In a recorded livestream interview, Dame Julie Andrews spoke about her unlikely career in Hollywood, detailed in her new book Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, co-written with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton.
“I just wanted to share what it was like to come to Los Angeles to make movies...I knew nothing, I was learning on my feet,” says Julie Andrews to director Adam Shankman. She certainly fooled audiences and the Academy—her first starring role was the box-office smash Disney film Mary Poppins, for which she won the Oscar for Best Actress.
Andrews got the role when she was on Broadway opposite Richard Burton in Camelot. When Walt Disney came backstage to say hello, she didn’t think much of it at first. Then, in walked a charismatic gentleman who enjoyed the show and then invited her to Hollywood to learn more about a spoonful of sugar-feeding nanny who dances with animated penguins. There was no audition process, but Andrews thinks her success on Broadway likely helped her land the part.
During the interview with Shankman, Andrews also shared stories about how she balanced fame and family and other major roles throughout her career, including The Sound of Music and Victoria/Victoria. The three-time Tony nominee also answered questions from viewers like what cheers her up on a hard day and what she learned about herself from writing Home Work.
You can watch the entire conversation here.