Julie Andrews Reveals the Advice She'd Give to Her Younger Self: 'Nothing You Do in Life Is Wasted'

"What I know now is to remain curious and that nothing is wasted," Andrews told PEOPLE

Photo: Ali Goldstein/Netflix

At 81 years old, Julie Andrews has done it all — but the legendary actress is the first to admit that she’s never going to stop learning.

Speaking with PEOPLE ahead of the release of her new children’s show Julie’s Greenroom (streaming on Netflix Friday), the Hollywood icon opened up about the special advice that she would give to her younger self knowing what she knows now.

“What I know now is that there’s always something more to learn, because you never stop really,” Andrews said. “You don’t just grow up and get set, at least you shouldn’t.”

“What I know now is to remain curious and that nothing is wasted. Nothing you do in life is wasted,” she continued. “I used to travel endlessly around — even when I was a child performer — and think, ‘What is this doing for me?’ I have found so many ways to employ what I observed in those days and incorporate it now.”

Ali Goldstein/Netflix

The British icon is staring as Ms. Julie — the director of the Wellspring Center for the Performing Arts in which she teaches performing arts workshops in the theatre and its “Greenroom” on the show, which she executive-produced and wrote with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton and Judy Rothman-Rofė.

“It’s pretty special from this mum’s point of view,” Andrews said of working with her daughter. “This is a new learning curve for both of us really — writing for children in television and also the format — to know that you only got this much time and you have to get everything out of it. She’s on the floor everyday while I’m performing. She’s holding it all together.”


When it came to creating Julie’s Greenroom, the mother-daughter duo were hands on each step of the way — which included creating the perfect puppets for their young audience.

“We wanted to include a sibilance of characters across the board,” Andrews explained. “We wanted them to say many things… like just because you’re handicapped doesn’t mean you can’t do things like dance. We wanted as many children represented as we could.”

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Andrews did admit that there were a few “firsts” for the Hollywood veteran that came with her new preschool show.

“In fact, writing for [puppets] was [a] first time for me,” she added. “Also really creating and helping create with the Henson workshop to build the puppets with all the ideas we had, and all the work that went into that and choosing which characters mattered and why. It’s got a lot more research, even though it’s very simple. You don’t realize how much goes into the back of it.”

Julie’s Greenroom will feature original songs and every episode will feature a guest star who engages the kids in a specific area of the performing arts. The large array of guest stars include: Alec Baldwin, Sara Bareilles, Joshua Bell, Tituss Burgess, Carol Burnett, Ellie Kemper, Idina Menzel, and many more.

“What we hope it that we will be embraced,” Andrews said. “I wanted to do something about the arts for children for the longest time. Actually, in whatever way possible that turns you on to the arts.”

Julie’s Greenroom is now streaming on Netflix.

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