On the eve of Saving Mr Banks esteemed character actor Sir Edwin Fluffer recalls his experience of the Making of Mary Poppins:

Ambling down Hollywood Boulevard one morning I had the great pleasure of bumping into the always delightful Julie Andrews. Heavenly as Julie is her language comes straight from the gutter, and once she’d reminded me quite forcefully to watch where I was going I asked her if she was working at the moment.
It turned out that she’d just started filming Mary Poppins with my old pal Dick Van Dyke. Everyone in the industry knows that it was yours truly who came up with Dick’s stage name (Penis Van Lesbian just didn’t look right above the title), so I thought I’d pop down to the studio and see how he was getting on.  
Even to the untrained eye it was obvious that Dicky was struggling a bit with the accent, so I offered to help out with some dialogue coaching. I won’t say that he got it straight away, but certainly within a quarter of an eye he was chirping away like a cockney sparrow! Even Michael Caine was fooled, but he was still drinking in those days. 
Sadly the critics were unconvinced and to this day Dick’s performance is roundly mocked by young and old alike. I didn’t ask for thanks. I certainly didn’t ask for the black eye I got from the director, and the whole thing left me with a nasty taste in the mouth, for which I still blame Julie. 
I promised myself there and then, on Lassie’s grave, that I’d never interfere with another actor’s performance ever again. And then Sean Connery rang to say he’d been cast as a tough talking Irish cop in The Untouchables. But that’s another story…

To read more ruminations from Sir Edwin Fluffer – the only actor to ever be knighted twice – Click Here!
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