How Emily Blunt Set Her Mary Poppins Apart From Julie Andrews'

Plus, find out why her daughter "cried" whenever she'd put on her wig to get into character

By Zach Johnson Dec 18, 2018 3:45 PMTags
Watch: Emily Blunt Isn't Trying to Emulate Julie Andrews

As Mary Poppins, Emily Blunt is practically perfect in every way.

The only person who doesn't seem to agree with that sentiment, it seems, is the actress' own daughter, 4-year-old Hazel Krasinski. E! News' Zuri Hall sat down with Emily before Mary Poppins Returns hits theaters Wednesday, where the 35-year-old actress opened up about her elder daughter's initial reaction to seeing her in costume as the iconic, fantastical English nanny.

"She was just rather put off by seeing me as Mary Poppins. She was like, 'Take dat silly old Mary Poppins wig off.' She hated it! Hated it! Hated it! [She] would cry seeing me as somebody else. They kind of know that you're not theirs in that moment and it's disconcerting. She's just like, 'I like your blonde hair.' So sad!" Emily recalled. "But, she's older now, and I think she is starting to kind of grasp what [John Krasinski] and I do for a living. I think she knows that I role play, that I play these parts, that I'm in movie—I think. It's her normal, so what else does she know?"

Jay Maidment/Disney Enterprises, Inc.

In contrast, Emily's younger daughter, Violet Krasinski, "couldn't care less."

"She's like, 'I'm 2! I run the world!'" the actress said with a laugh. "But Hazel just saw my version. She loved it! Absolutely loved it. And then cried really hard when [Mary] leaves at the end. She just hates that she leaves at the end. She's so, so sad that she leaves. I remember feeling that as a kid when Mary Poppins leaves at the end. It's like you grieve for her. She's come and changed everything and fixed everybody and healed everybody—and then she goes."

Part of the fun of playing Mary Poppins is that she's "very vain," Emily added.

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When director Rob Marshall called to cast her in the role made famous by Julie Andrews, she was both "completely thrilled" but also "filled with trepidation" about signing on, "because she's such an iconic character—and she was played by somebody so iconic in the original one."

"It was like, 'How do I carve out a new space for myself?'" Emily recalled. "For me, I really dove into the books. There were seven other books written, and they were a huge source for me, because she is very different in the books. She's completely bizarre and sort of vain and rude and funny—just so funny. So, she sort of leapt off the page at me. That was a big springboard..."

For Emily—and for everyone involved—it was important she make the role her own.

"I have a memory, obviously, of Mary Poppins from watching it as a child, but I decided not to watch the original before I embarked on this new version. I think that I didn't want to be...No one wants to see me try to emulate Julie Andrews. I mean, no one can!" she added. "That should just be treasured and preserved as being what she did. This is just my version of her."

Mary Poppins Returns is in theaters nationwide Dec. 19.

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