updated 8/12/2004 9:27:19 AM ET 2004-08-12T13:27:19

Guest: Julie Andrews


DEBORAH NORVILLE, HOST:  The legendary Julie Andrews.  She‘s dazzled audiences as a lady in training, a singing nun, a magical nanny, a breast-baring diva, a gender-bending showgirl.  For more than half a century, she‘s kept the stage and the screen alive with the sound of music.  The enchanting career of Julie Andrews is hotter than ever.  She‘s a hit with a whole new generation, reigning supreme as a royal grandma.


JULIE ANDREWS, ACTRESS:  I‘m glad you like it.


NORVILLE:  And a royal mother-in-law.


ANDREWS:  Not that there‘s anything wrong with that.


NORVILLE:  The grande dame of show biz, on the high...


ANDREWS:  “My Fair Lady” was probably the greatest learning experience I could have.


NORVILLE:  ... and the lows.


ANDREWS:  And I still had so much that I wanted to be.


NORVILLE:  Tonight, for the entire hour, the musical, magical, the majestic life of Dame Julie Andrews.


ANDREWS:  I feel incredibly grateful, unbelievably lucky.


ANNOUNCER:  From studio 3K in Rockefeller Center, Deborah Norville.

NORVILLE:  And good evening, everybody.  Tonight, Academy Award-winning actress Julie Andrews.  She‘s made more than 20 movies over her illustrious career, and as of today, one more joins the list.  “The Princess Diaries II: Royal Engagement” opened around the country today.  And Julie Andrews joins me in the studio tonight.

It‘s so good to see you.

ANDREWS:  Hi, Deborah.

NORVILLE:  Congratulations on yet another movie.

ANDREWS:  Well, thank you.  Thank you.  And a delicious one, too.

NORVILLE:  It is, because what‘s so neat about it is, it has introduced you to yet another generation.  Don‘t you think?

ANDREWS:  Oh, it‘s hilarious.  I mean, it‘s simply wonderful also because—a little girl came up to me with her mother the other day.  She must have been all of 6.  And her mother said, Do you know who this lady is?  And if I said Mary Poppins, would you know now?  And, No.  And “Sound of Music”?  Yes.  And “Princess Diaries”?  And she went, Oh, cool!


ANDREWS:  Oh, wow!  Yes, the queen!  So it‘s a whole new generation, and I love it.

NORVILLE:  How did “Princess Diaries” come into your life?

ANDREWS:  I think quite simply.  I got a call from a wonderful director, Garry Marshall, and he asked if I‘d like to come over and chat about it and talk with him.  And he was actually the hook, in a way.  I love what he does.  He‘s a very lovely human being and a wonderful director, and I‘ve always wanted to work with him.

NORVILLE:  And it‘s a sweet movie...


NORVILLE:  ... that you can take your family and not feel that at some moment, you‘re going to have to...

ANDREWS:  With very, very subtle but very decent undertones.  I mean, all about responsibility and growing up and—you know.

NORVILLE:  And this time around, the role that you play in the sequel is a little more meaty.  You‘ve got some issues that you get to deal with in...

ANDREWS:  That‘s right, yes.  Well, the wonderful thing...

NORVILLE:  ... a kind of fun way.

ANDREWS:  ... about that is that children always said to me, between the two films, the first and the second, Are you and Joseph going to get together?  Is he going to come back in this movie?  And we only hinted at a relationship in the first movie.

NORVILLE:  But that tells you that when go to No. 2...


NORVILLE:  ... you guys were on the right track.

ANDREWS:  That‘s right.

NORVILLE:  Let‘s take a quick look.  “Princess Diaries II” with Julie Andrews.


HECTOR ELIZONDO, ACTOR:  I think it‘s time we bring our friendship out of the shadows.

ANDREWS:  Oh, Joseph, I...

ELIZONDO:  Yes.  Yes, my dear.  I would kneel if it weren‘t for my knee replacement.

ANDREWS:  Joseph, there‘s a wedding to be planned.  Mia (ph) needs to win over the people of Genovia (ph) all in less than 30 days.

ELIZONDO:  Perhaps it‘s time to consider the duty you have to yourself.

ANDREWS:  I will.


NORVILLE:  With Hector Elizondo.

ANDREWS:  I know.  And he‘s wonderful to work with.

NORVILLE:  The story is a modern-day Cinderella tale.  Anne Hathaway (ph) plays your granddaughter...

ANDREWS:  That‘s right.

NORVILLE:  ... who in the first one, finds out that she‘s got this great royal connection.  And it moves along at this time.  Now she‘s graduated, and she‘s got to take her responsibilities.

ANDREWS:  That‘s right.

NORVILLE:  What‘s the message that you‘d like little kids to take from that, that whole thing about responsibility?

ANDREWS:  Yes, and things like, as you do grow a little older, that you‘re going to have to take on and realize certain things, that there are responsibilities, that manners matter, that being decent and considerate and compassionate to people are good qualities and will get you far.  And so rather than going down to the lowest common denominator, this one kind of—and it‘s not at all preachy.  It‘s mostly great fun.  But underneath that are those issues.

NORVILLE:  And talk about great fun, there‘s one scene where your granddaughter is having a slumber party, and Grandma, the queen, gets in on the act.  Are you really doing this?

ANDREWS:  Yes.  That‘s me!

NORVILLE:  That‘s not a double?

ANDREWS:  No.  That‘s me.  There I go.

NORVILLE:  This is called mattress surfing.


NORVILLE:  Something I‘ve never done before, but looks like a heck of a lot of fun.


