Towards the end of her latest book, HOME WORK, Julie Andrews writes, “The most important thing I have learned is the simplest of all: people are just people – no matter their politics, their skin colour or where they live. There is no difference in our humanity; only in our circumstances.”
The circumstances of Julie Andrews’ life has been one of luck and privilege, endowed with a unique voice, mentored by giants, a talent that gained resilience from hard work, and an ability to seize on opportunity when it knocked.
The title of the book, HOME WORK, refers to the juggle of career and domestic life, a balancing act of blurred edges seeing that she was married to film maker, Blake Edwards, and they worked on many projects together.
Julie writes that her favourite song from The Sound of Music is Edelweiss. To her it’s an anthem that speaks to one’s homeland, no matter where that may be. Julie confides that she spent so much of her early life trying to unify her need for home with her commitment to work.
“These days I’ve come to realise that home is a feeling as much as it is a place; it is as much about loving what I do as being where I am.”
Subtitled A Memoir of my Hollywood Years, HOME WORK picks up from her first film, Mary Poppins, for which she won an Oscar and takes us through to Victor, Victoria, for which she was nominated again for an Academy Award.
Co written with daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, HOME WORK is revealing without being a salacious tell all. It chronicles the failure of her first marriage to designer, Tony Walton, the grueling treadmill of her first years in Hollywood – she completed three pictures before Mary Poppins was released – her decision to enter psycho analyses, and her subsequent romance, marriage and life with Blake Edwards, her “Blackie”, mercurial of mind and mood, the always admired artist, the not so admirable spouse. Still, the marriage lasted 41 years, till death did he part.
HOME WORK is peppered with showbiz anecdote – why Omar Sharif might have been a better fit for Inspector Clouseau – and littered with terrific photographs.
Candor with a spoonful of sugar, HOME WORK presents home truths in a most delightful way.
HOME WORK by Julie Andrews is published by W&N.