Kapamilya actor Donny Pangilinan had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of traveling to the U.S. to interview the cast and the director of the sequel to the 1964 Disney classic film Mary Poppins.
The 20-year-old, who was handpicked by Walt Disney Studios Philippines to attend and represent the country at the world premiere and press junket of Mary Poppins Returns held in Los Angeles, California, shared what he felt when he found out that he was flying out to the U.S. to make the (almost) impossible possible.
“Si Mommy actually. Sabi niya Disney is interested in flying you and Hannah to the premiere night - world premiere of Mary Poppins Returns. And the first thing I heard that, sabi ko: “I really wanna go because we all watched Mary Poppins as children. So it’s such a cool opportunity to see this movie after a long time and to bring back memories. And of course, it’s in L.A. - Beverly Hills. It’s where we stayed so I’ve never been there. I think the last time na pumunta ako ng States I was ten years old. So sabi ko sa mommy ko please can I make it happen? Eh may work pa ako nung time na ‘yun. So it was one of the best experiences,” the young heartthrob shared in an exclusive interview at the advance special screening of the film attended by his family and relatives.
Donny, who admitted himself that he’s always been a fan of Mary Poppins, shared what he liked about the film. “The songs - super catchy. Even today, I’m still singing it. So the musical aspect and all the imagination that’s real. Becoming a child again, I like that feeling.
Having seen the old one which was originally portrayed by Academy Award-winning actress Julie Andrews, Donny opened up about his thoughts on the Emily Blunt-starrer sequel.
“I think they were able to give justice to its original roots. But at the same time, change it completely. Because I love the way Emily Blunt portrayed Mary Poppins. You know, she did an amzaing job. And of course, the entire cast. All the songs were newly-composed just for the movie so it’s just a brilliant film for me.
For someone like Donny who is no stranger to doing interviews with foreign artists after having done several exclusives with acts like The Chainsmokers, Shawn Mendes, DNCE, and Halsey among others, he shared how it’s like with Hollywood actors this time around.
“Sobrang astig. First time ko mainterview ‘yung actors. Kasi ‘di ba usually artists? Pero first time kong mag-interview ng international actor/actress. Especially ‘yung director si Rob Marshall na-interview ko. Sobrang nervous ako at first. ‘Di ko alam ang junkie na nangyayari - what happens there. I didn’t really know. It was really a first time for me. And I’m just so happy that I got to you know, go through that because I learned so much. And to see how humble all these actors are, it’s an inspiration,” he stated.
Having had the chance to get to know more about the people who made the film come to life, the Playhouse actor shared what he learned from them during his interviews.
“It really takes an amazing team to make something big. Kasi all of them naging sobrang close. Grabe ‘yung chemistry nila - especially the director. A lot of the actors kept saying we couldn’t have done this without Rob Marshall. Si Emily Blunt nga sabi niya ‘the reason why I accepted this offer was because I found out Rob Marshall is directing it’. So parang cool lang na ganun ‘yung pagtrato niya sa mga actors niya and mga actors niya kasi parang pamilya lang talaga sila lahat. And I learned that it’s very important if you want to come out with a film that’s a family film and that’s something that everyone can watch. Not just kids kasi ‘di ba Mary Poppins ‘dati pa ‘yun? So everyone will watch this film.
Meanwhile, Donny also shared his biggest takeaway after watching the Golden Globe--contender film.
“I think the biggest takeaway is never forget the child in you. Never give up. In every situation, there’s always hope. You just have to find that hope. And in every situation, you could always see the good. So people should watch it because first of all, it’s Mary Poppins. Who wouldn’t wanna go to their roots and see the continuation of the old movie. And it’s set in the 30s actually - this movie. But it’s very relevant - the stuff na pinag-usapan ‘yung mga problema. It’s very relevant in the world today so there’s so many things you can learn - especially from Mary Poppins - the way she talks. There’s so many things you can learn, it’s a family movie,” he stated.
Mary Poppins Returns opens on January 8 in cinemas nationwide.