More Emily exposure! She’s a part of Variety’s next Actors on Actors series, which she also involved in alongside her good friend Jennifer Aniston back in 2014 (promoting Into the Woods). This time she’s paired with Hugh Jackman, and judging from the photos, I’m sure they’ll have a great chemistry for the feature. The first two episodes of the Emmy Award-winning series will premiere on PBS SoCal on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. with episodes three and four set to premiere on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. All episodes will stream on pbssocal.org following their premieres (via Variety). Enjoy the photos!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – “Everybody’s walking around with their cheeks a little pinker, and you just know that everybody…they’ve got a secret. They’ve got something really good under wraps until Christmas.”
That’s the picture Meryl Streep paints for EW of the set of Mary Poppins Returns, Disney’s high-stakes, high-magic sequel to the 1964 musical classic. Any number of elements from the original film — its indelible songs by Richard and Robert Sherman, its career-making performances by Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, its significant strides in animated penguin awareness — have amounted to Mary Poppins being nothing less than a crown jewel for Disney for more than five decades. So it’s only natural that all eyes are now on the people entrusted with bringing Mary Poppins back to audiences this December — and as EW learned spending time with them for this week’s cover, the cast and filmmakers behind Mary Poppins Returns feel they’re sitting on a movie with more than a little shine of its own.
Sharing the cover of EW’s Holiday Preview, Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda sat down for a conversation about the biggest movie of their careers (and perhaps the most ambitious sequel of the year that doesn’t involve an Avenger). Blunt, 35, was director Rob Marshall’s first choice to inherit the role of magical nanny Mary Poppins — and Julie Andrews gave her approval as well — yet for Blunt, stepping into the iconic part required a stiff upper lip. “I did, going into this, [hear] the preamble of everyone turning to me — including a friend of mine who said, ‘You’ve got balls of steel’ — and I would just try to allow all of that to be white noise and really approach her as I would any other character,” recalls Blunt, who first began collaborating with Marshall on 2014’s Into the Woods. “The beauty of Rob is that he kept it intimate enough so that you don’t feel the bigness too much. We just focused on this story and these people and this moment.”
But Blunt allowed the gravity of Mary Poppins to seep in every once in a while, like when Dick Van Dyke came to set and serenaded her with “Jolly Holiday” between takes…or when she revisited the original film after wrapping (“I showed my oldest daughter and it was this incredible two-pronged emotion because I thought, ‘Thank God I didn’t watch this before I did the movie’”)…or when she visited Miranda backstage at Hamilton in 2015 — her third time doing so, yet the first since they had both signed on to the film. “The whole project was cloaked in a sense of protection, and by that time it had sunk in that it was happening,” she recalls. “It was becoming so deep in my bones that I was going to be doing this, and that first overwhelming rush of thrill and fear when I got offered this role had diluted to something quite real… and so I think it was exciting knowing that Lin and I were going to be playing cohorts and kindred spirits.” Miranda remembers that night just a bit differently: “That was a really stressful show,” he laughs. “I felt like I was auditioning for Mary Poppins, the person.”
When Vogue’s editor in chief is called away to Europe, who runs things back in New York? Why, none other than Emily Blunt, of course. Between fielding phone calls, making dinner reservations, reading copy, and examining deceptively dissimilar cerulean belts, the actress somehow spared a moment to answer our 73 Questions. The thing she misses most about England? Its irreverence. The director she’d most like a call from? Alfonso Cuarón. Her criteria when considering a role? “Sophistication, intrigue, surprise—nothing derivative.”
Her first thought on hearing the title A Quiet Place? That the film, directed by her husband John Krasinski, would be a “sweet, sort of quiet living room drama . . . I was wrong.” As she works her way around the office, Blunt also reveals her hopes for the future of Hollywood, her love of jazz and home decorating, and pulls out her best Bostonian accent (wicked good!). She also shared the story of how Stanley Tucci became her brother-in-law and her method for preparing to play the world’s most famous nanny in Mary Poppins Returns, out this December. (Hint: It may require a bit of stretching first.) When Vogue’s EIC Anna Wintour called in to see how she was faring, Blunt assured her that all was well. Was there anything else that she could do to help? “No,” she replied. “That’s all.”
After confirmation of her cover for the magazine several months back, we finally have our first look at Emily’s Vogue shoot for the December issue. Co-star Lin-Manuel Miranda also features in the editorial, which shows both in character for the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns. I really love these photos, and hopefully we’ll see at least a few more in the coming weeks! I’ve added an except of the article below, but you can view the full story here.
VOGUE – PRECISELY WHAT IS MARY POPPINS? We know her to be a humanoid who does not age, is capable of telekinesis, is not constricted by the ordinary bounds of time, space, and gravity, and flies through the air with the aid of an umbrella, albeit in upright, duck-footed fashion. She is stern, fastidious, and speaks with a posh accent, but enjoys vaguely romantic relationships with common laborers. She is beloved by children and former children the world over, yet is, when contemplated at an intellectual distance, utterly unknowable, even bizarre.
“She’s a superhero,” says Emily Blunt without hesitation. “You could say she’s some sort of angel. She recognizes what people need, and she gives it to them, yet they discover something about themselves in the process.” With a rather Mary Poppins–like firmness, Blunt concludes, “I don’t think she concerns herself with what she is. There’s nobody else like her—which she quite likes.”
On Monday evening, Emily attended the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund 15th Anniversary Event, which took place at Navy Yard in Brooklyn. Over 150 photos from the event have been adding to the gallery, so be sure to take a look.
LOS ANGELES TIMES – The star and director of “Mary Poppins Returns” sit close together on a settee in a hotel suite high above Central Park, thick as thieves, and suddenly they’re not Emily Blunt, Golden Globe-winning actress, and Rob Marshall, Hollywood’s Oscar-nominated go-to musical man.
It’s the “Em and Robbie” show.
There’s an exceedingly warm mutual admiration and a shorthand between the pair after two films together, a rapport that first sparked years ago over lunch for a project that didn’t pan out and blossomed when Blunt starred as the plucky baker’s wife in Marshall’s 2014 hit adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.”
Marshall calls Blunt an old soul and “my favorite actress.” She vows to lure him and his partner, John DeLuca, out of Manhattan and “convert them to Brooky-Brooks” — meaning Brooklyn, where she lives with husband John Krasinski.
The two are creatively simpatico, they say, which is a big part of how they found the confidence to attempt something as wildly ambitious as reviving one of the most beloved characters in cinematic history. Also, Marshall adds, it helps that they both like martinis.
Still, Blunt admits, she was surprised and terrified when Marshall called her one day after the success of “Into the Woods” to propose teaming up on a new project he wanted to make with Disney.
“He said, ‘By far their most prized possession is Mary Poppins,’ and I remember my hair blowing back from thrill and vague panic,” Blunt said with a laugh. But she said yes immediately, and the massive undertaking began.
We’ve updated the gallery with a handful of photos of Emily and husband John Krasinski attending the 21st SCAD Savannah Film Festival over the weekend (Oct 27), where they were both given two special honors – Emily with an Icon Award and John with a Vanguard Award. Congratulations to our favorite couple!