Julie Andrews admits she’s regarding the end-of-year holidays with a “bittersweet” feeling.
The much-beloved, Oscar-winning star of such screen classics as “The Sound of Music” and “Mary Poppins” is approaching the Dec. 15 anniversary of the 2010 death of her husband: Blake Edwards, the hugely versatile filmmaker whose movies ranged from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “Experiment in Terror” to “Days of Wine and Roses” and “The Pink Panther.“
And with Andrews, he made several more enduring pictures including “Victor/Victoria,” “10” and “S.O.B.,” a wickedly biting Hollywood satire. “He had six ideas a day,” Andrews tells Zap2it, “and one never knew quite what was going to happen next. The thing that amazed me about him, in terms of his work, was how varied it was.
“It was either a musical or something like the Western ‘Wild Rovers,’ which is a really interesting piece. It has all the wonderful, traditional shots much like John Ford would photograph … but it was also very psychological about the relationships and why what happened happened. I think it’s a great movie, I really do.”
At the same time, Andrews professes she is “scared out of my seat” by “Experiment in Terror,” a frequent Turner Classic Movies attraction with Lee Remick — who also worked for Edwards as the alcoholic wife in “Days of Wine and Roses” — as an extortion target. “The opening in the garage alone is enough,” Andrews reflects. “And nothing violent really happens. It’s all suggested.”
Edwards also gave television the memorable detective series “Peter Gunn,” and a year after his passing, Andrews envisions spending Christmas “a little more quietly. I was thinking I might go to our home in Europe, but the family felt that would be so painful that maybe this first year, we shouldn’t.”
However, Andrews’ holiday season ramps up immediately afterward. She’ll leave for Austria, where she’ll serve as host for the third time of PBS’ traditional “Great Performances” New Year’s Day concert by the Vienna Philharmonic. The job will keep her quite busy for a concentrated period, as she spends several days taping segments at various sites right up to the time of the telecast.
Nevertheless, “the family is still reeling and trying to put it in perspective,” Andrews says of Edwards’ absence. “He had a long life, but we wish it had been much, much longer.”