Julie Andrews is the spokeswoman for Disney's Princess Week, and today on The Talk she gave us all the royal details. When asked what exactly the week is all about, she had a straightforward answer: "It entails a lot of merchandise." But it's not all a ploy to sell tiny Cinderella glass slippers to little girls. As Julie Andrews explained, Disney is donating lots of DVDs to kids in need. She also dropped some princess trivia. Do you know how many real princesses there are in the world? Watch this clip to find out, and for more read LilSugar's interview with Julie Andrews on the merits of princess culture.
It's hard not to become giddy when talking about Julie Andrews. The legendary actress's career spans more than 50 years, with multiple generations of families still enjoying her library of work together — from Mary Poppins to The Princess Diaries. What many people don't know is that the 76-year-old Academy Award winner is also the coauthor — with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton — of more than 20 children's books, including the just-released The Very Fairy Princess: Here Comes the Flower Girl!, part of the "Very Fairy Princess" series.
As far as meeting her in person — well as someone who can still recite virtually every line of The Sound of Music, it's a totally surreal experience. From the beautiful English accent that spoke to me from my favorite films to the fact that she still exudes the authoritativeness of the governesses she played, the experience was almost regal — which is why Andrews is perfectly cast as the spokeswoman for Disney and Target's first National Princess Week, which runs from April 22-28. I met up with the living legend, her daughter, and her granddaughter at a princess-themed tea — feather boas, scepters and all — to discuss the relevance of princesses today, working motherhood, and her favorite roles over the years.
On why playing princesses is really OK:
Julie Andrews: "My personal take on it is that they may be trying on for size what it feels like to be, say, a real lady. [It] perhaps, in some way, helps them find their own identity later in life. I do think fantasy and play of this kind — whatever it is, if you want to play at being a nurse, or if you want to play at being a florist — it's all important and should be allowed, because it would be an awfully sad place if we didn't try on those airs and have fun doing it."
On raising strong, independent, confident women in a culture saturated with princesses:
Emma Walton Hamilton: "Sometimes I think princesses are given an unfair rap. We compiled a list of over 70 contemporary princesses. In doing the research for that, I was reminded once again of the extraordinary work princesses do in the world. The charitable contributions, the causes they champion, the amount of good and service they contribute and provide. I think they're a wonderful example of being strong, feminine, and kind, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that."
On her favorite Disney princess:
Julie Andrews: "Mine has to be, because I've been involved with it, Cinderella. I played Cinderella when I was about 17 years old in England, and then when I came to America it was the first Rodgers and Hammerstein musical they wrote for me. So for me Cinderella has always resonated. And I love the rags to riches, kind of like my own story in a little way."
John Mayer and Lauren Conrad teamed up in NYC last night for Save The Music's annual gala. The organization, which is dedicated to restoring and preserving arts education in public schools, has long been a philanthropic cause close to John's heart. He, along with John Legend and Julie Andrews, was honored for continually supporting their work. Lauren Conrad, meanwhile, made a cameo to introduce Natasha Bedingfield, who sang the theme song from The Hills. LC managed to escape to the East Coast for the evening during a break from her acting and reality star duties. Good Charlotte's Joel and Benji Madden were together to pose for photos near Twilight's Billy Burke, though his fictional daughter, Kristen Stewart, was off getting down to business with Robert Pattinson in Brazil.
To see more photos, just read more
With the upcoming films Maleficent and Megamind and today's Despicable Me, it seems the hot new thing in Hollywood is the animated anti-hero. In Despicable Me, he's Gru (Steve Carell), a broad-shouldered villain with a freeze gun in tow. His mischievous acts may seem small — cutting the line at Starbucks, bursting a kid's balloon — but he has bigger fish to fry: he wants to steal the moon. To do so, Gru must swipe a shrink ray, but a new golden boy evildoer (Jason Segel) in town named Vector comes on the scene to thwart his schemes.
Gru wants nothing more than to reclaim his spot as the most infamous villain, so he can make his mom (Julie Andrews) proud. Does that make him a bad guy? Absolutely not. In fact, Gru is easy to like, as is the film. I dare say, if Toy Story 3 hadn't already made its mark, Despicable could have been the family film of the Summer. To hear why, read more
Jason Segel and Steve Carell aren't the only big names in this weekend's release Despicable Me: Miranda Cosgrove told us she was thrilled to meet her costar Dame Julie Andrews –– Mary Poppins herself –– while working on the film. We caught up with both actresses in Beverly Hills as they prepped for the movie’s Friday release. Dame Julie Andrews was gracious enough to let us grill her about her status as a childhood icon –– and that rumored guest spot on Glee. Miranda talked college plans, her music career, and why Tina Fey is her ultimate role model.
To see what Miranda had to share, just read more
The Elle Women in Hollywood Awards brought out some of the town's biggest names last night. The ceremony was held to coincide with the magazine's similarly themed upcoming issue, and cover girl Katie Holmes hit the cream carpet to show her support. Apparently Suri helped Katie select her all-black outfit, and the proud mom even opened up about their adventures in Boston. Katie commented that, "She loves clothes and picks out her own. . . . She loves running and she loves dancing." Cat Deeley and Robin Wright also opted for dark dresses, while Renee Zellweger, Diane Kruger, and Emily Blunt lightened things up a bit.
Emily Blunt and John Krasinski made another appearance together after their weekend trip to the Mill Valley Film Festival, as the happy engaged couple gets more comfortable stepping out side by side. She said a few words onstage before posing for photos with the evening's host, Alec Baldwin. Renee Zellweger flashed a big smile, perhaps due to her romantic few days in Vancouver with Bradley Cooper. Robin Wright mingled with Benicio del Toro, as the ladies got together to enjoy fun company and champagne.
To see more from the event, including Jennifer Carpenter and Kat Dennings, just read more
We posted this a loooong time ago, but Audreystar reminded us (just in time for Halloween) that with a little creative editing and scary music, even Mary Poppins can scare the bejeezus out of you.
The American Film Institute had its 40th anniversary on Wednesday, and some of Hollywood's finest were there to help celebrate. George Lucas, Billy Crystal and Jack Nicholson were among the 11 entertainers chosen to introduce a screening of one of their own films. The man of the night was Warren Beatty, who was honored with AFI's 36th lifetime achievement award. It looks like these old friends were more than happy to show their affections on the red carpet, especially that frisky Jack Nicholson.
Lots more pics including Clint Eastwood, Angela Lansbury and Kirk Douglas so just read more