Would you like to interview Julie Andrews? When you read that in an email you can be pretty certain your career has reached a new height. It was perfect timing really. This week Momtrends celebrates 5 years of bringing you the scoop on all things trendy and cool for moms.
But back to Julie--yes, I can call her that, she told me it was ok--we connected this month as she's doing a bit of press to celebrate her work. The legend gave me a full 30-minute exclusive. And I have you all to thank for the questions and encouragement. I really made the most of our time.
First a bit of history. Julie is 76 and has never really known a life out of the spotlight. Her parents were performers. Julie made her debut on Broadway at age 19. Her Oscar-winning performance came from the role of Mary Poppins (1964)--interesting to note that she was passed over for the role of Eliza in My Fair Lady (she played the role beautifully on Broadway according to my father-in-law and Audrey Hepburn, who played "Eliza" in the My Fair Lady film, didn't get a nomination) and the next year she followed it up with The Sound of Music(1965). Then there's the romance part...in 1969, she married the director Blake Edwards, with whom she had a long loving marriage.
From there she starred in film and on Broadway dazzling crowds with her acting and her voice (don't you love her as the Queen in Shrek!). A setback occurred in 1998 when her vocal chords were damaged during surgery--but as you'll see this mom knows how to carry on with grace and dignity.
This year Julie will mark the 10-year anniversary of The Princess Diariesand she and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton will launch a new book in her New York Times best-selling The Very Fairy Princess series.
MT: How did Blake Edwards proposed to you? (Question via twitter @inYEG)
JULIE: That's a lovely question. I was away making a film in the south of France. He called me and asked, "Would you like to hear Henry Mancini's latest song Nothing to Lose? It was gorgeous and I told him (Blake) so and after that he asked me to marry him.
MT: Have you given advice to young actresses? (Question via twitter @MrsWndr)
JULIE: Young actresses don't need me. For instance, Annie Hathaway is very talented we got along splendidly. Sometimes I will put my two cents in...more so now that I am moving into directing.
MT: How have you stayed positive after losing a husband and your singing voice?
JULIE: I always see the glass half full. I've been so very blessed. It's been quite magical. To complain would be very churlish and foolish. I've enjoyed many things. When my voice issues came up, I turned to books that I had started to write. I turned to them in a much more in depth.
MT: Have you ever been starstruck?
JULIE: Many, many, many times. Could be an opera singer it could be a wonderful performer--there have been so many.
MT: What songs are most important to you? (this one was from my mom!)
JULIE: Your mother asked a difficult question. Lyrics are very important to me. I often quote one song called My Ship. The lyrics say my I do not care if that day arrives that dream need never be, If the ship I sing doesn't also bring my own true love to me, Kurt Weill. It struck me as a kid as beautiful.
MT: Do you save mementos from your projects?
JULIE: I do keep photographs and a memory of each project. And yes, I do have a pair of high button shoes from Mary Poppins.
MT: You wrote so many children'??s books (where did you find the time to do everything!) Did you have a favorite book to read to your kids? Any special night time rituals?
JULIE: My father instilled a love of literature from an early age. Actual writing came about as a happy accident. When playing a game with my children, I lost a game and my forfeit was having to write a story. MANDY was my first book. And about 15 years ago Emma (Julie's daughter) and I formed Julia Andrews collection julieandrewscollection.com
MT: Did you have a favorite to read to the kids?
JULIE: Watership Down and a favorite book to me...The Little Grey men by B.B.
MT: Where do you go to re-charge your batteries in between projects?
JULIE: My garden, or spending time with my grand children. For a long, long time a house in Switzerland was the special place.
MT: What are your favorite flowers?
JULIE: Lots of them, love my roses--they come back again and again and are so profuse.
MT: Did you ever experience guilt as a working mom?
JULIE: Would you believe every day! Any woman that raises a family and holds a job at the same time is amazing. There wasn't a day that I didn't put the family first. As long as they were safe and happy, I could go to work with a clear mind. If you love what you do, which I do. That's not a bad a example.
MT: Do you have a favorite age when you enjoyed your children most?
JULIE: [She began by asking about my girls] 6 and 4 so divine. I have grandchildren 3 and 7--and I love that they are becoming aware of the world. There are a lot of wonderful phases. Teens can be difficult especially for a woman you are holding a hand and saying "Come with me" then you are running behind. the Then there is the wonderful time with grown children where I am now wonderful equals.
MT: What are you working on now?
JULIE: I have two other books coming out this year--one is a wonderful poetry anthology for children that's beautifully illustrated. I have a couple books being developed for theater or film--I'm directing one of my books as a musical.
MT: How do you direct? By showing your actors or by talking them through a challenge?
JULIE: Both. My husband let the actors show him where they were and how they felt. It's a very useful thing to let your actors show you what to do.
Thank you Julie. Julie is partnering with Disney and Target to celebrate the first annual National Princess Week in conjunction with the launch of her book at Target stores nationwide beginning Sunday, April 22.
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