Later tonight, Dame Julie Andrews will receive the AFI Life Achievement Award at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California. She’s being honored for her decades of film and TV appearances. From classic hits like “The Sound of Music” to “Mary Poppins” to “The Princess Diaries” to “Bridgerton,” most recently. No one can dispute that Julie Andrews is one of the most iconic performers, on-screen and on stage, in generations.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Andrews discussed her incredible career and what she took away from her memorable performances. She started acting at a young age, appearing in “The Singing Princess” when she was just 14 years old. And at the time, she learned a key piece of advice from her mother.
“From the earliest days when I was a kid — from about 12 years old onwards I was one of those child singers that seem to attract a lot of attention — my mother would say to me, ‘Remember, there’s always somebody in the wings that can do it better than you. And just be grateful for what you get,'” Julie Andrews explained. “And that was a very good piece of advice at that time. I’ve had several other wonderful pieces of advice, but that was the very first one.”
Andrews would go on to star in a few more small roles before striking gold with “Mary Poppins” in 1964. Scarcely a year later, “The Sound of Music” would come out, launching her career as both an actress and singer. Before that, she also made waves on Broadway in shows like “My Fair Lady” and “Camelot.”
Julie Andrews Reflects on Whether Characters Stick With Her or Not
Many fans recognize Julie Andrews as Maria von Trapp, Mary Poppins, or Queen Clarisse Renaldi. She brought a certain elegance and grace to each role that showed she was perfectly matched for the characters. But did those characters stick with her after the movies debuted and filming ended?
“The films live on if you’re lucky, and some of them don’t,” Julie Andrews told The Hollywood Reporter. “But some of them have. In a way, there’s always a piece of oneself somewhere in there. I don’t think it’s completely all that one is. It’s a character, and it’s an acting exercise.”
She added, “But I don’t know if I carry them around. I’m not sure. I don’t think I do. I could certainly summon it up if I had to. But I don’t dwell on it and I don’t see it very often. If I happen to stumble on it, I might look at it and think, ‘Oh gosh, I wish I’d done that better.'”
We’re often our own worst critics, and Julie Andrews is no different. Even after earning three Tony nominations, two Oscar nominations and one win, seven Primetime Emmy nominations and two wins, two BAFTA nominations and one win, and three GRAMMY nominations and three wins, she still stays humble.