While in LA covering the Mary Poppins Returns World Premiere, I had the opportunity to interview the actors behind the grown Banks children. Ben Whishaw plays “Michael Banks” and Emily Mortimer plays “Jane Banks” in the new movie. This might have been the Mary Poppins Returns interview I enjoyed the most.
The two have so much chemistry that you might think they’re actually siblings!
Disney provided me with an all-expense paid trip in exchange for sharing about the film.
Ben Whishaw & Emily Mortimer Mary Poppins Returns Interview
When you see Mary Poppins Returns, I think you’ll agree with me. Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer were meant to play the adult versions of the Banks children. They’re both fabulous in their roles and really help add depth to the world of Mary Poppins.
It’s fun to see such iconic characters all grown up!
It was also a blast to learn more about their experiences, their fears, and other interesting things you won’t know about from just watching the film.
THE SECRET TO HAVING JOY AND WONDER IN THEIR LIVES
Ben Whishaw confessed that he had no idea how he does it. Then admitted that the things he does might not be healthy.
I loved it because I think that’s something we can all probably relate to at times!
Emily Mortimer agreed with him but also shared that her kids are really helpful. As a mom, I completely relate to this and I’m sure other moms do as well. Kids help combat things like fear and loneliness in life. Seeing things and experiencing things through their eyes brings joy and wonder to everything.
WORKING WITH DIRECTOR ROB MARSHALL
The entire cast was the first choice of Mary Poppins Returns director Rob Marshall. So we wanted to know what that felt like.
Ben shared that when Rob likes you, he really really likes you. You feel his love and excitement about what you might bring to the table.
“He helps you be your best self.”
Emily said that he really helps the actors be the best they can be and that you really believe what he says about you. “He’s so encouraging,” and they both agreed that it was really nice.
MOST CHALLENGING SCENE IN THE FILM – IT’S NOT WHAT YOU MIGHT THINK!
I found it very interesting when Ben Whishaw shared that the final scene of the movie is the one he found most challenging. It had to be a climactic moment and sometimes it’s a lot easier to play grief and misery. Playing open-hearted and happy can actually be quite hard!
Emily Mortimer talked about a scene in the movie where the family is standing in the empty house on Cherry Tree Lane. The temptation was to play it with grief but Rob Marshall encouraged them to avoid wallowing in the pain. He instead encouraged them to focus on trying to be happy for the children because that is where the true heartbreak of the scene.
They both did exceptionally in both scenes! All the feels!
WATCH FOR THEIR FAVORITE SCENES
Ben loves the big dance number – Little Light Fantastic. Emily agreed and explained that you just can’t catch your breath.
Now that I’ve seen it, I couldn’t agree more. You don’t want to miss it! The song is amazing and the production number is incredible!
THEY’RE NOT REALLY RELATED
Emily Mortimer and Ben Whishaw have an amazing chemistry as the Banks siblings in Mary Poppins Returns. It was a chemistry and camaraderie that came through in the interview too.
So how did they develop that relation?
They were really lucky they just got on well when they first got together to work on the movie. They also had a lot of time together because of rehearsals. They had the opportunity to hang out a lot, on set and off.
Ben explained that there’s a lot of waiting on big film projects so there a lot of time sitting together talking. Emily chimed in that there’s a lot of time spent about what you’re going to have for lunch.
BEN WHISHAW IS NOT A SINGER.
Once you see the movie, you might not believe it but Ben Whishaw is NOT a singer. He shared that before the film, he had never sung before. During rehearsal and filming, he was worried about hitting the notes and “making it sound nice.”
But director Rob Marshall was incredible and told him not to worry about that but to focus on being the character talking to his wife. He shared with him that it was the way you sing a song.
I have to agree. The results are amazing!
EMILY MORTIMER FACES HER FEARS
Emily Mortimer confessed that being in the movie was scary. She’s afraid of heights and can’t sing. So being part of Mary Poppins Returns was amazing but also terrifying since she had to fly and sing.
Mary Poppins Returns hits theaters on December 19th! Be sure to mark your calendars! What a fun film to catch with the family during the holiday season!
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MORE MARY POPPINS RETURNS
- Mary Poppins Returns Movie Review
- Mary Poppins Returns Premiere Experience
- Emily Blunt Mary Poppins Interview
- Lin-Manuel Miranda Mary Poppins Interview