Julie Andrews is sunshine and rainbows and kittens and magic. And anyone who says different is a godless robot.
When they asked me to participate in the press day for “Despicable Me,” I was amazed to see Andrews on the list of possible interviews, and I asked if there was any way they could put me in the room with “Mary F**king Poppins.” I was being flip about it, but when they approved the interview and I actually got to the press day and realized who I was about to talk to, I got a wicked case of the jitters.
After all, there are movie stars, and then there are the icons we imprint on as children, and those people always remain incredibly impressive to us as we get older. I’ve met a lot of Hollywood talent, both in front of the camera and behind, and there are very few people who have ever made me as nervous as this interview did. When I walked in the room, whatever I intended to ask her disappeared completely from my head, and it turned into an episode of “The Chris Farley Show.”
I have no idea what we discussed. It literally passed as a blur. When I walked out of the room, the fine folks from Universal were laughing at how big my smile was during the interview. I’m not going to watch this until I publish it because if I’m beaming as much as I think I am, my first inclination would be to censor the footage permanently.
In the end, though, this is one of those lovely perks that this job offers up on occasion. Truth be told, Andrews plays a small part in the film. It’s fun to hear her give voice to the least supportive little bundle of nasty possible, but there’s not a ton to discuss regarding her work here. It was purely a treat to have someone of her stature and bearing at the press day, and I can honestly say that sitting down with her for even a few minutes fulfilled a lifelong desire on my part.
As I got up to leave, I do remember mentioning to her that the night before, I had a long conversation with Jay Roach and a big part of that conversation was a discussion of the work of her husband, the legendary comedy director Blake Edwards.
“Oh, I wish we’d had time to discuss him. That would be a lovely conversation,” she said.
Indeed. Anytime you want to get together for round two, Miss Andrews, I will make myself available.
We’ll have more on this film in the next few days. “Despicable Me” opens Friday.
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