Julie Andrews Tells The Tooth
Dame Julie Andrews just told SheKnows "Thank God for the internet!" Andrews was referring to her need to research facts from her own life in order to write her popular 2008 autobiography Home: A Memoir of My Early Years.
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The book on Andrews
SheKnows: Was it very painful to re-live some of those early childhood memories?
Julie Andrews: No, oddly enough, you have to understand that I had dealt with them, or thought about them, for a very long time. Actually, what was really painful was getting all of my dates right. I mean I've been around for quite a while now. Just remembering 'Was it 1952? Was it 1954? Was it 1948?' just being sure that all the facts were right. And thank God for the Internet these days. I would have never have gotten them.
SheKnows: So you Google'd yourself?
Julie Andrews: Well, a lot of times believe me. A lot of people know more about me than I knew.
SheKnows: Why you would think so hard about doing a next book about your autobiography? That would cover all your successes.
Julie Andrews: Well, I think that everybody knows what happened after Poppins in a way. I took it up to Mary Poppins and I didn't think that many people knew about my early history. Vaudeville...Moss Hart, the director of My Fair Lady wrote a wonderful book called Act One. It was one of the great, great autobiographies. When I read it I realized that I had learned something from it about a piece of theatre history that I never knew anything about. That was the incentive. I had thought for years 'Why publish a biography? I could always give it to my kids but why come out with it?' Eventually, I thought not many people know about those early and last dying days of British vaudeville. If I could give them a picture of what that was like then that was the reason to do the book.
Andrews as icon?
SheKnows: Your (Tooth Fairy) director on this film Michael Lembeck calls you a 'cultural icon.'
Julie Andrews: It was the wings.
SheKnows: How do you feel about being referred to as a cultural icon? Are you comfortable with that definition?
Julie Andrews: Comfortable? I'm so flattered! I don't believe it for a second. Everybody's very kind. I don't [see that] and neither do my kids [she laughs]. I guess if you stick around long enough...
Speaks to singing
SheKnows: What about the singing? You are going to be performing again so have you recorded that yet?
Julie Andrews: No, no, no. I'm doing a concert in May, in London, which is the beginning of a small but international tour. It's the same concert that I did at the Hollywood Bowl last year and around the country. I'm just taking it to Europe.
SheKnows: What size venues are you going to be performing in?
Julie Andrews: I'll be at Michael Jackson's haunting house, the O2.
SheKnows: That's huge! How is your voice?
Julie Andrews: I'm not singing. I would like to be very clear about that. I have about five good bass notes, which is what I said last year to my audiences. I host the evening, I narrate it, I tell stories, I sing-speak as best I can. If you are looking for me to sing The Sound of Music I could not, sadly, now. I wish I could. But I do come up with some surprises and I think that the audience has a good time. I feel that they do otherwise I wouldn't do it.
SheKnows: Do you go back and watch your movies?
Julie Andrews: I love to see the final cut, or whatever it is that the director would like for me to see. Yeah, I'll probably see it if we go to a premiere or something like that. Quite often I'll turn on the television and something like Sound of Music will be on, or Victor Victoria and I might watch a moment or two. I don't actually sit down and say 'I'm going to watch one of my movies.' No.
SheKnows: You know, Christopher Plummer still doesn't speak kindly of The Sound of Music.
Julie Andrews: I think he used not to, but he freely admits that he was young and foolish, and thought he was being hip. Actually, if you catch him on a quiet day, he's tickled to death.
Sounding off on Sound of Music and Shrek
SheKnows: You did a great interview with him on the bonus features for the 40th anniversary Blu-Ray of the film. You kind of brought him out of that whole thing.
Julie Andrews: He's a pussycat really. He just likes to pretend to be a bad boy.
SheKnows: You have worked together again since then (for a TV production of On Golden Pond). Do you plan to work together again?
Julie Andrews: Anytime we could, yes. Anytime.
SheKnows: He's playing Tolstoy in the film The Last Station.
Julie Andrews: Yes, I would love to see it. I will see it.
Julie Andrews: Yes, that's coming up. I'm not featured as much in this Shrek. But I am in it. It's going to be lovely I think, based on what I've seen of it, which when you do an animated film you don't see that much. But, I have another lovely [animated] film coming out later in the year called Despicable Me with Steve Carell.
SheKnows: Who are you in that one?
Julie Andrews: I play Carell's mom and it is maybe the nastiest character I have
SheKnows: Really? You're going to play a bad woman?
Julie Andrews: Well, she's a bad woman with a wonderful attitude. She is so self-involved that she's delicious. I think it's coming out in July. Her name is Marlena. They said I could name her, and she's the ugliest looking wench you've ever seen, but she thinks she is just [gorgeous].
SheKnows: Do you use your own voice or do you change it?
Julie Andrews: I did change my voice for that one. I did the most white bread German, Jewish, English awful mother that you have ever heard. It was ridiculous but I was trying to balance it out.
Read on for more Julie Andrews and The Tooth Fairy