getting to meet and interview julie andrews!

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you guys! i can’t even believe that this happened, but by some stroke of good luck, i found myself getting to sit down and interview both julie andrews and her daughter emma walton hamilton last friday! together, they wrote and produced a new show which julie is starring in, called julie’s greenroom coming out on netflix this march for preschool aged children celebrating all things around the performing arts! josh and i were able to sit down and chat with them all about the process, what it’s like working together as a mother/daughter duo, and hear some incredible stories about how julie introduced and encouraged emma from an early age into the arts.

i have to tell you, i was so fidgety and shakey before the interview began. i kept pacing the room waiting for them to walk in and josh, who was with me, kept being like, “you okay?!” haha. but both women are so incredibly endearing and warm, within a matter of seconds after meeting them, all the nerves went out the window as we sat down to chat.

i asked them what advice they might have for parents trying to share their love for the arts with a younger generation? “exposure!” julie said immediately! “just expose them to the arts. the arts are for everyone. they are attainable, not elitist.” i loved that. i shared with her how as a mother who has a background in the arts with three little ones, i’m thankful to be in a city where we are surrounded by so much art and performances to share and introduce our children to. but what about if you’re outside a big metropolitan city, or what if you don’t really know much about the arts yourself let alone how to introduce your children to it? she said that because there are community theaters everywhere, that is a place to start. there is something for everyone, you don’t have to love being on stage, but the stage craft behind the stage is just as important! both emma and julie agreed that they hope their show will encourage little ones to want to go see a performance. “we hope a child will say, ‘can i go see that?’. if they say that, then we’ve done our job.”

speaking of exposing little ones to the arts at an early age, julie and emma shared with me that they co-authored their first story together when emma was only 5 years old. emma loved writing, which is something julie also loved as a child. julie told me that she encouraged emma to write her first story, which she helped her with, and her father helped her illustrate. it later turned into one of their early collaborations, “simeon’s gift.” julie said that she and emma’s father were divorced, but she helped her write it, and then had her take the book to her dad’s house to illustrate it (as he is an artist) because she knew how special it’d be to emma to have that be not just “their thing,” but a “family thing.” since then, emma and julie have co-authored over 30 children’s books together since that first book years ago.

i also loved learning that when walt disney first came to julie to offer her the role of mary poppins, she said she’d love to do it, but was pregnant with emma at the time. he replied, “that’s alright. we’ll wait.” !!!!! and gosh aren’t we all so glad they waited for her?! (ps. do you remember when josh and i were bert and mary poppins for halloween our first year of marriage?!)

i still can’t believe i was invited to sit down and chat with someone i have looked up to since i was a little girl. just the other night, i sang every song i knew from the sound of music to my three little ones as they fell asleep in the nursery.  conrad might only be two, but he tries to keep up with the tune and repeat the words as best he can every time i sing “a few of my favorite things” and it makes my heart so happy. the arts are such an incredible way to bring inspiration, joy and purpose to life, and in times like now where things often feel more chaotic and disheartening, i know we need them now more than ever. such a special afternoon that’ll i’ll never forget! ah!

anyway, i’m looking forward to checking out their new show with my kiddos. it premieres on netflix march 17th! i always love finding new enriching shows for my kiddos and after hearing about all the guest stars, musical numbers and emphasis on the beauty of the arts this one has in store, i think it’s going to be something pretty special.

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  1. Maria Jose

    OMG! You are so lucky!!! I love her, she is just AMAIZING!!!

  2. Vicky

    ah! sooo exciting!! she is so beautiful and poised.

  3. fefe

    OMG I am so insanely jealous. I love her so much! I’m putting The Sound Of Music on now and listening to it all day. Side note – this also makes me want to watch The Princess Diaries, haha.

  4. Briana

    This is amazing! So cool that you were able to meet Julie. I love to hear others promoting the importance of being exposed to the arts as a child. I was so lucky to have seen many, many plays and live performances on field trips in elementary school and I know that it has, in so many ways, had a great impact on my life ever since.


  5. Becca

    That’s so amazing, she is the best. What a great show idea, thank you for letting us know about it. Calendar is marked :-)

  6. Lauren

    oh wow, what a special interview! What a great start to the year you’re having :)!

