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Emily Blunt practically perfectly explains why Mary Poppins is a surprsingly modern icon

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Megan Murray
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Mary Poppins Returns is out in cinemas today, so we spoke to Emily Blunt about why the magical nanny is such an icon. 

Mary Poppins has had a place in our hearts since she first floated onto screens in 1964, played by the delightful Julie Andrews. With her firm but fair attitude, unbridled confidence and ability to whip all those around her into shape, she was a brilliant example of a strong woman. 

And now, 54 years later, the role has been reprised by an actor we’re equally as thrilled to see pick up that infinite carpet bag - the talented Emily Blunt. 

As the film is released, Stylist’s Entertainment Director Helen Bownass sat down with Blunt to discuss Ms Poppins’s feminist credentials and why the role was such a joy to play.

Looking back at the time that the author Pamela Lyndon Travers wrote the original book series, of which the first installment was published in 1934, Blunt points out how revolutionary and ahead of her time the character was.

“I think she’s quite an empowering figure to look at for 2018, and certainly for any time period,” Blunt starts. 

“How exciting that P. L. Travers wrote this woman who is set in the Thirties,” the actor continues. “She’s a woman that can really things done, that isn’t reliant on a man in any way. She’s someone who really understands the importance of self sufficiency.”

Blunt is known for playing some stand-out characters in her career, from Rachel Watson in The Girl on the Train to Emily Charlton in The Devil Wears Prada, but by the sounds of it Mary Poppins has been her favourite yet. 

“I just think she’s so exciting. She’s empowered, she’s someone of great depth. I’ve never been more delighted playing someone. I just absolutely adored playing her, and I miss playing her actually,” Blunt explains. 

And we have an inkling we’re going to absolutely adore watching her do it. 

You can watch our interview with Blunt in the video above and you can go and watch Mary Poppins Returns right now, you lucky things, as it drops in cinemas around the UK today. 

Images: Jay Maidment Disney

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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