Though IMDb credits her with exactly one role this year — the narrator in a one-off “Great Performances” TV special — 2013 was arguably Julie Andrews’ year. Thursday night, NBC brought new life to “The Sound of Music,” popping singer Carrie Underwood into the role Andrews made famous, adding a “Live!” to the end and calling it a night. The fan consensus was clear: Get the heck outta those hills, Carrie. That’s Julie’s territory.
Andrews’ other big claim to fame, other than being Julie F—in’ Andrews, is Mary Poppins. She nannied up a storm, a flying umbrella and serious business satchel in hand, in the 1964 Disney flick “Mary Poppins.” “Saving Mr. Banks,” due out December 20, isn’t a straight Poppins remake (how dare they even think it), instead exploring the behind- the-scenes-development process behind the movie. Andrews’ character doesn’t appear, but Victoria Summer makes an uncredited cameo as Andrews on the red carpet of the film’s premiere (spoiler alert: the movie gets made).
Even when Julia Andrews isn’t in a movie, it seems like the movie is somehow about Julie Andrews.
In celebration of the Year of Our Andrews, we chose updated casting for three of her most memorable roles.
“Victor Victoria” (1982)
In the gender-bending, early ’80s musical comedy, Andrews plays Victoria…and, uh, Victor, as the name would imply. The plot, in a tweet: Cabaret singer is a lady pretending to be a man pretending to be a lady; madness ensues. Call us crazy, but is a “Victor Victoria” reboot just the boost Britney Spears’ career needs? All eyes were on her in the center of the ring just like a circus, so the sidestep to cross-dressing (kinda) cabaret seems like a natural one.
“The Princess Diaries” (2001)
It’s true that Julie Andrews was born to play an aging queen, and while we have a very hard time imagining anyone else snapping “princess of Genovia!” in Anne Hathaway’s pre-”Les Mis” face, we’d love for it to be Amanda Plummer. Just imagine it. Imagine it. Julie Andrews’ Queen Clarisse is scary in a “don’t tell me you’re thinking about wearing white after Labor Day” kind of way, but Plummer would bring a whole new vibe to the game.
“Thoroughly Modern Millie” (1967)
Forget about Sutton Foster’s stage turn as the titular Millie, a jazz baby who moves to New York to find excitement, it’s time for this musical to get thoroughly modernized. Do we smell a “The Sound of Music Live!”-style telecast event, starring Miley Cyrus? We think it positively reeks of it. Miley, twerking in a flapper dress. Miley cuts her hair into a bob! Miley falls in love with salty paperclip salesman Jimmy (played by Joe Jonas, natch)!
We’d hate-tweet it, wouldn’t you?