The Original Sound of Music Kids Share Their Memories of Working with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer
With the highly anticipated NBC special The Sound of Music, Live! poised to air on Thursday, December 5th, Parade decided it was time to catch up with the kids from the original film. I recently had the opportunity to chat with each of the original child actors for my Parade.com Sound of Music series and Whine At 9 podcast. While the onscreen siblings have plenty of fond memories from the iconic film, one of the parts they cherish most is having had the opportunity to work with the legendary Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.
Of course, working with legends can often be an educational experience. Actor Nicholas Hammond (Friedrich von Trapp) is still inspired by the beauty of the silhouette-in-the-dark scene featuring Andrews and Plummer declaring their love for one another. “It’s so romantic, and it’s so delicate, and restrained. It’s just wonderful.” Hammond believes it is the most beautiful scene in the film. He also notes the extreme sense of professionalism on the set. Says Hammond, “There were no kind of terrible egos. I mean, Julie is the most professional woman alive and it all comes from the top. When the person who has the whole responsibility for the film on her shoulders is behaving so modestly and so quietly and so professionally, everybody else does the same.”
While the cast got along rather famously, many of the “kids” felt an almost maternal bond with Julie Andrews. Kym Karath (Gretl von Trapp) still fondly recalls Andrews playing the guitar for the children between takes. Says Angela Cartwright (Brigitta von Trapp), “First of all, I think she really loved kids. You can see all of us, we adore her in the movie. She was just such a lovely person and it shows.”
Debbie Turner (Marta von Trapp) recalls Andrews as having the same off-camera personality. “She was so kind to us and I can remember there were times when, you know, maybe we were being a little rambunctious and she’d pick up her guitar and she’d say, ‘OK, everybody, come sit on the blanket,’ and she would sing to us and we would sing with her and she would tell us jokes. And she was just so lovely and loving towards us… just as much as she was on film.” One of Turner’s favorite memories is the wrap party Andrews threw for the kids at her home. The pool party was a hit
Andrews was more of a parental figure than Plummer, notes Heather Menzies (Louisa von Trapp), but Plummer’s role required him to channel a less hands-on relationship with the children’s characters. Still, the admiration for Plummer is apparent. Says Menzies, “I just adore him and think the world of him as a person and as an actor.”
Of course, with the exception of Charmian Carr (Liesl von Trapp) who was 21 at the time and saw the legendary actors more as peers than as surrogate parents, the children did have their own parents on the set. And as Duane Chase (Kurt von Trapp) mentioned, once they finished shooting for the day, the kids went one way and the adult actors went another. This might have been a good thing since Chase notes that with six younger kids on the set, Andrews sometimes had to act like a nanny—“kind of like herding cats,” chuckles Chase, who was 13 at the time. Like even the best of parents, Andrews probably welcomed those breaks from kid duty.
(Source: christopherplummer.eu) —