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As the holidays approach, so does the arrival of one beloved nanny. Mary Poppins Returns will head to theaters just before Christmas as for many fans, this feels like the present they’ve been waiting for their entire lives. And apparently even the cast feel like they have beautiful gift to give. Entertainment Weekly recently spoke to the stars of the film, and director Rob Marshall and their delightful interview will be on newsstands on Friday.

Mary Poppins Returns

What’s happening:

  • This week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly will not only feature Mary Poppins Returns on the cover, but also an interview with the film’s cast.
  • Director Rob Marshall also talks about the story he wanted to tell and what helped to shape his vision.
  • Along with a closer look at Mary Poppins Returns, the issue will cover all the must see holiday programs airing this winter.
  • Fans can pick up their copies of Entertainment Weekly online at ew.com or at newsstands on November 9.

What they’re saying:

  • Emily Blunt on taking on the role of Mary Poppins: “I did, going into this, [hear] the preamble of everyone turning to me — including a friend of mine who said, ‘You’ve got balls of steel’ — and I would just try to allow all of that to be white noise and really approach her as I would any other character. The beauty of Rob is that he kept it intimate enough so that you don’t feel the bigness too much. We just focused on this story and these people and this moment.”
  • Emily Blunt on getting the role and working in Lin-Manuel Miranda: “It was becoming so deep in my bones that I was going to be doing this, and that first overwhelming rush of thrill and fear when I got offered this role had diluted to something quite real… and so I think it was exciting knowing that Lin and I were going to be playing cohorts and kindred spirits.”
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda on his experience on the film: “The highs were so high, in terms of: ‘Today we’re dancing with penguins, tomorrow we’re dancing with Meryl Streep, the next day we’re biking in front of Buckingham Palace. For me, coming from theater, the adrenaline source is having the audience there, and when you take that audience away, where is it? Where does that part come from? And you realize, it comes from ‘We’re never coming back to Buckingham Palace to get a second take.’ The adrenaline source is in getting it right in that moment.”
  • Rob Marshall on his vision for Mary Poppins Returns: “I used myself as a barometer, honestly. Just say I wasn’t involved at all. What would I want to see in this film? I knew I wanted to see an animation sequence in the hand-drawn 2D style. I knew I wanted to have those wonderful characters, Mary’s famously eccentric cousins, or uncles, or aunts. But the most important thing was an emotional story. I wanted to find something that you could connect with. When we chose to set it in the Depression era, it felt like today: people struggling to make ends meet, or in this case, to deal with a loss, which many families deal with. How do you move through that? We had to create a reason for Mary Poppins to come back after 54 years, and it had to be real.”
  • Rob Marshall on Jane and Michael Banks: “They’ve also lost a sense of wonder and joy. And the theme that drove me — of finding that child alive inside you — was, to me, an important story to tell. We live in such a fragile time that we need this film. I certainly felt that I needed it. I needed to turn off the news and be launched into a magical world where wondrous things can happen still, and there’s hope.”
  • Meryl Streep: “Everybody’s walking around with their cheeks a little pinker, and you just know that everybody…they’ve got a secret. They’ve got something really good under wraps until Christmas. I just can’t wait for people to see it. I feel like we have this little secret all tied up in a bow. Why can’t we just give it to them today?”

Mary Poppins Returns arrives in theaters on December 19.

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