New, awesome, wonderful, fantastic, splendiferous, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious interview with Dame Julie Andrews from Broadway World.com!
Here's some highlights!
PC: What do you think about the rock aesthetic and sound in musical theatre? Scores like CHESS and JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR...
JA: The one feeling that I do have is that, certainly, the rock musicals - particularly, of Lloyd Webber, he pioneered that new sound and it was very valid - but, I'm not as fond of it as I am of the great, more romantic musicals, I have to say.
PC: What's your favorite cast album?
JA: My favorite cast album? Oh, my goodness me! (Theatrical Sigh.) Of all the great musicals?
JA: Oh, my! Can I have six?
PC: Whatever you want!
JA: Well, I guess - obviously, this goes for musicals, too - I guess GYPSY. I guess, in terms of cast albums, CANDIDE. I guess WEST SIDE STORY. I guess GUYS & DOLLS. I guess, I have to include MY FAIR LADY in there, too. And one that I absolutely adore - of course - SWEENEY TODD, as well as A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM. (Laughs.) Which just has a special place in my heart.
PC: It is wonderful to see that. What do you think of GLEE?
JA: (Laughs.) I think it's wonderful. I think it is so terrific that we are getting a chance to, you know, air some of these Broadway songs and help children to learn about them. You know, the scary thing is, Pat...
JA: I asked one of my daughter's friends in high school, she said that she was studying musical theatre. So, I said to her, "What are you doing?" and she said, "I'm singing and I'm singing some ballads." She mentioned a couple, and I said, "Are you doing any Rodgers & Hammerstein?" and she said, "Who?" and my heart sank!
JA: I made a vow then and there that it was my mission in life to keep promoting all the greats because, if one isn't careful they will - I don't think they'll go away, but I do feel a distinct need to help push them forward - but I think GLEE is doing just that.
PC: You should never feel that way. Please tell me: Mary Poppins, Maria or Cinderella, if you had to choose?
JA: Oh, God. I don't want to have to choose! (Laughs.)
PC: But, you have to!
JA: When children ask me what's my favorite, I say to them, "Imagine having ten beautiful new puppies in a basket and you had to say which one is your favorite, and you simply couldn't because you love them all for different reasons." POPPINS was such a learning experience, as was THE SOUND OF MUSIC. I tell you, every one of them just helped me grow in what I do and did and each one was such a phenomenal working experience. Just as I said, the collaboration is what it's all about.
PC: Could you tell me about working on STAR!? It's my favorite musical movie of the 60s.
JA: Oh, yes! Thank you so much for that! I love it, too. It was a lot of hard work at the time. It had so much detail... the sets were period-specific, the wigs for each period, different make-up for each period. It was quite an exhaustive film to do. And I loved working with Michael Kidd who, of course, became a great, great friend of mine.
PC: You never got to meet Gertrude Lawrence herself, did you?
JA: No, I did not. I think, if memory serves, I met her daughter once. I honestly don't recall too much. I actually don't think I did Gertie any favors, the way the script was written and so on. I think it was not as flattering to Gertie as it could have been but it certainly was a wonderful film to make. It gave me so much, you know; there was so much meat in there to work on.
PC: In the commentary for CHICAGO, director Rob Marshall cites STAR! as one of his biggest influences on his film.
JA: Oh, really? I never knew he said that! How lovely!
PC: Putting them side-by-side, it's clear to see. STAR! reinvented the bio-movie-musical in a lot of ways.
JA: I didn't realize that. (Pause.) Wow, you've really done your homework!
PC: No, really, you shepherding STAR! is partially responsible for the comeback of the musical now. It's all there. It's like the biopic musicals of today like RAY, DREAMGIRLS and CADDILAC RECORDS. That's STAR! Thirty years ahead of its time.
JA: It came out at a time when really big budget movies - at that point - were on the decline, on the wane. So, it wasn't that successful. But, over the years, it's become sort of a cult, a collector's item. There have been several re-releases of it. I have hugely fond memories of it. Our directory Bob Wise was, of course, a darling and I loved working with him.
PC: I think it does! So, are ENCHANTED 2 and DESPICABLE US still happening relatively soon?
JA: (Big Laugh). I have no idea, I have no idea!
PC: On IMDB it says both are in-development!
JA: Wait, by ENCHANTED 2 do you mean THE PRINCESS DIARIES sequel?
PC: No, I mean ENCHANTED 2. You provided the narration for ENCHANTED!
JA: Oh, yes, only the very, very beginning of it, really. And the ending. You're right. I did. Yes, they probably are doing that. But, I didn't know about it. So, you're the first to tell me.
PC: So, I broke the news, I broke the story to Dame Andrews herself!
JA: Yes. Yes, you did! (Laughs.)
PC: They aren't scheduled until 2013 anyway. You have time!
JA: That's if I'm asked. Mind you, as a narrator I'm not sure if they'll need me this time. So, from your lips to someone's ears, Pat!
PC: And you need to do a duet with Idina Menzel this time in ENCHANTED 2! Or on GLEE!
JA: (Laughs.) Yes! Oh, my goodness me! (Laughs.)
Best. Interview. EVER!! Please, also read the whole thing. Many, many interesting stories.
Avatar and signature are Al Hirschfeld illustrations of Julie Andrews in Star!