Chatting With The Stars of Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks! #SavingMrBanks


Hey All!

Did you know Walt Disney first began his quest to get the rights to P.L. Travers’ book “Mary Poppins” in the early 1940s. Although it took nearly 20 years to obtain the rights, when “Mary Poppins” was finally made, it won five awards of its 13 Academy Award® nominations: Best Actress (Julie Andrews), Best Effects, Best Film Editing, Original Score and Original Song. Among the nominations were Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film also won a technical Oscar® for Petro Vlahos, Wadsworth Pohl and Ub Iwerks for conception and perfection of techniques of color traveling matte composite cinematography. I recently had the opportunity to chat with some of the amazing cast who brings the film version of this historic Disney story to life Saving Mr. Banks.

“Saving Mr. Banks” is the first feature-length, theatrical drama to depict the iconic entrepreneur Walt Disney, with two-time Academy Award® winner Tom Hanks (“Philadelphia,” “Forrest Gump”) stepping into the major role. Here is a little of what they had to say in the short time I had with the talent.

I asked…

Obviously, Mary Poppins meant a lot to Walt Disney. I’m curious to know for everyone on the panel, what did Mary Poppins to you before making this film?


JASON SCHWARTZMAN quickly responded:

This movie meant a lot to me growing up. I saw it a lot of times and in fact I knew most-most all the songs from the movie. That’s what I remembered the most, I think. It’s funny just how much when you’re little a movie and things can affect you and when I got the part in the movie I started looking through archives and photos. I got to see all these behind-the-scenes snapshots of the movie being made and it was only then that it occurred to me that it was shot in Burbank. I experienced it as a young person thinking it was in England and it was only recently that I realized that it was all made up. That’s how deep into my body it had gone and how much I believed that it was all real. In a way I wish I hadn’t ever seen those photos. Do you know what I mean?

I absolutely knew what he meant. The magic of Disney films truly makes you a believer and you don’t want anything to spoil that magic for you.

B.J. NOVAK also responded:

We talked last night about this, because I thought I had seen “Mary Poppins.” I knew all the songs. I knew the characters.  I had absorbed it without ever having seen it. I didn’t realize that till we all went to your house and watched it. I realized there were so many scenes and complicated dark shadings and directions that I had never associated with that film. It’s a more complicated film than I thought it was, let alone the story of the film when you know the context of it. So it was something for me, and we talked about this, all these Disney films, they feel like they’re in your DNA.


EMMA THOMPSON felt the same way about the film.

I’d forgotten that about the film as well. How interesting. Gosh. Who knew?

Tom Hanks was then asked about his experience filming as Walt Disney in Disneyland with his Grandchildren visiting the set. It was a very funny story.



I had taken them to Disneyland on the day that we shot in Disneyland. They came and an interesting thing happens as a grandparent that you see no reason whatsoever that your granddaughter shouldn’t be delighted to take a ride on the Winnie the Pooh Adventure. It’s Winnie the Pooh. It’s fun. It’s Pooh Bear. It’s Kanga and Roo and Owl. It’s Christopher Robin. It’s gonna be a blast. She’s gonna remember this the rest of her life, her ride on Winnie the Pooh’s Great Adventure. My granddaughter was terrified by the noise, the big spinning bears. She will now be haunted for the rest of her days by this first image of Winnie the Pooh in a loud, short, herky-jerky ride that her grandfather forced her to do on the day he played Walt Disney in Disneyland. That is just a sample of the fantastic job I do as a grandparent. Thank you.


It was so fantastic to chat with this amazing group of talented individuals about this amazing film. They all do an incredible job in this film and I highly recommend you run out to see it if it’s playing in your town now.

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SAVING MR. BANKS is open in theaters limited now and opens wide on December 20th!