NORVILLE:  And this is actually behind the scenes.

ANDREWS:  Yes, that‘s behind the scenes.

NORVILLE:  How many times did you do it?

ANDREWS:  Well, you know what?


ANDREWS:  I have to say, we shot it in bits, but a lot of the time, I was up-ended and people were catching me.  And I didn‘t do the entire run without doing it in small sections, but the effect is that I did the whole thing.

NORVILLE:  And “Princess Diaries” is but one of several films that you‘ve got in the theaters right now.  I mean, if you look around, “Shrek 2” is still out there.

ANDREWS:  “Shrek 2” is still out there and doing phenomenally well.

NORVILLE:  It is, I think, the fourth highest-grossing children‘s movie...

ANDREWS:  Really?

NORVILLE:  ... or maybe movie movie...

ANDREWS:  I don‘t know, but isn‘t that great?

NORVILLE:  Oh, it‘s phenomenal.  Yes.


NORVILLE:  And here‘s a little sampling of it.  You play the role of Fiona‘s (ph) mom.

ANDREWS:  This is a wonderful moment.  I love it.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, Mexican food.  My favorite!

ANDREWS:  Well, let‘s not just sit here with our tummies rumbling. 

Everybody dig in!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Don‘t mind if I do, Lillian (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  So I suppose any grandchildren I could expect from you would be...


ANDREWS:  Not that there‘s anything wrong with that.  Right, Harold?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, no.  No, of course not.  That is, assuming you don‘t eat your own young!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, no.  We usually prefer the ones who‘ve been locked away in a tower!


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I only did that because I love her.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Oh, aye.  Day care or dragon-guarded castle?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  You wouldn‘t understand!  You‘re not her father!

ANDREWS:  It‘s so nice to have the family together for dinner!


NORVILLE:  You know, back in the old days, you watched an animated film and the person who was the voice was no one you‘d ever heard of.

ANDREWS:  That‘s right.

NORVILLE:  This was a cast of Oscar nominees, Oscar winners and really big stars.

ANDREWS:  Yes, it was, and they would—we toured together to promote the film, and, boy, did we have a fun time.  It was great.

NORVILLE:  How different is it working on something like that, where...

ANDREWS:  It‘s a totally different...

NORVILLE:  ... you‘re behind the scenes?

ANDREWS:  ... experience.  I‘d never done an animated—I‘ve done an animated film, obviously.  There was animation in “Mary Poppins.”


ANDREWS:  But I had never had a character in an animated film, and it‘s totally different.  You don‘t work with anybody else.  You go into a booth and just say your lines, and the director will kind of occasionally feed you the answers.  And you hope that you‘re pulling a character together, but you give them every kind of reading.  I mean, you‘ll...

NORVILLE:  So you‘ll say it 76 different ways.

ANDREWS:  Sort of.  And now say it delighted, now say it angrily, now say it sadly, now say it thoughtfully or ruefully, you know, that kind of thing.

NORVILLE:  So it‘s not a cakewalk.  I mean, it really is...

ANDREWS:  Not at all.

NORVILLE:  ... hard work doing one of these things.

ANDREWS:  It is a cakewalk because you don‘t have to get into hair and make-up and all of that.  And they‘re very knowledgeable, wonderful craftsmen.  They know what they‘re doing.

NORVILLE:  How different is making movies today from when you made your first film 40 years ago?

ANDREWS:  Well, it‘s complicated to answer to that, Deborah, because like “Shrek,” the—all the special effects are—there‘s so much more technology today than there used to be.  So in some ways, it‘s easier.  On the other hand, there‘s less time.  Budgets are so much higher.  You don‘t have the luxury of not doing any close-ups after 5:00 o‘clock, which is this is the way it used to be for all the great stars in the old days.  Now you have to...

NORVILLE:  So you can, I‘m looking a little peaked.  We‘ll until tomorrow morning...

ANDREWS:  No, usually...

NORVILLE:  ... when I‘m fresh?

ANDREWS:  ... your director of photography would be saying, She‘s looking a little peaky.  I think we‘ll not shoot any more today.  That doesn‘t happen these days.

NORVILLE:  Does that...

ANDREWS:  I mean, 2:00 o‘clock, and you‘ll be doing -- 2:00 AM, and you‘ll be doing a closeup and thinking, My God!

NORVILLE:  Well, that‘s when you just hope the man in post-production is kind...

ANDREWS:  Is kind...

NORVILLE:  ...and erases all those little things.

ANDREWS:  ...and tries to do something, yes.

NORVILLE:  Does it knock your socks off that it‘s now been 40 years since “Mary Poppins?”

ANDREWS:  It does.  It‘s mind-boggling because it feels like about 15 years in total.  And it‘s unbelievable to me that it‘s gone so quickly.

NORVILLE:  And when you look at the impact that movie had on your career, can you possibly sum up what it did for you?

ANDREWS:  Well, it was the first movie I ever made.  And I‘d never made a film before, so I learned a heck of a lot.  And I would say that life changed enormously because I had done a lot of Broadway but never been to Hollywood.

NORVILLE:  And you won a little thing called an Oscar, as a result of it.

ANDREWS:  Well, that was very generous of everybody, yes.

NORVILLE:  We‘re going to take a short break.  When we come back, more with Julie Andrews, including a look back at her incredible musical career and how one moment in her life drastically affected that beautiful singing voice.  Back in a moment.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Genovian law states that a princess must marry before she can take the throne.

ANDREWS:  Shut up!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I beg your pardon?

