Emily Blunt gets approval from the original Mary Poppins to take on her role

Los Angeles - Julie Andrews has given Emily Blunt her blessing to play Mary Poppins.

The 33-year-old British actress is taking over the role of the magical nanny made famous by Andrews in the classic 1964 Disney film - a performance which earned her a Best Actress Oscar.

Blunt has been open about having some trepidation about stepping into the screen legend's shoes for Mary Poppins Returns but she was given a big boost when the movie's director Rob Marshall told her that Andrews, 80, was delighted with her casting.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly magazine, Blunt shared: "Rob said he was in the Hamptons, and he saw Julie, and he said, 'It's top secret, but Emily Blunt's playing Mary Poppins.' And she went, 'Oh, wonderful!'"

Revealing how she felt when Marshall gave her that news, Blunt gushed: "I felt like I wanted to cry. It was lovely to get her stamp of approval. That took the edge off it, for sure."

The Devil Wears Prada star is still nervous about how the Mary Poppins sequel will be received as she is aware of just how much the original musical - which also featured Dick Van Dyke and was set in London - is loved.

She explained: "I feel a little more trepidation with this character because she's so emblematic of people's nostalgia. It's such an important character in people's childhood."

Mary Poppins Returns - also starring Meryl Streep and Lin-Manuel Miranda - is currently due to hit cinemas in December 2018.

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