Friday, May 18, 2012

Julie Andrews, Continually Awesome

 “Being a princess isn’t about being royalty,” insists Andrews on the phone from Los Angeles. “It’s about discovering your own authenticity and finding your own inner sparkle.”

“When I was a girl, part of the whole princess package was finding the prince who would marry you and see to it that you lived happily ever after. We all know that’s not necessarily true,” she says with a rueful chuckle, “and I’m glad to see that wanting to be a princess nowadays means a young woman has something to aspire to. It could be power or influence or a career, or somebody wonderful to love, but it’s a choice that she’s made herself, not one that somebody else made for her. That’s what’s important.”
Andrews allows that “we went through a troubled period when we threw the baby out with the bathwater, telling girls it was wrong to want to be a princess, when what we really wanted to tell them was that it was wrong to aspire to a scenario where you were subservient to someone else as part of the package. I think the whole fantasy of dressing up and pretending to be someone that you admire is a healthy thing. Child development specialists now say it helps so much with cognitive skills and emotional development.
“It doesn’t matter if you want to be a princess or a nurse or a prime minister. Those are all good role models and they’re all tough ones, requiring an enormous amount of generosity and dedication.”
“Did I ever believe I’d become a princess?” she asks. “Please. I think that given my story, it was a miracle and a godsend that I found a talent that gave me an identity. I think it saved my life. I could have been a very lost individual.” She pauses a long time. “Although I do recall driving past Buckingham Palace one day and asking my mother, ‘Do you think I could ever have tea with the queen?’ And she said, ‘If you play your cards right and you’re a decent young woman, it might happen.’ And she was right. It did.”

“...this lovely new princess, Kate Middleton, is a welcome and joyous addition to the royal family image, with a wonderful head on her shoulders and seems like a truly lovely person. I think she’ll go a long way toward erasing some of the craziness that happened with Diana.”
“You know, I think all kids just want basic things at the start, simple things to make them happy. Love, security, respect. And, from my experience, they’re all pretty genuine until life catches up with them, or they become disillusioned. If anyone asked me, I would tell all young people to trust their instincts as well as their hearts, because that first instinct is usually a very true one. And what do you need to do that? An enormous amount of good fortune and wonderful mentors, and probably the ability to work hard and dig in when it was necessary.”

It doesn’t take a wizard to figure out that Andrews is talking about her own life, so I solicit her opinion on what to tell any young people who feel their dream is in the musical theatre. “Of course, I would tell them all to follow their dream, but to be prepared for a tough world out there that doesn’t always share that dream.”

“I think there will always be a need for musicals. Oh, I don’t just think it. I believe it. Look at the success of shows like Wicked or TV programs like Glee. They’re all speaking to young people and making musical theatre an important part of their lives. There’s a phenomenal amount of talent out there. I’m amazed by it. This digital age gives us the opportunity to bring so much more to people. It’s escalating so fast and skyrocketing so far that it positively takes my breath away.”

“From ugly duckling to beautiful swan. That’s the journey every would-be princess dreams of taking.”

“I loved the initial simplicity of Cinderella’s dreams. Oh yes, they spun out of control, but she began by wanting to be treated decently. That’s all.”

“I thought Guinevere was a wonderfully spunky woman who happened to love two men equally. Not how it’s supposed to go, but sometimes you can’t help it.”

“If a princess is someone who learns how to rule a kingdom wisely and well, then Mary Poppins was truly a princess.”

“I love the message that I believe these movies send out to young people. You can be anything you want to be. You just have to let your inner sparkle out.”



  1. I love your blog! And I love that you mentioned Julie Andrews...she is coming to the Hollywood Bowl (where I work) and I am super excited to see her. It's sad she doesn't sing any more - she's hosting opening night, not performing - but we have so much wonderful stuff of hers in movie memories.

    Here's more info about the show:

    Can't wait to read more! :)

  2. Great articles... Superb keep it up