ANDREWS:  I mean...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  “Shut up” doesn‘t always mean shut up.  In America, it‘s like, Oh, my, gee whiz, wow.





NORVILLE:  That, of course, is Julie Andrews in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” her incredible singing voice, pitch-perfect, a four-octave range.  Back with Julie Andrews.  Do you enjoy watching yourself sing?

ANDREWS:  I love that.  I mean, Millie was such a wonderfully ditzy, sweet, earnest, sincere, sunny character, and it was...

NORVILLE:  Do you fall in love with your characters, as time goes by?

ANDREWS:  It depends, I suppose.  But some of them, yes.

NORVILLE:  Who‘s your favorite?

ANDREWS:  The favorite character?  Oh, it‘s like saying what‘s my favorite movie, because you love them so much for different reasons.

NORVILLE:  Right.  Right.  Yes.

ANDREWS:  But that—I must say, that one does tickle me.  We had a great time making that movie.

NORVILLE:  I gather you probably had fun making all of your movies, just because they‘re so enjoyable to watch.

ANDREWS:  Yes.  Yes.  Most of them I did, yes.

NORVILLE:  And in this movie, there was such a big twitter when production was going on—Julie Andrews singing again—because everyone knows your voice was damaged when you had surgery...

ANDREWS:  Right.

NORVILLE:  ... about seven or eight years ago.


NORVILLE:  Set the record straight.  You‘re not...

ANDREWS:  I‘m not...


ANDREWS:  ... making a huge comeback or anything like that.  This was something that Garry and I talked about.  And I said, I don‘t think I can do it.  I‘m not singing these days.  And he said, Well, why don‘t—we‘ll both have the right to veto it, OK?  And let‘s see.  Would you be even interested in seeing if it can be done?  And I said, Well, if you write something that‘s low enough and simple enough that I can sing-speak, much like Rex Harrison used to do it...


ANDREWS:  ... in “My Fair Lady—and that‘s exactly what they did.  They crafted it very well, and so I kind of talk my way into the song and hand it over to the children at the end.  And I probably do all of 16 bars that‘s any kind of soft singing.

NORVILLE:  Let‘s don‘t talk about it, let‘s look at it.  Here‘s Julie Andrews in a duet with Raven from “The Princess Diaries II.”


NORVILLE:  How was that for you, doing that?

ANDREWS:  Great fun.

NORVILLE:  Even in that small way...


ANDREWS:  It was just great.  You know what it is?  Music on a movie set is delicious.  I mean, everybody perks up.  There‘s a huge playback that‘s going on.  And it happens—you know, you play it over and over, and everybody kind of gets an energy from it.

NORVILLE:  Why don‘t they make more musicals anymore?  You know, we‘ve had a couple in the last several years, “Moulin Rouge” and then “Chicago”...


NORVILLE:  ... which did so well at the Oscars, but...

ANDREWS:  Yes.  Well, that‘s a great example.  I think, you know, it -

·         there‘s room for everything, and I‘m praying that musicals are coming back.

NORVILLE:  Do you think they are?  Do you see any signs on the horizon that that could be happening?

ANDREWS:  I see that—I‘ve been around long enough, Deborah, to say that everything‘s kind of cyclical, that what goes around, comes around.  And just when you think it‘s never going to happen again, it does.

NORVILLE:  They go and surprise you.

ANDREWS:  Yes.  And I‘d love to see musicals come back.

NORVILLE:  You know, you talked about what you do in “Princess Diaries” is you sort of sing-speak...


NORVILLE:  ... the role.  And you mentioned that Rex Harrison did that in “My Fair Lady.”

ANDREWS:  Right.

NORVILLE:  That was such an important moment for you on Broadway.  I mean, you had you already opened on Broadway in 1954 -- you were just a baby—in...

NORVILLE:  Well, sort of.  Yes.


NORVILLE:  Well, you were.  You were under 20.

ANDREWS:  That‘s true.

NORVILLE:  That qualifies as baby.

ANDREWS:  These days, it does.

NORVILLE:  But then you come on with Rex Harrison, and he was not known for singing.

ANDREWS:  Right.

NORVILLE:  You, of course, were.

ANDREWS:  And he was very nervous about singing with an orchestra for the first time.  And that‘s at least something I did know how to do, but to do it dramatic role like Eliza Dolittle in “Fair Lady” was something I had never done before.  So he had problems, and I had terrible fears.

NORVILLE:  Was he intimidating to work with?

ANDREWS:  Yes.  Yes, he was.

NORVILLE:  Because he was Rex Harrison.

ANDREWS:  Well, he was consummate at what he did.  And he and I think Richard Burton probably taught me so much because every night—those two shows happened to be long runs.  I could watch and learn and listen, and they were so good at what they did.

NORVILLE:  Richard Burton, of course, your co-star in “Camelot.”

ANDREWS:  In “Camelot.”

NORVILLE:  Which was really written for you.

ANDREWS:  Yes, it was.  And it was such a charming musical.  And that was a very, very happy company, too.

NORVILLE:  And then when you all took that show and brought it to England, what was that like?

ANDREWS:  Well, I didn‘t do it in England.

NORVILLE:  It was not done—it was “My Fair Lady.”

ANDREWS:  Oh, “My Fair Lady” in England?

NORVILLE:  That one was huge.

ANDREWS:  Yes, you‘re absolutely right, I did do that in England.  That was a little daunting because the advance publicity had by now gone crazy, and it was the biggest, best, most wonderful ever, ever, ever, according to the advance press.  So one had a lot to live up to, and that opening night was a very nerve-wracking one.

