As the star of Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns,” Emily Blunt gets to showcase her singing talents on the big screen. Performing in front of a live audience, however, is a much different story.
In a Monday appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Blunt admitted that she felt skittish at being asked to sing in front of people. True to form, DeGeneres was not easily deterred, convincing Blunt to take the mic.
The star’s nerves seemed partly calmed, however, when the host summoned the Backstreet Boys to back her up on an a cappella version of their 1999 hit “I Want It That Way.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Blunt spoke about the experience of playing the titular nanny in “Mary Poppins Returns,” a sequel to the 1964 classic starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.
The “Devil Wears Prada” actress said she was “completely shocked and slightly terrified” when director Rob Marshall tapped her for the role, which won Andrews an Oscar.
“The first movie is so beloved,” Blunt explained. “In fact, one of my dear friends, when I said, ‘I think I’m going to be Mary Poppins,’ she goes, ‘Oof, you got balls of steel.’”
She went on to recall a moment on the set when Van Dyke, who shot a cameo for the film, sang a few lines of “Jolly Holiday” from the original film to his co-star.
“I was like, that’s it, I could just die now,” she said. “That’s all I need.”