For Lin-Manuel Miranda, the score for Mary Poppins Returns is practically perfect in every way.
And while the actor and Hamilton mastermind stars as Jack the Lamplighter in the new Disney film, he made a new musical discovery about it while sitting down with Jess Cagle on EW Radio recently. He was accompanied by costars Emily Blunt, Emily Mortimer, and Ben Whishaw.
While listening to an audio clip from the movie, in which Jane and Michael Banks (played by Mortimer and Whishaw) first reunite with Blunt’s Mary Poppins, Miranda picked up on a delightful musical cue for the first time. “Can I music-nerd-out for a second?” he asked before pointing it out to his castmates and listeners.
“Even as you were listening to that dialogue, when she says, ‘It is wonderful to see you again,’ [composer] Marc [Shaiman], for a second, reprises the three notes from the notes that Michael and Jane Banks write for the kind of the nanny they want in the first film,” Miranda said. The discovery prompted a brief singalong from Mortimer and Blunt (watch the video above).
Though Miranda is always attuned to musical Easter eggs, many of which he famously included in his score to Hamilton, this discovery was made in real time. “Literally, I just heard it for the first time now in hearing the clip,” he said.
The score for the original Mary Poppins has long been a touchstone for the sequel’s composers. “The kind of music and style that I most ever wanted to write for a movie was just finally right in front of me,” Shaiman previously told EW. “I’m certainly writing in a style that you don’t quite hear anymore. I mean, I was so well-suited for this movie because I’m sure there are other directors over the years who have walked away from a scoring session of mine and said, ‘Why is this schmuck scoring my movie like it’s a Mary Poppins movie?’ And finally I actually was scoring a Mary Poppins movie.”
The Mary Poppins Returns cast interview will air on SiriusXM’s Entertainment Weekly Radio (ch. 105) on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at 1 p.m. ET. Mary Poppins Returns opens Dec. 19.