Officially holding the record for longest gap for a sequel at 54 years, Mary Poppins Returns and is poised to do it in a huge way. The Rob Marshall-directed Musical starring Emily Blunt in the iconic titular role, is fresh-off four Golden Globe nominations including Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (Emily Blunt), Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical (Lin-Manuel Miranda) and Best Original Score.
In town to promote the Film is English Actress Emily Mortimer, who plays the adult version of central Mary Poppins character Jane Banks. Mortimer has drawn acclaim for her performances in a duo of Martin Scorsese films Hugo and Shutter Island, Woody Allen‘s Match Point, plus roles in HBO’s The Newsroom. Oxford-trained Mortimer returns to the City, her first visit in a while, having starred in 2007’s Toronto-made Lars and the Real Girl alongside Ryan Gosling. Joining her is best friend Dolly Wells, with whom she created Comedy Series Dolly & Em. Wells starred in 2018’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? as Lee Israel’s (Melissa McCarthy) love interest, Anna.
See the Trailer:
Gracing the Blue Carpet at Scotiabank Theatre were a bevy of familiar Canadian names who showed their pure excitement for the Film including the likes and families of Ben Mulroney, Carlos Bustamente, Morgan Hoffman, Lauren Orlando and Sarah Fisher.
We ask Mortimer about how she came to be involved with Mary Poppins Returns.
“I met Rob (Marshall) at his apartment. Someone told me that he and his producing partner John (DeLuca) saw me on a morning chat show and thought I’d be a good for Jane Banks. I don’t know if that’s true, but I met him and he was so inspiring why we needed Mary Poppins to return to our lives at this particular moment in time where life feels confusing, painful and strange. I walked out of the meeting convinced we needed to make this Movie.” .
We asked her the most daunting thing about becoming Jane Banks.
“As a child, she’s one of the most famous children in cinematic history played so brilliantly by Karen Dotrice. How do you begin to step into those tiny little shoes? I think with everyone involved with the Movie, it comes from a place of love. Everybody approached this Film loving the original and not wanting to let it down, wanting to give it their all and make it special, yet also different in its own light. There was no cynicism. It was a special experience.” .
We ask Dolly Wells what the legacy of Mary Poppins means to her.
“It means my childhood. I wish I could remember the first time I saw it. It reminds me of Christmas, my family and the fire roaring. The excitement of being a child and that anything is possible – that a nanny can have a never-ending bag of magic, can click her heels and burst into song. It has an appealing sense of joy and hope.” .
We congratulate her on Can You Ever Forgive Me?‘s two Golden Globe nominations.
“I had such nice times. Marielle Heller (Director) should have been nominated. We had a really great times. Melissa is a dream – everything you’d imagine. The performance by the incredible Richard E. Grant is charming and brilliant. Marielle has a delicate touch and this is only her second film.” .
We ask Wells about her childhood best friend, Mortimer and at what point they realized they could be collaborative partners.
“20 years ago, it was kind of her idea. She said, ‘Why don’t we write something together?’. Before that, I’d always be leaving things in a drawer that I’d written. I was too shy. It took about ten years to make a movie and now we are writing something else.” .
See some Snaps of the night:
Ben, John, Brian and Isabel Mulroney
Morgan and Sydney Hoffman
Carlos Bustamente and Family
See some highlights from the Blue Carpet:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release MARY POPPINS RETURNSWednesday, December 19, 2018.
Photos taken on the NIKON D3400
Video taken on the Samsung S7 Plus
(Photo/video credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada/Amanda Gilmore/Mr. Will Wong)