Meet the brand new generation of Banks children in this interview with Mary Poppins Returns stars Pixie Davies and Joel Dawson! A great way to see the movie through children’s eyes – how it was meant to be seen!
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!
I have a soft spot for children and interviewing children. During our interviews with Bronte Carmichael from Christopher Robin, I just couldn’t help but smile through the entire interview.
Our interview with Pixie Davies and Joel Dawson who play Georgie and Anabel Banks was the same. Smiles all the way through and all the way around the table.
One of the neatest things was seeing how much they’ve grown up since they filmed the movie already, especially Joel. He was definitely more business and boyish charm than the young child he plays in the movie, still sweet, but definitely older.
Pixie and Joel on The Chase Scene
During our interview with director Rob Marshall, he mentioned that the chase scene in the movie was the kids favorite part to film because they basically got to do everything alone, with no adults.
We asked Pixie and Joel about that scene and their excitement was palpable.
That was so much fun. It was, because the music was being played, I actually felt like we were actually in a chase, and it was really awesome.
And once the animation was completed (since they filmed it sans animation), Pixie told us,
It was really surprising because you don’t know all the details that are gonna be there, and then you watch it and it’s there.
Make sure to look out for the chase scene in the movie when you go see it tomorrow or over the holiday break! And if you’ve on the fence about seeing the movie, don’t be. Read my Mary Poppins Returns movie review then buy tickets immediately!
We then asked them if that was their favorite part of filming the movie and surprisingly it wasn’t.
Joel’s answer was the best.
I really liked the part when I had to dive through the buses and then got dragged along by the kite. That was a really fun scene.
His answer reminded me of our interview with the kids from Coop & Cami Answer the World and their fascination with stunts and getting to do crazy things.
Pixie’s response was a bit less stunt based and went in line with what Lin-Manuel Miranda said about his favorite scene.
I think it was Trip a Little Light Fantastic because it was just incredible watching the dance. It just gets better every time.
We also asked about their favorite songs and Joel’s was Underneath the London Sky (the opening number) and unsurprisingly Trip A Little Light Fantastic was Pixie’s.
Pixie and Joel on Being in Mary Poppins
I think one of my favorite parts of the entire interview was when we asked the kids how it felt when they got the part in Mary Poppins Returns. Pixie immediately said she thought she was gonna burst and Joel, his answer was a little more sentimental.
Well my agent already knew so she came over and as she was there, then Rob Marshall called me and he said we want you to have the part. And then I had it on speakerphone and everyone was just so silent, and my eyes were watering. And my mum was squealing after the phone call.
We then asked them what it was like to film the movie and what it was like to be on set. Just like kids should, they both got super excited and eyes bright talking about their experience on set. But it wasn’t the filming that had them the most excited, it was the magical surprises that apparently showed up on a regular basis.
We had quite a lot of fun. We had like tents, and there was a place that was the most magical place on earth. There was lots of food, and it was great.
Joel clarified what made it so magical.
I remember one day they had a chocolate water fountain with marshmallows and cookies. And strawberries.
No celebration or reason for being – just a fun surprise that obviously made a huge impression on the kids. And me – I think I might be making a reservation at Melting Pot very soon!
We also asked about some of their flying scenes in the film and apparently they are a lot harder than you think because you have to actually hold yourself up in the harnesses; the harnesses don’t do all the work for you. Sounds tough!
Pixie and Joel on Working with Their Co-Stars
Since it’s one of the craziest scenes in the movie, we had to ask – how was it working with Meryl Streep. While Emily Blunt for instance has worked with Meryl numerous times, this was the first time for both the kids.
I love that Pixie’s response wasn’t so much about working with Meryl but more about the topsy turvy scene itself.
It was really, really, really crazy because you don’t look at things in that perspective, ever, unless you look between your legs and nobody really does that. And so that was really really fun.
We also asked both of them if there were specific things they learned from their older co-workers. I loved both of their answers.
Pixie answered first.
Just be yourself, do what you think is right, and then if you get a note – then you get a note. It’s okay.
Sounds right along the lines of Rob Marshall’s directing (and parenting!) philosophy.
We also had to ask about working with Dick Van Dyke because well he’s Dick Van Dyke!
Pixie’s response was similar to that of Emily Blunt and Emily Mortimer.
Amazing. Words cannot describe it. It was so incredible because he was in the first one, and it’s just iconic. He’s a legend. And well he’s a legend to me because he’s in the first one. He was in a lot of other Disney movies, and yeah, it was really really special.
Advice for Other Child Actors
I know I said it before but I actually think my favorite part of the entire interview was when we asked the kids if they had any advice to share with others who might want to get into acting.
Pixie gave a very polite answer.
If you really want to pursue it then just do, because honestly it’s the greatest feeling when you’re on set, and it just gives you that buzz.
And Joel’s answer might’ve been my favorite moment of the entire thing. He had the entire room (including the woman who’d brought him into the interview) cracking up when he responded
Business is business.
Nothing is more true than that. Still hilarious coming from the mouth of a child.
Make sure to go see Pixie Davies, Joel Dawson, and their co-star Nathanael Saleh play the younger Banks’ children in Mary Poppins Returns – in theaters tomorrow!
And if you missed any of the previous Mary Poppins Returns interviews, make sure to check those out too!
- Mary Poppins Returns red carpet experience
- Emily Blunt interview
- Lin-Manuel Miranda interview
- Mary Poppins Returns Movie Review (no spoilers!)
- Ben Whishaw & Emily Mortimer interviews
- Director Rob Marshall interview
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.