Dick Van Dyke: ‘Julie Andrews is the ultimate Mary Poppins’

mary poppins

Dick Van Dyke is confident fans will be pleased with Emily Blunt’s portrayal of Mary Poppins in the upcoming sequel.

The 91-year-old played chimney sweeper Bert alongside Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins in the 1964 original and has filmed his cameo role in the upcoming sequel, Mary Poppins Returns.

Emily takes the helm in the new story, and screen veteran Dick is certain she was the right person for the job but adds it would be impossible for her to top Julie’s performance.

“Nobody compares to Julie Andrews but Emily’s going to be a good Mary,” he told the Press Association.

Mary Poppins

In the original Dick also played Mr. Dawes Senior, the old director of the bank where Mary’s employer Mr. Banks works. In the sequel he is going to play the banker’s son and joked he was put in make-up to make him appear old even though “I’m old enough to do it without the make up”.

Dick had a number of musical numbers in the 1964 movie and he has been give another in Mary Poppins Returns, and he shares that he was grateful that the technology for recording such scenes has improved since the first time.

“We just did the sequel to Mary Poppins in London and I did a song and dance number on a desk,” he said. “It used to be when you do a dance number, you did like 20 takes at different angles. They put four cameras up and you do one take. Boy, at my age is that blessing.”

Mary Poppins Returns follows the grown-up version of Jane and Michael Banks from the first story, now played by Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw. They are revisited by their former nanny Mary after a tragedy in the family leaves them joyless.

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The film, which is directed by Rob Marshall and also stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Meryl Streep, Angela Lansbury and Colin Firth, is set for release on Christmas Day 2018.