Costume designer Daniel Orlandi dressed Emma’s Travers as a “stubbornwoman who wouldn’t give up English tweeds”.
As Pamela Travers becomes more comfortable with Walt Disney and with California, she becomes slightly less buttoned-up and she wears a bright olive dress that accentuates Emma’s curves.
Orlandi says that he had to make the dress that P. L. Travers wears to the Mary Poppins premiere much more conservative than the one worn by the real Travers because he feared Emma Thompson looked too sexy compared to the austere lady she was bringing on stage.
“She is so belligerant and she is so vulnerable, she is so bossy and yet she is so susceptible to all sorts of weather, she is such a bundle of inconsistencies and she suffers so much and yet she seems to be so strong, I mean she was a wonderful character to play”.
Paul Giamatti is an American actor and producer. His paternal grandfather’s family were Italian emigrants and the family surname was originally spelled “Giammattei“.
So far Emma and Giamatti have acted together in a single movie but they have shown great chemistry and they have been proved to be a well assorted couple.
I hope that in the future they are planning to make more films together because I really love Giamatti’s acting.
On Saving Mr Banks he plays Ralph, Travers’ chauffeur, and the two, after some initial diffidence, gradually develop a great empathy so much so that in the end she allows him to call her by name, despite her dislike of Americans, except Ralph, evidently.
Ralph with his politeness penetrates the depths of her heart while for all the others she is unpleasant and high-handed.
For me one of the most touching scenes is that in which he takes her to the airport and they say goodbye. Great acting and lots of feeling from both actors!
Author P.L. Travers delighted generations of children all over the world with Mary Poppins.
In this movie she is described as a snobby stubborn woman who throws tantrums and abides pears, Americans, cartoons and who thinks it’s blasphemy to drink tea from a paper cup.
She flies to Los Angeles to meet Walt Disney and her trip is emotionally distressing, because it stirs up long-buried memories about her childhood and her alcoholic father. “It’s as if my subconscious is attacking me,” she says, talking on the phone at night with her agent.
She hates the idea of having her book made into a film, so she tries to get Disney and his team lose their patience. She is rude to everyone. The only person who can break through her dry heart is Ralph, the limousine driver, to whom she signs a book before leaving. He is the only person allowed to call her by name.
Emma explains how she approached playing this role. To embody Pamela Travers, she had to study her posture, her gestures and also her shrill and annoying voice.
Pamela is pretty nasty a lot of the time but she is also a vulnerable creature, with a not-so-cheery disposition. But in some isolated moments, Mr Disney makes her smile and he manages to surprise her, especially when he takes her to Disneyland and forces her to take a ride on the carousel.
I love the scene in which she finally let herself go and dances.
Great performance by Emma whose character was not easy to play.