  7. Hannah B

    Oh. My. Word. I would have been shaking too! What an AWESOME opportunity! LOVE HER! Can’t wait to watch the show with my 3 year old twins and share with them 1) a love of the arts and 2) a love for Julie Andrews!

  8. Omggggggg BEST DAY EVER. You got to talk to Mary Poppins. I mean seriously, how completely marvelous. So awesome!!!

  9. JJ

    I love this message! I’m raising two kiddos in small-town middle America, and it’s really true – if you go looking for it, you can bring art and artists into your family no matter where you live. We have community theater, street art, dance performances, small museums (which are the best, aren’t they?), and music performances in schools, churches, and festivals. Plus, dance and music and art lessons are a little cheaper than they are in the big city!

    I’m also so grateful that Julie & Emma talked about writing and illustrating books! One of my 10 year old’s prize possessions is “The Big Pink Umbrella,” a book that she wrote & illustrated, then we photographed and “published” in a little Shutterfly book for Christmas when she was 6. I think kids approach all art more respectfully if we respect their art, right?

  10. denese

    Aside from the most obvious WOWS! to this, (Julie Andrews?! come on!)
    can I just say how refreshing it is to see women with beautiful aging skin!!!!!!! Look at how beautiful Julie and her daughter are. I wish them the best of luck in their new endeavor.

  11. evan

    So cool, Naomi! The stage adaptation of THE SOUND OF MUSIC was just in my hometown and it wasn’t the same without Julie and her warmth.

  12. Maca

    this is simply a dream! I can’t even believe it.
    Love you!

  13. malea

    wow that’s awesome!
    can’t wait to see the show on netflix!

  14. Megan

    This is amazing!! Oh my gosh, I absolutely love Julie Andrews!! I am so jealous haha

    Thanks for sharing!


  15. Sandra Luz

    Wow – that dress is gorgeous on you!!

  16. Hillary

    Speaking to exposing kids to the arts, especially if you’re not in a big city, there’s a lot of great resources to be found online. I’m a big fan of the Google Arts & Culture (which also has an app), and lots of museums have education supplements you can download. Here’s one from the Getty Museum of art stuff to do at home:

    I am in the museum field, and of course advocate for visiting museums and other arts/culture performances and events in person, but there’s such a wealth of stuff online that is incredibly valuable and inspirational.

  17. I live in Omaha, NE and Warren Buffet has a beautiful theater called the Rose for children theater and we have lots of theater here and have many classes/education for theater. I lived in NY most of my life and I am thankful that I have great theater/opera here in Omaha, NE. Our Henry Ford/Dorothy Community theater is the largest Communit theater in US>

  18. hanna

    This is so cool! I love her –Like Hanna

  19. Katie F.

    Julie, and Sound of Music, are my all top favorites! I didn’t know about the show. What lovely inspiration.Thanks!

  20. Caitlin

    This is amazing! Julie Andrews is such an icon and honestly, just look at her in this pictures, can she get any classier! I can’t think of a better person to talk to her though about creativity and children!

  21. Korin

    I am quite nearly in tears (at work) with no reason other than JULIE ANDREWS. Oh my god. So, so, so, inspiring! What a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

  22. What a talented and graceful lady! Will be looking out for the show on Netflix and watch a bit of it just to see what it’s like, even though I’m not the target audience :P (Also darn! Emma almost made it into Mary Poppins too! ;)) -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

  23. Tracy

    The arts are so important and it is great you expose the little ones to all that NYC has to offer.

    My parents always took us to Broadway shows, museums, and other art gatherings as kids!

    What a wonderful interview!

  24. Ashley M M

    Ok but HOW. This is insane. You have to tell us what “a struck of luck” means. Please. :)

  25. Naima

    Hi, Naomi! Will more of the interview be posted on the site at some point? It’s cool to hear about your experience chatting with these two, but I’m curious about whether we’ll get to hear a bit more of what you all said to each other? Perhaps, a partial transcription? Or a few more gems? What an awesome opportunity! Thank you for sharing with us.

  26. Jessica R.

    This is awesome! I’m so curious how did you got involved with these lovely ladies in the first place??