NORVILLE:  Do you ever kind of go back in your mind and think of those moments in your career, those delicious moments, like the nervousness of the press...

ANDREWS:  Oh, sure.

NORVILLE:  ... and you‘re the darling?

ANDREWS:  Yes.  I mean, I don‘t think one ever stops being nervous. 

People always say, What, now you‘re really nervous?  And in the old days, when I was just young, I had nothing to lose and it was all just fun and I was playing, but I guess the more you do, the more you become self-critical and...

NORVILLE:  And yet, as awesome as you were in “My Fair Lady,” as incredible the notices you got in “The Boy Friend,” as riveting your performance in “Camelot,” they gave movie roles to these other ladies!

ANDREWS:  Well, it was understandable.  And I hoped that I might get it, but I did understand it because, really, Broadway was, you know, a very little pool, when you consider all of America.  And in those days particularly, they wanted somebody with a big, big name, and Audrey was wonderful in the movie.

I mean, we were great friends.  And she said to me—what did she say?  She said, Julie, you should have done it, but I didn‘t have the guts to turn it down.


ANDREWS:  Which was very lovely.

NORVILLE:  And yet, in a kind of wacky way, it was the best thing that could have happened because another movie came down the pike.

ANDREWS:  That‘s right.  Yes.  If I had done “Fair Lady,” I probably wouldn‘t have been able to do “Poppins.”  And that‘s what‘s so wonderful about this business.  One should just take everything as it comes because there are so many wonderful opportunities.  I‘ve been unbelievably lucky.

NORVILLE:  You‘ve made your own luck, too, though.  I mean, you know, if you don‘t deliver the goods when you do the movie...


NORVILLE:  ... the luck doesn‘t come to you the next time around.

ANDREWS:  I think that—what I tell youngsters, if they come up to me and say, What‘s your advice, and I say, Well, there are going to be probably some wonderful opportunities coming your way at the oddest moment, when you least expect it.  So do your homework and be ready.  And that‘s about the best one can ask for.

NORVILLE:  Is there ever a role that you turned down that, in retrospect, you look back and go, Darn, shouldn‘t have done that?

ANDREWS:  There were a couple of movies.  But you know what?  I‘m not complaining about anything.  And it‘s the way it was, and I‘m very happy.

NORVILLE:  When you did “Mary Poppins,” how did that even come to you? 

Because you weren‘t so known beyond the Broadway circle.

ANDREWS:  That‘s right.  Well, as I say, I didn‘t do “My Fair Lady”, and I was appearing on Broadway in “Camelot,” and Disney came back stage and...

NORVILLE:  As in Walt?

ANDREWS:  As in Walt, yes.  Walt Disney himself.  And we all heard that he was out front.  And he asked if he could come back stage, and I assumed it was just to pay a visit or something.  But he came into my dressing room and asked if I would like to come to Hollywood to see the beautiful storyboarding and designs and things like that for “Mary Poppins” and to hear the music.  So I said, Oh, Mr. Disney, I‘m pregnant.  And he said, it‘s OK.  We‘ll wait.

NORVILLE:  And did you really think he would?  When he said, We‘ll wait, did you think, Oh, gosh, he‘s not going to wait (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

ANDREWS:  Well, he was very genuine about it.  And certainly, you know, a couple months later, when my contract was up in “Camelot,” there I was, winging out to Hollywood to see for myself.  And everything had such a wonderful flavor about it.

NORVILLE:  “Mary Poppins,” then “Sound of Music.”  They were such nice ladies, practically perfect in every way.


NORVILLE:  Did you ever worry about getting typecast?

ANDREWS:  Well, the silly thing is, is that right after “Poppins,” I made a movie called “The Americanization of Emily,” which couldn‘t be more against type.

NORVILLE:  With James Garner.

ANDREWS:  With James Garner, my dear James, whom I adore working with.  And—but the truth is that you‘re best remembered for the films that are most successful.  And so “The Americanization of Emily” wasn‘t huge, although, you know, it was a lovely movie, but it just didn‘t stick around.  So that disappeared, and suddenly, I was best known for all the squeaky-clean roles, you see.

NORVILLE:  Not a bad thing to be known for, either.  But the image changed, and it changed when a certain man came into your life.


NORVILLE:  When we come back, we‘ll talk more with Julie Andrews, and especially about her enduring show biz marriage to a man who helped her shed that squeaky-clean image just a teensy-weensy bit.  More in a moment.


ANDREWS:  You‘re a dirty old man, Jordan, and so‘s your friend.

DUDLEY MOORE:  He‘s not my friend.

ANDREWS:  Well, he should be.  You must know him intimately by now.

MOORE:  I don‘t watch him, I watch his broads.  He‘s got a hell of a stable over there.

ANDREWS:  Then he must be pretty good in the sack, huh?




ANDREWS:  I think it‘s as simple as you‘re one kind of man, I‘m another.

JAMES GARNER:  And what kind are you?

ANDREWS:  One that doesn‘t have to prove it to myself or anyone. 

Excuse me.


ANDREWS:  Oh, oh, oh, oh!

NORVILLE:  Oh, oh, oh!

ANDREWS:  That‘s telling him, right?


NORVILLE:  In a scene from”Victor/Victoria,” which was the third Academy Award nomination for Julie Andrews, was it not?


NORVILLE: And directed by your husband, Blake Edwards.

ANDREWS:  Right.

NORVILLE:  You guys have had an amazing collaboration not only on the personal front, but also professionally.  How did it start?

ANDREWS:  How did I meet Blake?


