In Mary Poppins Returns, Mary Poppins returns to London with all sorts of magical powers. She can float upstairs, fly in on balloons, jump inside of inanimate objects, and bring people along on a nonsensical animated journey. She also carries a very enchanted bag with her, and it comes with more than just her toiletries and quotidian accoutrements. The titular character is known for stuffing umbrellas, boats, bath supplies, and all sorts of other impossibly large (or at least, way too large to fit) items into her iconic bottomless bag, bringing both order and manageable mischief into the lives of the children she nannies.
The narrative for Mary Poppins Returns, the 2018 follow-up to the 1964 original musical that starred Julie Andrews as the eponymous character, focuses on Michael (Ben Whishaw), the patriarch of the Banks family, who must pay off a bank loan or else his family will lose their home. That’s where Mary Poppins comes in. For this iteration of the nanny who is “practically perfect in every way,” Emily Blunt takes on the role of Mary Poppins, who stirs up some help for the Banks family after they have fallen on hard times.
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda costars in the film as Jack, a lamplighter who believes in the magic of Mary Poppins because he remembers her from his childhood, and ends up falling for the grown-up Jane Banks (played by Emily Mortimer), now a labor union organizer who lives in her own flat in London. No stranger to creative thought experiments, Miranda pondered what would be inside of his bag if he had one of those enchanted sacks carried around town by Mary Poppins. At the film’s New York premiere on Monday night, hosted by the Cinema Society with Fiji Water and Lindt chocolate. Just before being whisked away to the after-party at the Top of the Standard, Miranda quipped that he would be carrying “so many cough drops right now, because I’ve been on this press tour for about a year and a half,” which makes sense considering the amount of exercise his vocal chords must have endured during the production for the musical.
After filming The Girl on the Train, Blunt prepared to star in husband John Krasinksi’s directorial debut, A Quiet Place, while also training to sing, dance, and act in Mary Poppins Returns, making her one of Tinseltown’s most talented triple threats. Still, her costars don’t see her as anything but down-to-earth. Miranda’s take on the multi-hyphenate? “She’s as nice in real life as she seems, and that’s not always the case in Hollywood.”