Emma Thompson on Her Role as the Author of Mary Poppins: “She’s the most difficult person I’ve ever played”

Walt Disney remains one of the most well-liked figures in Hollywood history — heck, his name alone brings smiles to children whose parents weren’t even born in Disney’s lifetime — so finding someone to play Disney in the upcoming movie Saving Mr. Banks must have been particularly challenging.  Well, is there any argument that the actor best suited for the role is the most trusted man in America (at least according to Reader’s Digest)?

emma-thompson-tom-hanks-saving-mr-banks

Tom Hanks stars alongside Emma Thompson, who plays P.L. Travers, the author of Mary Poppins.  The film tells the story of Disney’s pursuit of the rights to make the beloved film adaptation and Travers’ long-time resistance.  In fact, in an interview with Time Thompson admits, “She’s the most difficult person I’ve ever played.” 

She elaborates, “She was a woman of quite eye-watering complexity and contradiction.  Often I play people who are controlled by some very clear guiding moral principles. Like Margaret Schlegel [in Howards End], guided by the early principles of feminism and equal rights, and Elinor Dashwood [in Sense and Sensibility], guided by the principles of decency and honor. There are very clear moral prisms these women pour life through, and I understand that very well. And [Travers] was not like that at all. She was far more chaotic and confused and morally various.”

However, Thompson understands why Travers was so resistant to let Disney do whatever he pleased with her work.  Thompson wrote the screenplay for the children’s film Nanny McPhee and says that children are wiser than studios tend to think.  She explains, “There’s a tendency to cast aside a children’s author or children’s film and make it seem less important than those for an adult audience. Of course, I think it’s the other way around.  You can get away with dropping the ball from time to time with adult audiences but children know. You’ve really got to do your best. Letting them down is a serious failure in your artistic integrity.”

Leave a Reply

Latest Videos

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-anna-gunn-jacki-weaver-and.jpg
Watch: Anna Gunn, Jacki Weaver and Virginia Kull on ‘Gracepoint’ and Strong Female Roles on TV
The actresses also speak candidly about how they feel about their characters in the series and why its important for TV to feature series with strong female leads.Check out the conversation above!
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-cristin-milioti-talks-a-to.jpg
Watch: Cristin Milioti Talks ‘A to Z’, ‘Once’ and ‘How I Met Your Mother’
Few actresses have the kind of rise as Cristin Milioti has had in the last few years. A virtual unknown in 2011, she became a bona fide Broadway star in the 2012 hit Once, appeared in a supporting role in the 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, and was featured as the titular mother […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/watch-bryan-cranstons-acting-adv.jpg
Watch: Bryan Cranston’s Acting Advice
With Breaking Bad: The Complete Series Barrel being released on Blu-ray with all kinds of goodies today, it gives us yet another opportunity to reflect on the series’ star Bryan Cranston and all of the incredible advice he has offered actors in the wake of his success. In a video he filmed in 2013 for […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/alex-sharp-curious-incident-of-the-dog.jpg
Alex Sharp Talks About His Broadway Debut in ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ (video)
Alex Sharp went from working in a call-center and renovating houses to going to Julliard. And now, he’s starring in one of the most talked about shows of the season, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Check out this great, inspiring video!
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Its-only-a-play.jpg
Watch a Scene From Terrance McNally’s, ‘It’s Only a Play’, Featuring Nathan Lane and Micah Stock
Here’s a quick scene from Terrance McNally‘s It’s Only a Play, currently on Broadway at the Schoenfeld Theater. In this scene, Nathan Lane and Micah Stock meet for the first time. The show, about the opening night of a new play, also stars Matthew Broderick, Stockard Channing, F. Murray Abraham, Rupert Grint and Megan Mullally.