Why Julie Andrews Has a Cameo in ‘Aquaman’ But Not ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

“This is Emily’s show, and I really want it to be Emily’s show. I don’t want it to be, “Oh, here comes that Mary Poppins,” Andrews says

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Julie Andrews makes a cameo in a holiday movie that is opening this weekend, but it’s not the one you expect.

Instead of soaring down on an umbrella in Disney’s “Mary Poppins Returns” – which she won an Oscar for in the original – she lends her voice to a character in “Aquaman.” And it’s a bizarre cameo at that.

TheWrap reported last month that Andrews appears briefly in a key role as Karathen, a racist gatekeeper figure blocking Arthur Curry’s (Jason Momoa) way, and who disapproves that the would-be king of Atlantis does not have fully Atlantean blood (his father is human). But, the 83-year-old actress was more than willing to drop the practically perfect moniker and to go full-on sea monster.

“We wanted the Karathen to have the voice of a classic British actress, albeit somewhat digitally altered,” “Aquaman” producer Peter Safran, told Entertainment Weekly, which first reported Andrews’ cameo. “Who knew that ‘Aquaman’ would have the real Mary Poppins this Christmas?”

As to why Andrews declined to make a cameo in “Mary Poppins Returns,” Andrews said she “1,000 percent” supported the project and is also in love with Emily Blunt, and didn’t want to distract from her performance. After all, Blunt plays Poppins as if she hasn’t aged a day, even though she’s clearly a different person altogether.

“Julie was incredibly gracious, and we talked about it in a very general way but she made it clear right up front,” “Mary Poppins Returns” director Rob Marshall told EW in 2017. “She said, ‘This is Emily’s show, and I really want it to be Emily’s show. I don’t want it to be, “Oh, here comes that Mary Poppins.” I don’t want that. I really want her to take this and run with it, because she will be brilliant.’”

Andrews has not appeared on screen in a movie in over a decade, though she has lent her voice to such films as “Despicable Me 3” and the “Shrek” films.