ANDREWS:  I was driving to Beverly Hills one day, and the meridian on Sunset Boulevard is a kind of grassy strip, and I had to stop in the middle because of traffic.  And a car pulled up going in the opposite direction, and I recognized that it was Blake Edwards.  And we just smiled through the window and went our way.  And suddenly, a few days later, the same thing happened.  And then a few days later, it happened again.  And so finally, one of us rolled down the window, and I think Blake said, Are you going where I‘ve just come from?


ANDREWS:  And in fact, he was coming from his analyst, and I was going to see a psychoanalyst and...

NORVILLE:  Oh, no way!  You were going to the same place?

ANDREWS:  Yes.  Well, it wasn‘t the same one, but it certainly was in that region, in that area of Beverly Hills.  And indeed, it made us laugh a little.  And then he did approach me about a movie that he‘d been thinking of, and subsequently, we made it, called “Darling Lili.”



NORVILLE:  And did so many movies together, “Victor/Victoria,” you did “10.”

ANDREWS:  I think we‘ve done—I think it‘s, like, eight, but I have to really count, you know?

NORVILLE:  And we saw some footage just a moment ago.  He received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Academy Awards this time around.

NORVILLE:  Yes.  Yes.  He was darling.  He was so nervous about it.

NORVILLE:  Was he really?

ANDREWS:  Yes, because he said, Well, I don‘t want to be pompous.  I don‘t want to say thank you to my mother and my agent, and all those things.  I‘d rather do it as Blake Edwards would do it.  And so he did this crazy thing that he—this lovely...

NORVILLE:  He did this crazy send-out, and what he said, because it was so cute, he said, in thanking you, he referred to you as “a beautiful British broad with the incredible soprano and the promiscuous vocabulary.”


NORVILLE:  There is a side to you that he kind of let out...

ANDREWS:  Yes, he did.

NORVILLE:  ... that hadn‘t been seen before.

ANDREWS:  Yes.  Well, I guess, you know, if you—if you go to bed with that gentleman, I guess you kind of get to know that kind of thing.

NORVILLE:  Yes.  As important as he‘s been in your life professionally, we‘ve gotten to see the collaboration with your good friend Carol Burnett. 


NORVILLE:  And the two of you are so incredibly hilarious together. 


ANDREWS:  She‘s a very, very close friend, yes.

NORVILLE:  I know that.  And I think people are surprised to hear that two megastars can be just regular girlfriends. 

ANDREWS:  Yes, we are.

And I have such wonderful memories of standing on one side of the stage waiting to begin an evening with her and she‘s on the other.  And we‘re both so nervous and hoping that we can pull it off.  And it‘s been a joy to work with her. 

NORVILLE:  Will there be any more specials? 

ANDREWS:  I hope so.  With Carol, I do hope so.  We‘re talking about it at this point.  I don‘t know if it‘s going to happen, but we‘re hoping maybe next year. 

NORVILLE:  Well, this is the reason the rest of us hope maybe next year, because it‘s so good when the two of you get together.  Give a listen. 


NORVILLE:  This is just singing of the two of you rehearsing, but your sketches are just knock-you-over funny.  And I was in Washington when Carol was inducted into the Kennedy Center honors this year. 

ANDREWS:  Right.  Yes, as was I. 

NORVILLE:  As you had been two years ago. 

ANDREWS:  No, I mean as was I, when she was inducted, I was there. 

NORVILLE:  You were there.

ANDREWS:  That‘s right. 

NORVILLE:  You guys did it for each other.


NORVILLE:  And you guys did the takeout on the old skit from her show. 

ANDREWS:  That‘s right. 

NORVILLE:  But you were Carol in “Gone with the Wind” with curtains.

ANDREWS:  The curtain rods.  That‘s right.  And boy, A, they were was heavy, and, B, I had to come down those stairs.  And I knew that she had no idea what any of us were going to do.  And her face was just a sight to behold. 

NORVILLE:  Because that was her sight gag, which she carried to such great effect on her show. 

ANDREWS:  I know.  I know. 

NORVILLE:  What did she say to you afterwards? 

ANDREWS:  Well, I actually, when I saw the tape of the whole evening, she went, oh, my God, it‘s Julie.  And it‘s Chita Rivera and, oh, so many of her friends, and she was staggered that we would all do that. 

NORVILLE:  It was great TV.  It was a great night, and it was great friendship to see it come together. 

ANDREWS:  Yes.  Yes. 

NORVILLE:  The other great love is partially piled up here on the set with me.  You‘re a children‘s book author with great success behind you, and I think it‘s a chapter that people don‘t focus on as much because they know you so much from other things. 

ANDREWS:  Well, the book collection, which is called the Julie Andrews Collection, is a new thing.  It‘s been going for about three two to three years now.  But I‘ve actually been writing for about, oh, 30 years, I think.  And I absolutely love it. 

This collection is run by my daughter Emma.  And she‘s absolutely a whiz at the business side of it and helping me also write some of the books.


NORVILLE:  The first book was “Mandy,” was it not? 

ANDREWS:  The very first book I wrote in the ‘70s was called “Mandy.”

And I lost a bet with my eldest daughter.  We were playing a game and we had to pay a forfeit.  I was the first to lose.  She said you have to pay a forfeit.  And I said, well, what should my forfeit be?  And she said, write me a story, and an absolutely true story.

And I said well, OK, and I thought I‘d write her maybe a couple pages, like a little fable.  And out of that came a book that I did for her as a gift. 

NORVILLE:  Right. 

ANDREWS:  And I got so lonely at the end of it when I had finished writing it, I thought, I really enjoyed that.  I‘d like to go on doing it. 

