Emily Blunt made one big choice before stepping into iconic shoes for the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns: she steered clear Julie Andrews’ take on the character in the 1964 original.
“Really this is my version of her,” she tells PEOPLE’s Editor-in-Chief Jess Cagle in the latest episode of The Jess Cagle Interview (streaming now on People TV). “I did not watch the original during the process of making it. I had seen it as a kid but I didn’t watch the details of it all because I had to do my version of her.”
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When asked to describe her version of everyone’s favorite magical nanny, the London-born actress, 35, says she relied a lot on the P. L. Travers book series.
“My perception of her in the books is that she is batty, eccentric, hilarious and incredibly rude and vain,” she says. “I like that idea that she sweeps in and takes it all over and makes everything great.”
Blunt, is currently starring with her husband of seven years, John Krasinski, 38, in their new film A Quiet Place, which Krasinski also directed. In the horror thriller, the couple, who are real life parents to Hazel, 4, and Violet, 21 months, are trying to protect their kids from creatures that will hunt them down and kill them if they make a sound.
Blunt says jumping into the role of Mary Poppins after the intense thriller was a nice change of pace.
“It was just joyous,” she says of the role.
Mary Poppins Returns is out December 25.