arts & entertainment
The Sound of Music lives
on in sing-alongs, tours and
summer theaters worldwide, 45
years after the movie’s release.
TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT
The music endures
Julie Andrews reflects on a famous film
By Tim Talevich
HAS IT REALLY been 45 years since a charming musical, The Sound of Music, enraptured
audiences and garnered five Academy
Awards? The film, about a family that finds
freedom and love in pre-war Austria, has aged
gracefully—as has its star, Julie Andrews.
In the years following her role as Maria
von Trapp, Andrews, 75, has created a tremendous body of work—as an actress on stage,
screen and TV; a singer; a prolific children’s
book author; and a starring voice in animated
films. But with a new 45th-anniversary edition
of The Sound of Music being released, the
focus returns to perhaps her most famous role.
The Connection recently spoke with
Andrews, a Costco member, by phone from
her Los Angeles home about the film’s legacy,
her return to live performances years after an
unsuccessful throat surgery curtailed her singing career, and her other creative endeavors.
The Costco Connection: Bring our readers
up-to-date on what you are doing with yourself these days. Your latest film, Despicable
Me, came out earlier this year, as did your latest children’s book, Little Bo in Italy. What else
is going on?
Julie Andrews: Three or four more books
are in the pipeline. My daughter [Emma
Walton Hamilton] and I have a small publishing collection and have several commissions
we are writing at the moment. Also, I lecture
and do speaking engagements across the
country. And of course I’m publicizing The
Sound of Music’s 45th anniversary and have
been traveling with that.
Around Christmas I go to Vienna to do
the New Year’s Day concert with the Vienna
Philharmonic. Then there are some nice
scripts that have come across my desk that I’m
reviewing. And there’s the possibility of a
couple of concerts next year.
CC: You mentioned your books. Where did
the inspiration for writing come from?
JA: I have been writing children’s books for
about 40 years now. I always loved to write as a
child; I was always making up stories and such.
I’ve so enjoyed it, and especially since my
career took a left-hand turn about 15 years
ago I’ve really settled into it and made it more
important in my life. My daughter and I are
passionate about literacy and writing for children and making sure the values in our books
are communicated properly. I would love for
children to retain that sense of wonder about
things. We write about things that deal with
nature and a sense of adventure.
CC: Many Hollywood A-listers are starring as
voices in animated films, and that includes
you. What’s it like playing these roles?
JA: It’s great. You place yourself in
your director’s hands, you go into
a booth all by yourself, he guides
you, you read your lines over and
over, and he’ll say, ‘Give it to me in
an angry voice now.’ I just give
them everything I can. Then they
put it all together and find what
they need. It’s a real issue of trust: I
say, ‘Here’s what I have to offer,’ and I
trust that they’ll make the most of it.
CC: Why do you think that The Sound of
Music has kept its allure after all these years?
JA: First, it’s one of the most beautifully
crafted Hollywood movies. It was shot exqui-
sitely, showing off Austria. The technical
aspects of sound, lighting and staging were
given the utmost care. And ultimately there’s
a quality of joy about the picture. It speaks of
optimism and children, and countryside and
beautiful music. It’s a combination of all of
this. But I think somewhere in there is that
word “joy,” which probably summed it up.
CC: You’ve held live performances in Julie
Andrews: The Gift of Music, featuring the
songs of Rodgers and Hammerstein and a
musical adaptation of one of your children’s
books, Simeon’s Gift. How does it feel to be
singing on stage again?
JA: I don’t do what I would call singing by my
standards, but I do have some notes in my
voice and sometimes I employ a sing-speech
quality. And then what I can manage, I do
manage. I tell anecdotes and show film footage and am helped by five phenomenal performers and a symphony orchestra.
As to how I feel about it, it’s as
if I’ve been given the most wonderful gift, because I never thought I
of that is unbelievable. C
DECEMBER 2010 ;e Costco Connection 35
The Costco Connection Costco is featuring a special The Sound of Music Blu-ray/DVD pack in all warehouses
and online at Costco.com. The warehouses
will also have the special The Sound of Music
45th Anniversary Blu-ray Gift Set, featuring a
book, music box and other items. Also available at Costco.com is Little Bo in Italy, the
latest children’s book by Julie Andrews.