NORVILLE:  And the imprint is not only the books that you‘ve done. 

And we‘ve got a number of them here.

ANDREWS:  No.  The imprint is really other authors that we commission or find, and then books that have been out of print for a while that we think are worthy of revisitation. 

NORVILLE:  When you look at these books and you look inside, it‘s really cool.  It says Julie Andrews Imprint.  And I notice—if I held it up, you wouldn‘t be able to see it.  It‘s an umbrella. 

ANDREWS:  The actual logo is a little tiny umbrella, yes.

NORVILLE:  So Mary Poppins is still looming in the background. 


ANDREWS:  Well, you know what?  I thought about it for a long time and we wanted something that kind of covered a lot of subjects and was embracing in some way.  And after—I said, no, we can‘t do an umbrella.  It‘s too much.  And then I thought, well, why fight it.  That‘s the thing that probably will hold up.

NORVILLE:  Because what you‘re trying to do is create a place under

which great kids


ANDREWS:  Many authors can flourish, and, as I say, all the books can flourish. 

NORVILLE:  And you think you might have one that could be giving “Harry Potter” a run for the money. 

ANDREWS:  It just might.  It‘s a beautifully written book that‘s by a lady called Brittney Ryan.  And it‘s coming out this October. 

NORVILLE:  And it‘s called “The Legend of Holly Claus.” 

ANDREWS:  Exactly.  And it‘s exquisitely illustrated by Laurel Long.  And the buzz on it is so great.  And we‘re just keeping our fingers crossed about it. 

NORVILLE:  Why is it so important to you to get books in kids‘ hands? 

ANDREWS:  Well, I do a great deal of promotion for reading and early readers.  I do a lovely thing called Ready, Set, Read with the Target Corporation.

NORVILLE:  Right. 

ANDREWS:  And I just passionately believe that if you can take a child onto your lap and turn the page—well, you know what it‘s like.  Heavens, you‘ve got three children. 

NORVILLE:  Yes.  Yes.  And that‘s actually when we first met was at a kids reading. 

ANDREWS:  Yes, that‘s right, at the White House. 

NORVILLE:  Yes.  Yes. 

And all of the experts say a child that has been read to enters school ready to learn. 

ANDREWS:  Yes.  Help them become curious.  Help them stimulate those minds.  And the earlier, the better. 

NORVILLE:  For a woman who has done so much so early in her career, there are many more mountains to climb.  And we‘re going to talk more about them with Julie Andrews after this. 


ANDREWS (singing):  I am coy and flirtatious when alone with the prince.  Oh, my, Your Highness, you shouldn‘t say such things.



NORVILLE:  From “Mary Poppins” to “The Princess Diaries,” Julie Andrews on her childhood and her future—when we come back.



ANDREWS (singing):  I could have danced all night.  I could have danced all night and still have begged for more. 


NORVILLE:  That was Julie Andrews starring as Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady” in 1956 on Broadway.  She, of course, lost the film role to Audrey Hepburn, but everything worked out on the end. 

And you‘re actually going to be hosting a series on PBS with all the great Broadway shoes. 

ANDREWS:  I am, October 17, 18, 19 on PBS.  And it‘s called “Broadway:

The American Musical.”  And I‘m very proud to be hosting it, because it‘s absolutely wonderful.  It goes way, way back to the early days. 

NORVILLE:  Well, there‘s a wonderful book that has been published in advance of this. 

ANDREWS:  With it.  That‘s right.  It‘s a tremendous book, yes.


NORVILLE:  And you realize how much of American history has played out on the Broadway stage.

ANDREWS:  Yes, and how completely original it is to America, and perhaps to England as well.  But, really, it‘s an American magical thing that happened.  And they are such a joy to look at. 

NORVILLE:  When did you realize you had an exceptional voice? 

ANDREWS:  Well, my stepfather was a fine tenor.  My mom and my stepdad were in Vaudeville when I was very, very young.  And my stepdad came into my life when I was about 5.

NORVILLE:  Right. 

ANDREWS:  And then, when I was about 7, my school closed down because of the escalation of the war, World War II.

And sort of to keep me quiet, so to speak, and also probably to get to know his stepdaughter a little better, he decided to give me some singing lessons.  And to his and my mother‘s surprise, I had this kind of freak adult voice, a coloratura voice with like a four-octave range. 

NORVILLE:  And you‘re like 8, 9 years old? 

ANDREWS:  Well, I was about 7 when he started teaching me.


ANDREWS:  And then very quickly, he passed me on to a very good singing teacher.  And I was with her for years. 

NORVILLE:  And you were, and I think still are, the youngest person to ever do a command performance for royalty? 

ANDREWS:  I don‘t know if I still am, but at that time, I certainly was.  I did one at—I was 13 years old, just 13. 

NORVILLE:  What was that like?  You‘re sing for the queen mother and Princess Margaret? 

ANDREWS:  The queen mother and Princess Elizabeth at the time.


ANDREWS:  And Prince  Philip. And I have a wonderful picture in my office of my doing that.  Somebody caught it.  And about 15 years ago, I suddenly realized that this picture was a kind of treasure, and that I‘d thrown it into a great pile.  And it‘s now framed and restored, thank heavens. 

NORVILLE:  Do you ever think of how nervous you were that moment?  I mean, that had to be—you say you‘re nervous.  Often, performers are when they go out there.


NORVILLE:  But that had to be like


NORVILLE:  ... nervous performance.

ANDREWS:  Yes.  Yes. 

