Academy of Achievement Logo
Achiever Gallery
   + [ The Arts ]
  Public Service
  Science & Exploration
  My Role Model
  Recommended Books
  Academy Careers
Keys to Success
Achievement Podcasts
About the Academy
For Teachers

Search the site

Academy Careers


If you like Julie Andrews's story, you might also like:
Carol Burnett,
Olivia de Havilland,
Sally Field,
Ron Howard,
Jeremy Irons,
Johnny Mathis,
Audra McDonald,
Jessye Norman,
Trevor Nunn,
Sidney Poitier,
Harold Prince,
Stephen Sondheim,
Hilary Swank,
Julie Taymor and
Kiri Te Kanawa

Julie Andrews can also be seen and heard in our Podcast Center

Julie Andrews's recommended reading: The Little Grey Men

Related Links:
Julie Andrews Music on Jango
Reel Classics
The Julie Andrews Collection

Share This Page
  (Maximum 150 characters, 150 left)

Julie Andrews
Julie Andrews
Profile of Julie Andrews Biography of Julie Andrews Interview with Julie Andrews Julie Andrews Photo Gallery

Julie Andrews Interview (page: 6 / 6)

Legend of Stage and Screen

Print Julie Andrews Interview Print Interview

  Julie Andrews

You and your husband, Blake Edwards, enjoyed a great success with Victor Victoria in the 1980s.

Julie Andrews Interview Photo
Julie Andrews: Yes, particularly in all the great cities. Particularly in Chicago and New York, L.A., San Francisco, all the really sophisticated cities. I'm not sure if it was in the middle west. It's theme was provocative, but actually the underpinning of the theme was about love and being happy with who you are. I had a wonderful time making the film. It was Blake, my lovely Blake, at the peak of his creative talent, and I knew I was in the safest hands possible.

Actually it's a little daunting to be married to your director because quite often he'll assume that I know what he wants when I'm simply begging for some small morsel that will get me through. But he'd say, "Oh, that's fine. Just keep doing it." But we could talk about it, and we did when we needed to, but actually we'd mostly not talk about it when we went home. We had too many kids. We pooled all our children. He had two. I had my lovely Emma and we subsequently adopted two.

At this point you've stopped singing because of a surgery that went awry and it's a loss to all of us. Is there any chance of your singing again in the future?

Julie Andrews: I remain optimistic but not tremendously so. If I am able to sing again it will be through some miracle operation. There's a lot of work being done to help singers regain their voices, but in my case I actually lost vocal tissue so it's very hard for my chords to rub together and I need to replace that tissue. I do have some notes in my voice.

I certainly won't be able to sing the way I used to, but probably at this vast age that I have now arrived at I couldn't sing those songs anyway. And, that amazing thing of finding new directions at this time in my life when I never expected to, it was a setback. It was devastating. I miss the music unbelievably, but here am I with a publishing imprint, doing lectures, doing a lot of movies that don't require singing, still working as hard as ever. In fact, I think I may be even more at work than I used to be, and I simply love it. I couldn't be happier.

You directed a new production of The Boy Friend recently.

Julie Andrews: I directed my Emma, Tony's and my daughter, with her husband and her partner, Sybil Burton, Sybil Burton Christopher, in a wonderful little not-for-profit theater in Long Island, and it's a great theater and I directed there for them and had a ball. And, of course, it was The Boy Friend in which I had begun on Broadway and felt I might be able to contribute something to it and was stunned at the talent that I found and how easy and lovely it felt and Tony Walton did the sets and costumes for it. I was in Emma's theater and when I said to Emma, "Emma, if I fail for the family, for you, what if it's not a success? What if it..." She said, "Mom, what better place to try than our theater? You're in the safest possible hands and we'll surround you with people who know what they're doing so that you just do what you do best." And all of a sudden it turned out to be this wonderful success.

Would you do it again?

Julie Andrews: Oh, as they say, "In a New York minute!" Yes.

So one door closes, another door opens.

Julie Andrews: Exactly. To be really slightly corny about it, as Maria von Trapp says, "When God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window." And this window has just been busted wide open and I'm so busy.

You've spoken several times today about the importance of family, staying close.

Julie Andrews Interview Photo
Julie Andrews: Yes. I think family matters to me enormously. In fact, family is the first priority. If my family is good, I can do anything. If they're not, I'm a basket case. There's a lot of guilt associated with going out and doing a concert or speeches or whatever. In a way I'm kind of glad, now that I'm turning to the writing of children's books because it allows me to stay home. I know all the family has grown up and they're all functioning in their own way and in their lives. There are grandchildren now, and I still have Blake to go home to and he has been very patient with me.

It's an enduring marriage by Hollywood standards.

Julie Andrews: It's 35 years this year and that is enduring, yes.

One last question we like to ask of our honorees. What is your conception of the American Dream? Does it mean something to you personally?

Julie Andrews: It is America that gave me so much in my life. It wasn't until I came to America that my life just exploded in so many ways. So for me, I think in a way, though I'm English, I've been living the American Dream and I'm eternally grateful to Americans for allowing me to do what I love doing the most. And, I feel an enormous responsibility to bridge the gap between England and America, and be a sort of very quiet ambassador for my country to try to sort of do a "hands across the water" thing where they understand England and English people understand Americans. I adore America.

[ Key to Success ] The American Dream

Your performance as the Queen in the Princess Diaries has brought you a whole new audience, a whole new generation.

Julie Andrews: I know. It's phenomenal. There's a whole new generation out there that says, "Do you remember Mary Poppins?" "Yeah." "The Sound of Music?" "Yeah." "Princess Diaries?" "Oh, cool!" And I just love it.

It's been wonderful.

Julie Andrews: I thought that might be a good ending.

Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today.

Julie Andrews Interview, Page: 1   2   3   4   5   6   

This page last revised on Mar 31, 2008 14:50 EST
How To Cite This Page