EMILY BLUNT ON THE ‘DAUNTING’ TASK OF PLAYING MARY POPPINS
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – Actress Emily Blunt says she did not go back to watch the original “Mary Poppins” while preparing to play the iconic character in the sequel. The 35-year-old instead went to the source material of P.L. Travers books to figure out her own take on the magical nanny. She says her version is a weird amalgamation of Rosalind Russell in “His Girl Friday” and Princess Margaret. Directed and choreographed by Rob Marshall, “Mary Poppins Returns” picks up with the Banks children 30 years later. It hits theaters nationwide on Dec. 19.
ACTOR, DIRECTOR RON HOWARD VISITS OKLAHOMA BIRTHPLACE
DUNCAN, Okla. (AP) – Oscar-winning director and actor Ron Howard returned to his home state of Oklahoma and the now-closed hospital where he was born. Howard’s Instagram site this week featured a photo of him outside the shuttered building in Duncan, 75 miles (120.7 kilometers) southwest of Oklahoma City. Howard wrote that his father was in the Air Force and stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi, and his mother preferred to give birth in her hometown of Duncan. Howard said he never lived in Duncan but feels “a connection to the town & people.” The family later moved to California where Howard’s father, Rance Howard, was an actor. His mother, Jean Speegle Howard, also acted. Both appeared in some of their son’s movies, including “Cocoon” and “Apollo 13.” Jean Howard died in 2000. Rance Howard died in 2017.
NATASHA ROTHWELL CLAIMS SHE IS SHY IN REAL LIFE
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Natasha Rothwell claims she is shy in real life, but her scene-stealing supporting roles in HBO’s hit show “Insecure” and the film “Love, Simon” have proven otherwise. Rothwell’s outspoken TV character, Kelli, shines with witty one-liners and brash behavior, sometimes even more than “Insecure” series’ star Issa Rae. In “Love, Simon,” Rothwell’s screen time was limited in the romantic teen comedy, but she made her presence felt as a passionate teacher with strong opinions. Rothwell is a former drama teacher in New York who used to write for “Saturday Night Live.” She is also a co-producer on “Insecure.” Next up for the 38-year-old is joining the cast of the Gal Gadot-led “Wonder Woman 1984.” Rothwell also will appear alongside Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne in the comedy “Limited Partners.”