Well, what‘s so funny about it, Deborah, is that, in those days, one received a telegram.  And because I was so young, I wasn‘t allowed to open my own mail.  My mom said, you know, crazies that write in.  Just bring the mail home.  So I put the telegram in my pocket.  And about two weeks later, I said, oh, mommy, you know, here, this arrived at the stage door about two weeks ago. 

She opened it and she nearly fainted because it was—they had to get the answer back like within the next 12 hours.  And thank God I had remembered to bring it out of my pocket. 

NORVILLE:  Well, the answer was yes.  But we actually got some tape from that night. 

ANDREWS:  Do you? 



NORVILLE:  So here she is in her command performance, little Ms. Julie Andrews. 


ANDREWS (singing):  God save our gracious Queen.


NORVILLE:  That was “God Save the Queen.”


NORVILLE:  Oh, my gosh, how wonderful. 

ANDREWS:  Well, actually, I sang an aria, and then I asked if I would lead the entire finale in “God Save the King.”  So...

NORVILLE:  Yes, we mentioned in the beginning of the segment that you‘ve got the series coming up on PBS for American Broadway.


NORVILLE:  But you‘ve also got a series with the books. 

ANDREWS:  Well, the little...

NORVILLE:  “Dumpy.”

ANDREWS:  The little “Dumpy” books that I write with my daughter is in development with the Sesame Workshop people, who are wonderful.  And we‘re hoping that, in 2006, the fall of 2006, they‘ll be with a series. 

NORVILLE:  And Dumpy is a little dump truck that has all kinds of adventures. 

ANDREWS:  And magical powers. 

NORVILLE:  And magical powers. 

ANDREWS:  Well, you think maybe he‘s magical, yes.

NORVILLE:  And what‘s interesting, talk about a family affair.  You wrote it, along request with your daughter Emma.


NORVILLE:  And your ex-husband Tony is the illustrator. 

ANDREWS:  Yes.  I know.  Well, we figured we might as well keep it in the family. 

NORVILLE:  How difficult is it to work with your daughter?  Many mothers and daughters are like this. 

ANDREWS:  I know. 

NORVILLE:  And yet the two of you have had some tremendous professional...

ANDREWS:  It isn‘t difficult at all. 

We did wonder if we would be compatible.  And my publisher says—had asked if I had anything for young kids.  And I said, well, let me think about it.  For really young children, I don‘t know if I could do that.  And I asked my lovely Emma whether—if she had to buy something for her child, Sam, who‘s very young at the time, if she went to the library to pick out a book, what would it be?

And she said, mom, it‘s just no contest.  It has to be about trucks, because he‘s truck crazy.  But she couldn‘t find any books that had a little family theme or message.  Or they were all sort of construction books and how to, and, you know, on the building site and so on. 

So I said, well, let‘s see if we can write together.  We weren‘t sure if we could.  And from day one, it was just a joy.  We finish each other‘s sentences.  We laugh a lot.  We drink endless cups of tea and things like that. 

NORVILLE:  That‘s great. 

ANDREWS:  It is. 

Well, imagine if your lovely 6-year-old suddenly grew up and one day you were working with her.  It is a gift. 

NORVILLE:  It is a gift.


NORVILLE:  And it‘s wonderful that you can share it with so many people.  You know, you were the practically perfect nanny.  How were you as a mom? 

ANDREWS:  Oh, my.  You‘d have to ask my children.  I know what I was, was probably a lot of the time a rather guilty mom, because don‘t you find that, as long as the family are fine, you can do your work and everything is OK.  But if there‘s anything slightly amiss, it‘s so difficult to be a working mom. 

NORVILLE:  But, as a working mom, when you know you‘ve got your kids set up doing something that they‘re going to enjoy, it takes a little bit of the mommy guilt away. 

ANDREWS:  It does, yes. 

NORVILLE:  A little secret.  Right now, as we‘re talking, my kids are watching “The Princess Diaries” movies, because it just opened today. 

ANDREWS:  Very smart. 


NORVILLE:  We‘ll take a break. 

When we come back, movies, books, directing, more with Dame Julie Andrews in just a moment. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘m proud and honored to announce that a very special individual will be joining our celebration as the Disneyland honorary ambassador for the happiest homecoming on Earth, Julie Andrews. 




ANDREWS:  Just because you‘re not fond of books, it‘s no reason to let your imagination run wild. 


ANDREWS:  I know Billy is your friend and you want him and Rachel to get together, but this is one situation you need to stay out of. 


ANDREWS:  No, I mean it, Eloise, no meddling.  I want you to pinkie promise, promise, promise. 


NORVILLE:  Pinkie promise, promise, promise. 

ANDREWS:  That is fun.

NORVILLE:  That was Julie Andrews in her Emmy-nominated role as the nanny in the TV movie “Eloise at Christmastime.” 

ANDREWS:  Yes.  It was an adorable role to do it.  It was.

NORVILLE:  It was a little bit different from the buttoned-up Mary Poppins nanny. 

ANDREWS:  And I just loved it.  I just sort of—just went with it, and I wore this huge backside, and wonderful sort of mad wig all the time.  I loved it. 

NORVILLE:  And that‘s actually one of the few roles where you haven‘t had an awesome wardrobe, because when you look at “Princess Diaries 2,” which opens today, you get to wear the best stuff. 

ANDREWS:   I know.  The best, most beautiful costumes, and the real thing in all the jewels, too. 

NORVILLE:  You wore real diamonds? 

ANDREWS:  Real, I mean, millions of dollars‘ worth of them.  And I had a gentleman that was following me like 10 paces behind me every day when I was wearing all of them. 

