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Emma, Tony Wilson, Hollywood discussed on Fresh Air


Reduction on the movie takes he said okay we'll wait and he did and nine months later or ten months later when Emma was born we my first husband Tony Wilson and I traveled to Hollywood and were welcomed into the heart of the Disney studios and lovely people and couldn't have been more spoiled the amazing thing is that my husband at the time Tony Walton who was a designer and I was asked by Walt to bring his designs with him so he could see them and when he did see them he hired Tony on the spot to do the costumes and the interior is mostly of Mary Poppins the film talk about a phenomenal break for this married couple that with a new baby and and the job for those of us it was I'm and Tony and I got a wonderful and academy award nomination for that so how many months after you give birth did you have to start rehearsing dance scenes and well we did you know all the rehearsals form for the choreography and four and the pre recording that had to be done of the songs and costumes had to be fitted it was about three months before we traveled to Hollywood and then about four or nearly five I think before we actually began shooting did your body feel ready because it's a very a physical role also considering you were flying yes well it didn't feel ready I mean having just had a baby it took me awhile to get in shape by the way I felt I should be there was an enormous amount of action in every way I would you know work out every day and and of course there as I said that with the dances to learn which were pretty active and I didn't feel ready but I guess I was I want to ask you about the flying scenes it sounds sounds well and have to wear a harness for some of the flying in the harness rose you're hitting a homes you know these days special effects like lying and so on it so much easier than they were in the days when I made a Mary Poppins but I defy anyone to spot any of the tricks that Disney employed to make the movie and the special effects work yes there was a lot of flying sometime as I was on a giant teeter totter at as you call it a big sea sore sometimes I was at the top of a ladder and have clouds around me and many other things it was very interesting and all new to me but they've flying harness wise as you just said very painful you know I would be fairly high up in the studio and hanging around for quite a long time but it was pretty scary and the thank heavens I was perfectly alright Emma let's bring you into the conversation do you remember the first time you saw your mother in Mary Poppins what I remember Terry one of my earliest memories is not actually seeing the film but being in a department store in a children's clothing section of a department store and I think I was about three years old and it must have been right around the time the film came out because it took so long in post production after the film was shot for them to finish all the special effects and so forth in the animation and I was with my nanny at the time and they had set up a display for Mary Poppins in the children's section of the department and they were all these life size cardboard cut outs of my mom and I remember pointing to them and saying look there's mommy and then suddenly becoming aware of two women who were shopping in the department next to us saying to one another isn't that sweet that little girl thinks her mother is Mary Poppins and I I was like but but it but she is that's that's my mom you know and I think that was the first time I understood that my mom's job was perhaps a little different the little public official yes I'm a what was it like for you to know people who like worship your mother because of the movies I'm talking about when you were young when you were a child yourself and they thought of your mother as you know Maria and the sound of music or Mary Poppins in Mary Poppins as basically like the perfect governess who could like sue then the child being any child like see you know this see the the the the silver lining of any cloud and and you know they they knew how hard I was struggling to everything runs a real mom yeah yes so so am I what was it like free for you to see this like Hollywood version of that you know of your of your mother's role verses like what was really low what was like in real life well it was it was challenging sometimes as as you can imagine them lot of times people would ask me questions or assume you know does she sing you to sleep at night and things like that it's baffled me no certainly not all of those songs anyway you know one doesn't want doesn't generally bring ones work home if one can help it and so we if she if when she sang to me it was usually you know English lullabies and and Old English songs from vaudeville days that you know harks back to her youth and later we moved around a lot because of course because of her work taking her to various different parts of the world and so as a result I went to a number of different schools I think I went to about seven different schools of the cross of the course of my childhood and that was interesting because I've finally found that if people found out who my mother was they would tend to sort of want to be friends in order to get an invite over to the house kind of thing so I learned to hide behind the name Walton which is my which is was my maiden name is my father's name for as long as I possibly could so as to cultivate hopefully some real friendships before any of the other stuff became lets our shows that religion at all no it was it wasn't sad it was all you knew really yes was what it was and and the truth is mom was very very family as as people who read the book will see you know family means everything to her home and family hence the title of both memories having the word home in it you know she was a mom through and through at home and always made an effort to get up and make breakfast for us before school in the mornings even if she had a full day at the studio or was night shooting and you know really worked hard to create a family routine and atmosphere at home that was real and normal and and separate and apart from all the other stuff of Hollywood so it was a bit of a contrast to what people I think imagined and the film's episodic there for you know that was a cute work sometimes and then some long periods between a movie at when one was just home and being a mom did you feel Julie enters did you feel pressure to measure up to Mary Poppins and to Maria and this is it to be perfect to be S. solution to your children's problems on it not a tool at Terry and I'm far from that but but am I did feel pressured to be as good a mom as I could because I was aware of that save other people in the business who had issues with with family and work and their children did suffer and I didn't want that I wanted just to be a family and of course it was doubly hard because sadly my first marriage ended at two Tony although with still great great friends and finally I remarried and Blake Edwards the the film director and I was making a new family as well I am of a what was it like for you when first you had a blended family with two siblings from Blake Edwards first marriage and then two adopted children and I mean let's face it there there your mother's time was divided among more children it was in and my time was divided between both my parents as well so I I who are living on opposite coasts opposite coasts exactly or even I mean there were years when we were living in Europe and my father was in New York my father was always in New York and so I spent the school year with my mother and Blake and my my step brother and sister and then my younger sisters and all of this summer vacations and Christmas and Easter vacations and school breaks with my father and my stepmother and my step sister and they were very different households they were they were very different cultures they were in different cities and different communities and it was it was an interesting experience I found quite often that while I was traveling between homes on the airplane let's say I would go through a process of in a way adapting myself into the daughter that I needed to be to fit into that house it's not a it's it's not painful it just was what it was it was like okay now I have to be the daughter that is hip to New York and you know it the theater scene and all of that and now I'm going back to California I'm going to London or Switzerland and I have to adapt to being the other daughter the school based on her and the daughter in the larger family and so forth it was it was interesting okay let's take a short break here and then we'll talk some more if you're just joining us my guests are Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton they've collaborated on Julie Andrews second ma'am more homework which begins with her Hollywood years we'll be right back this is fresh AIR support for KQED comes from crimson education and admissions consulting 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