because the sadness is going to come from seeing people trying to be happy.‘”
Emily added, “As an actor, when you put up this sort of sad moment, you’re tempted to really sort of milk it. I remember feeling grateful to his (Rob’s) direction at that moment where he was like keep it optimistic for the children.”
Their favorite Mary Poppins Returns scenes
Both Ben and Emily agreed that the big dance numbers were their favorite scenes, especially the routine to Trip a Little Light Fantastic. They called it tremendous, amazing, breathtaking. Emily exclaimed, “Just when you think you’ve had enough, then along comes Dick Van Dyke, and… then there’s that dance. And just, like, more, more, more, more. It’s amazing. It’s .. So… Very cool.”
What will be your favorite scene in Mary Poppins Returns?
Watch Disney Mary Poppins Returns now playing at your local theater!
- Get to know the talent behind Disney Mary Poppins Returns with these Interviews with the cast and producers
- Mary Poppins Returns Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins”) interview
- Mary Poppins Returns Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Jack”) interview
- Mary Poppins Returns Director Rob Marshall interview
- Mary Poppins Returns Pixie Davies (“Anabel Banks”) & Joel Dawson (“Georgie Banks”) interview
- Mary Poppins Returns Composers Marc Shaiman & Scott Wittman interview
- Other Disney Mary Poppins Returns stories
- Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns Movie Trailer and More
- I’m Going to LA for the Mary Poppins Returns Red Carpet Premiere
- My Mary Poppins Returns Red Carpet Experience
- Mary Poppins Then and Now: The Mary Poppins Movie Compared to Mary Poppins Returns
For the latest details on Mary Poppins Returns
- Visit the Mary Poppins Returns website movies.disney.com/mary-poppins-returns
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- Follow Disney Studios on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/disneystudios
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