INTERVIEW: Julie Andrews will discuss her long, glorious career at Cobb Energy Centre Dec. 4
VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 03: Dame Julie Andrews attends the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement photocall during the 76th Venice Film Festival on September 03, 2019 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
In an interview, Andrews said the second book took three years to write, with help from her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton. It focuses on Andrews' time in Hollywood covering 1963 through 1986.
“My daughter was a tremendous help,” Andrews said. “She created this huge timeline for me from my datebooks and diaries and goodness knows what. We had interview sessions together. She’s a wonderful writer. It was a great pleasure but also quite painful at times.”
She said her memory is hardly ironclad and “the Internet was helpful. We also re-watched a lot of my movies and that would help me remember things. I also looked through letters and photo albums and personal artifacts.”
Andrews said going through her life this way made her realize that she had been adept over the years at burying the more painful memories while cherishing the good ones. At the same time, she was proud of the scope of her accomplishments.
“I was reminded how hard I worked,” Andrews said. “How much I actually accomplished in any given day, month or year. Also in a way, what little I knew at the time and how much I have learned since. I was also able to process certain things emotionally and put them to bed. I tried to be as truthful and honest as I could.”
Overall, she hopes her fans will appreciate what she went through: “Writing a memoir is like living your life all over again a second time.”
Since the book ends in 1986, it doesn’t include the tragic 1997 surgery to remove noncancerous nodules from her vocal cord that damaged her angelic singing voice.
She isn’t sure how much energy she has to do a third book to cover the last third of her life. “Get back to me in a year,” she said. “I’m still recovering!”
Andrews has used her still lovely speaking voice for several animated films. And it hasn’t stopped her from acting.
“My life has been full of the most extraordinary opportunities,” she said.
And her relationship with Disney - including founder Walt Disney himself - has been especially valuable, providing her with many of her most prominent roles. And better yet: Disney+ streaming just debuted, offering fans an even easier outlet to watch Andrews in “Mary Poppins,” “Sound of Music” and “The Princess Diaries.”
“The studio has been nothing but kind to me,” she said. “It’s been a constant over the years. I’m alumni there. I’m very grateful to them. They taught me so much.”
Andrews remains close to her "Mary Poppins" co star Dick Van Dyke, 93, and her best friend Carol Burnett, 86.
“Whenever I see sweet Dick, it’s as if we just picked off from where we left,” Andrews said. “Carol is the godmother to my daughter. We are still very very good friends. There’s this bond we share together that is just lovely.”
BURBANK, CA - DECEMBER 09: Actors Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke attend the U.S. premiere of Disney's "Saving Mr. Banks", the untold backstory of how the classic film "Mary Poppins" made it to the screen, at the Walt Disney Studios on December 9, 2013 in Burbank, California. The film opens this Holiday season. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Credit: Kevin Winter
Credit: Kevin Winter
And she expects the crowd at Cobb Energy will likely ask her “Mary Poppins” and “Sound of Music” questions. And she’s fine with that.
“I don’t get tired of it,” she said. “Everybody is curious. I wanted the book to reflect how hard the work was. It wasn’t all glamour and opening nights and red carpets. It’s the background and the backbone of the industry which I learned about and came to admire and enjoy.”
Rodney Ho writes about entertainment for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A native New Yorker, he has covered education at The Virginian-Pilot, small business for The Wall Street Journal and a host of beats at the AJC over 20-plus years.