NORVILLE:  And when you had to visit the ladies...

ANDREWS:  He kind of patiently stood outside and... 

NORVILLE:  Everything OK in there? 

ANDREWS:  Exactly.  Exactly. 

NORVILLE:  And you are also working again with your daughter, but this time directing. 

ANDREWS:  Yes.  I did it last year. 

She runs this wonderful theater called the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor on Long Island, and she with her partners.  It‘s a marvelous theater.  And they asked me if I‘d care to direct “The Boy Friend,” which is what I came to America in so many years ago.  It was my debut. 

NORVILLE:  Right. 

ANDREWS:  And I thought, well, my God, how could I do that?  What happens if I fail the family?  It would be terrible. 

And Emma said, but, mom, we will make you feel so safe.  And what better place to try and fail, if you did fail?  And, basically, that‘s what we‘re all about.  We‘re an experimental, wonderful regional theater.  So...

NORVILLE:  And it worked? 

ANDREWS:  And it worked.  It was wonderful thrill for me.  It was marvelously successful.

And so we‘re going back to Goodspeed in Connecticut next year, next summer. 

NORVILLE:  Is there a possibility that it will go like to Broadway or something, where other people get a chance to see it?

ANDREWS:  It‘s going to go on tour.  And who knows what will happen from there, Deborah, but that would be the icing on the cake. 

NORVILLE:  And you‘ve got another book out.  This one, “Dragon,” is in bookstores I guess now. 

ANDREWS:  This is in stores right now.  It‘s only just recently come out. 


NORVILLE:  And this is really not a story you wrote, but retell. 

ANDREWS:  Well, in a way, yes. 

It‘s a little a of both.  It was a legend.  It was about a five-sentences legend that I happened to really just stumble on.  And it‘s one of the few books that I knew instantly that I had to write about it.  I wanted to flesh it out and sort of bring the whole thing into focus. 

NORVILLE:  You know what‘s interesting is to—and I just like make the shopping list of all the things that you‘re doing right now.  Forget everything that you‘ve done in the past.  Can‘t you just kick back, you know, pour a cup of tea and just kind of think, man, I‘ve done some really cool stuff and just relax?


ANDREWS:  The tea is always present, as you can see. 

I guess when you‘ve just known nothing but work since I was—as I said earlier, it was about 8 or 9 when I started working professionally in Vaudeville in England.  And I just so enjoy it.  I‘m so turned on by it.  I‘m so stimulated by it.  And I think to be able to play in all these wonderful sandboxes, I just keep trying new things, and they really stimulate me. 

NORVILLE:  Do you have a favorite sandbox in which to play? 

ANDREWS:  I think this new one, the publishing collection, is a wonderful sandbox at the moment.  It‘s very hard work, and I keep thinking oh, please, you know, let me make a good book for children, because it‘s important.  But who knows what‘s going to turn up tomorrow.  I don‘t, but I‘ll go with it. 

NORVILLE:  Well, what we know is going on tonight is the opening of “Princess Diaries 2.”

ANDREWS:  True. 

NORVILLE:  Starring Julie Andrews. 

It‘s such a pleasure to have you. 

ANDREWS:  Thank you, Deborah. 

NORVILLE:  And we wish you continued success. 

ANDREWS:  It‘s been a joy. 

NORVILLE:  Thank you. 

ANDREWS:  Thank you. 

NORVILLE:  And we‘ll be back. 


NORVILLE:  We‘re still getting a flood of e-mails about the young men being kicked out of a polygamist sect along the Arizona-Utah border.  Many of you wrote in emphasizing that the Mormon Church banned that practice, polygamy, many years ago. 

But Bob Thompson, who lives in Salt Lake City, says: “Let me tell you that the Mormons—quote -- ‘disavowed‘ polygamy only when required for statehood.  It‘s now a total nod-and-wink thing here in Utah.  Everyone I know that has lived here for some time can point out where a polygamist family lives.”

Linda Lombard writes in from Olympia, Washington, saying that she is concerned about the way some people have referred to the Mary Kay Letourneau case, now that Mary Kay is out of prison.  She says: “It is a disservice to all victims of pedophiles by using the terms lovers and such to describe Mary Kay Letourneau, who is a sex predator, a deviant, a sick person who destroyed her own family, her victim‘s life, and the added two children resulting from this relationship.”

We made that point exactly during our discussion about Mary Kay when we were talking about it the other night. 

We‘ve also been getting an awful lot of e-mail about Amber Frey‘s testimony in the Scott Peterson pace, something we‘re going to be looking at again tomorrow night.

Charles Rothbaum writes from Fresno, California, writes in about Amber‘s attorney, Gloria Allred.  He said: “The best thing Peterson has going for him is a public dispute with publicity hound Gloria Allred, whose role of protecting Amber Frey has expanded to include him, Scott Peterson, of his wife‘s murder.  She ought to mind her own business.”

We like to hear from you, so send us your e-mails and comments to us at NORVILLE@MSNBC.com

And that is our program for tonight.  Thanks a lot for watching.

Tomorrow, we do have the latest on the Scott Peterson case.  As you have heard, Amber Frey is revealing more intimate details.  We‘ll check that out and take a close-up look at lying.  What is it that makes people create such elaborate deceptions and how do you know if the person next to you has a double life? 

That‘s it for tonight.  We‘ll see you tomorrow.


Content and programming copyright 2004 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2004 FDCH e-Media, Inc. ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and FDCH e-Media, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.


Discussion comments