Arts & Culture

Julie Andrews Almost Had a Major Accident While Filming Mary Poppins's Flying Scenes

The flying shots were filmed last, "in case of an accident." And on the very last day, for a moment, Andrews thought her luck was "going to run out."
IMAGE GAB ARCHIVE / GETTY IMAGES
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It seems that the Mary Poppins producers weren't particularly confident that Julie Andrews could film the titular character's flying scenes without sustaining an injury—and she almost did.

In an interview with the Today show, Andrews revealed that the flying shots were saved for last, "in case of [an] accident." (Likely, not exactly what Andrews would want to hear, ahead of being hoisted high in the air on wires.) Still, all went well, until the very last day.

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A film still from Mary Poppins
Photo by DONALDSON COLLECTION / GETTY IMAGES.

"On the last day, I suddenly thought, 'oh I wonder if my luck is going to run out,'" Andrews recalls in a Today clip shared by the show. "And I was hanging up there, and I felt myself drop by about six inches, and I called and said 'can you let me down easily,' at which point I plummeted to the ground."

Thankfully, the safeguards prevented a disaster. "I was on a balancing weight," Andrews explains, which stopped her from falling too far. Still, she added, "But it was a shock, that’s for sure."

This anecdote was drawn from Andrews's new book, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years, which she wrote with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton. This is the second of Andrews's memoirs; the first, Home, dealt with her childhood and early career.


This new book draws largely from Andrews's old diaries. When asked on Today what it was like to revisit her earlier writings, the actress explained that she was surprised by just how much she had managed to juggle. "I suddenly realized how hard I had worked. You know, life goes by, and you’re so busy in the moment," Andrews said. "And then looking back on it, you think, 'my God.' As you do, I had kids, and a marriage, and a home, and the work. And I was learning on my feet as I went."

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And, in the case of Mary Poppins, off her feet, too.

*This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com

*Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors

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