‘Mary Poppins’ Star Julie Andrews Speaks on Walt Disney Giving Her ‘My First Big Chance’

by Megan Molseed

Recently, Dame Julie Andrews was honored at the American Film Institute with a lifetime achievement award. And, during the evening, the longtime actress took some time to reflect on her career. Including how the entertainment giant, Disney gave the actress her “first big chance” in the industry so many years ago when she was cast in the beloved family classic, Mary Poppins.

During the evening of the AFI event, iconic actress Julie Andrews took some time to reflect on her first major role, and what it meant for the actress at the beginning of her prolific career.

Poppins was the first film,” the actress says of her big break.

“Disney, Walt Disney gave me my first big chance,” Andrews adds with a smile. The Victor/Victoria star adds that a film like Mary Poppins was a great one to start with when getting into the movie business.

“I learned so much on that film,” Julie Andrews says of the 1964 family favorite.

“It was a wonderful film to learn the craft of movie-making,” she adds.

“Because there were so many special effects, so much waiting around,” Andrews explains. “So many complicated things to do. Because it was animated as well.”

Julie Andrews Discusses The Legacy She Hopes To Leave Behind

Not long after her breakout role as the magical nanny who shows up at just the right time in Mary Poppins, Andrews went on to star in The Sound of Music. From there, she went on to star in many of our favorite films, including Thoroughly Modern Millie; Victor/Victoria, and The Princess Diaries. She also lent her voice to a variety of films as the narrator, such as in Ella Enchanted.

Andrews has even voiced animated characters during her career, lending her voice to films like Shrek, as well as a variety of Despicable Me films…including a few of the Minions installments.

“I’ve been the [luckiest] lady because happening to be in the right place and right time,” Julie Andrews says of her successful Hollywood career.

“And having the wonderful directors and people that I’ve worked with,” the actress adds. Andrews also notes that she feels fortunate to be able to just focus on her craft, and learn “what it’s all about.”

“I never expected it to be like that,” Julie Andrews says of her career. And, when asked what sort of a legacy she would like to leave, Andrews says it all comes down to making sure fans enjoy her films.

“I just hope I give a little pleasure,” the actress smiles.

“That’s the only legacy I would be happy about,” she continues.

“That’s what it’s all about, is the giving,” the Sound of Music star adds. “I just hope that they had a good time.”