Find out what Mary Poppins Returns’ Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer had to say about working with each other, the most challenging scenes in the movie, and being directed by Rob Marshall!
I was invited by Disney, ABC & Freeform to Los Angeles for an all-inclusive Mary Poppins Returns Event. All opinions and ideas are 100% honest and my own!
Today I’m continuing with our exclusive interviews from the cast and crew of the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns. If you haven’t read my no-spoiler Mary Poppins Returns review, you can read that here!
And if you’re just catching up, make sure to check out the interview with Emily Blunt and the interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda to get their opinions on the film, working with director Rob Marshall, and more!
Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer in Mary Poppins Returns
Now onto today’s fun – an interview with Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw who play Jane and Michael Banks in Mary Poppins Returns!
And p.s., they’re both totally darling and so well dressed. I was dying to know where Ben got his suit at the red carpet premiere, seriously so cool!
Emily and Ben on Working with Rob Marshall
One of the themes we heard throughout our interviews with the Mary Poppins Returns cast was how valuable and appreciated Rob Marshall made them feel. During a Q&A session Rob said that he got the first pick of all of his actors.
When we asked Emily and Ben how it felt to hear Rob say that, I loved their responses. Definitely a good life lesson!
Ben first started and said,
When Rob likes you, he really, really, really, really, really… Like he’s not. He doesn’t hold back. He really, you feel, you feel his love. You feel his excitement about what you might bring to the table. And having worked with some directors who don’t have that quality. I really, really, value that. You know, it’s, that’s everything.
Emily continued with something her dad always said,
If you tell people they’re beautiful or wonderful and clever and talented and special and amazing, they are.
They continued to say that Rob treats people like that and because he shows so much trust and faith in you, you believe it yourself.
Pretty sure that’s the ultimate life lesson for all of us to learn – treat people like they’re amazing, beautiful, and special. We all need to feel that way. And eventually if we’re treated that way, we won’t have any other choice but to believe it!
Emily and Ben’s Most Challenging Number
Unlike Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda who both said the most challenging thing about filming Mary Poppins Returns was the dancing, when we asked Emily and Ben about their most challenging scenes, the answer was actually being happy, specifically in the final scene of the film.
As Ben put it,
I think that the final scene where we’re on the balloons was quite challenging. I mean, everything was. But that was because it had to be the climactic moment, you know/ And it’s weirdly much easier sometimes to play misery, and kind of whatever, you know. Grief or whatever. But being open-hearted and happy can be quite hard.
And Emily confirmed, the happiness is hard to play, especially when you’ve been miserable the entire movie.
They both also touched on the idea that it’s easy to wallow in the sadness but the hard part is to try to be optimistic in the middle of a tough situation. But director Rob Marshall helped clarify their acting for them by explaining that the audience is still going to be heartbroken for the characters because of the situation, regardless of if they’re acting heartbroken or not.
In fact, it’s actually more heartbreaking to see people trying to make the best of a bad situation.
And Their Favorite Scene?
After the most challenging scene, we followed it up with asking about their favorite scene in the movie.
The response was almost immediately the “Trip A Little Light Fantastic” scene (the 8-minute dance number Lin-Manuel Miranda said he was so proud of of in our interview!)
I think it’s amazing and like you just kind of get your… you can’t catch your breath amost. Like I keep saying, it’s like intravaneous entertainment, the film.
And just when you think you’ve had enough, it’s like you’ve gorged yourself. Then comes Dick Van Dyke and there’s that dance. And just like more, more, more, more. It’s amazing. It’s so very cool.
Emily and Ben on Working Together
One of my favorite parts of this entire movie is the brother sister relationship between Jane and Michael Banks. They have fantastic chemistry as siblings, and we asked them about it – if they’d done anything special or spent more time building their relationship or what not.
I loved Emily’s answer.
We didn’t. We were really lucky. We just immediately got on, and we enjoyed each other’s company and giggled about things and gossiped terribly. And we had an awful lot of time together in rehearsals. Waiting to go on for rehearsals. And there were weeks and weeks of rehearsals. And then acting together. And then sitting around on set for months, months, months together.
Stay tuned next week for more exclusive content from Mary Poppins Returns cast and crew including an interview with director Rob Marshall Monday! And catch up on all of the previous interviews here:
- Mary Poppins Returns red carpet experience
- Emily Blunt interview
- Lin-Manuel Miranda interview
- Mary Poppins Returns Movie Review (no spoilers!)
About Mary Poppins Returns
In Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” an all new original musical and sequel, Mary Poppins is back to help the next generation of the Banks family find the joy and wonder missing in their lives following a personal loss. Emily Blunt (“A Quiet Place,” “The Girl on the Train”) stars as the practically-perfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any ordinary task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure and LinManuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” “Moana”) plays her friend Jack, an optimistic street lamplighter who helps bring light—and life—to the streets of London.
Mary Poppins Returns hits theaters everywhere on December 19, 2018.