  27. Jenelle

    Um WOW!! That is awesome!! Good on you!! Sounds like a show I’ll have to check out, I have just been talking about how vital the arts are, now more so than ever as people are so used to information coming at them. It’s so crucial to experience other cultures and stories through performing arts.
    xx Jenelle

  28. Lu De la Rosa

    you always surprise me, love you, congratulations!!

  29. Lindsay

    Wow!!! What a wonderful opportunity.

  30. What an amazing experience, she genuinely does seem practically perfect in every way! Where can we find the interview – was it filmed or a written piece? So exciting!

    Also that story about Walt waiting until Julie had her baby – brilliant!

  31. François Monferran

    Darling people, Dame Andrews and Emma! We ALWAYS need some class in this world of ours! Class but not glass!! What an étiquette faux pas with those tall glasses for … hot drinks! LOL! I am NOT jealous, like most here, but just envious!

  32. Nikki

    Do you know if this will be on Netflix Canada as well? I’d love to introduce my kiddo to it!

  33. Pam

    This is amazing! Can’t believe you had this opportunity!
    So lucky and I’m sure you did a great job <3

  34. Stasja

    Such an elegant and beautiful woman! She looks absolutely incredible :) Couldn’t imagine a childhood without watching her films.


  35. Darlene Lynn

    How amazing!! The sound of music has been my very favorite since I was a little girl. I grew up in Sweden (with an american mom) and there weren’t a lot of things on TV in English at the time (late 80’s early 90’s) but every year they would play Sound of Music and we would all watch. She has the most amazing voice!

  36. Cait

    Oh, what a dream! I would be shaking too! Not only such an iconic and beloved (and gorgeous and talented) woman, but so elegant and classy too. I love the idea behind the show and will definitely be looking at it with my kids!

  37. Maridith Lane

    How in the WORLD did you land this? Curious about the invite!

  38. AHH!!!!! Those are the best behind the scenes stories I’ve ever heard! How amazing to learn about that special bond of storytelling in their family!

  39. Feliza Hidalgo Eslao

    I cant wait to watch that with my kids 😊

  40. Jonathan

    Sometimes the cogs of the universe fall in line with each other, don’t they. Great job (and will keep an eye on Netflix).

  41. Michelle

    This is amazing! Julie Andrews is such an inspiration. Will watch it when it comes out :)

  42. Wow! This is INCREDIBLE! The kids and I were just in a production of the Sound of Music that our local YMCA did. It’s not Broadway, but for the Y I am always so impressed with what they do! We break into song all of the time in our house now.

    I sing A Few of My Favorite Things to my kids at night too! I have since they were babies!

    Sounds like it’s going to be a great show to keep an eye out for! Thanks for the tip!

  43. Susan

    That would be a dream come true for me. Such talent!

  44. Laura

    Oh my God!I love her… I always sing “The Sound of Music” songs… and I don’t even have children :D. I couln’t have done this, I would have been too nervous. Pity in Italy we probably will not see her new show.

  45. Agustina

    oh my gosh, this is SO COOL!!!! And my dream come true :) Julie Andrews is such an inspiration and joy to watch… might have to play the sound of music soundtrack this afternoon!!

  46. Britney

    This is AH-MAZING! I absolutely love Julie Andrews. I’ll be watching for this on Netflix and I’ll have to look into the books too. What an awesome opportunity!

  47. Yándary

    What an amazing opportunity!! Thanks for sharing this with us! <3

  48. Annie Jones

    Where can we find the interview?!

  49. Alexandria Lucas

    I remember watching a music video you made to Postcards from Italy by Beirut a long time ago. I love how artistic it is and was going to show my daughter but it looks like the video can no longer play. Is there a way we can view it?

  50. Hannah

    AHHHH what an amazing thing to be doing! Well done!!

  51. Kelly

    This is so incredible, I can not believe you actually got to meet her and I am SO happy to hear she was actually as nice in person as I always imagined her to be! (And now you’ve got me humming,”Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes…”)

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

  52. Kathy

    Love this! How wonderful to meet Julie Andrews!

  53. Chelan

    I LOVE that you got to meet her! What an amazing opportunity! She is amazing and so are you! I love reading your blog :).