Julie Andrews Reflects on Her Experiences in Therapy

Legendary actress Julie Andrews became a household name with Mary Poppins, and has rarely left our screens since. Her new memoir, “Home Work,” covers her incredible years at the heart of Hollywood, including “The Sound of Music” and her sometimes difficult marriage to film director Blake Edwards. She joins Christiane in London to discuss mental health and her dazzling career.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: And today, a lot of young people might feel incredibly comforted to know that somebody like you went through this –


ANDREWS: Well, I hope –


AMANPOUR: — and that you did a huge amount of therapy.

ANDREWS: Yes, I did. Well, I felt that I needed some answers, and that really does send you seeking answers where that kind of thing grabs you. I didn’t have depression very often. My husband did, but I didn’t, and we were both in therapy anyway. But thank God for it because so many things happened because of it. I think I was a better wife. I think I might have been a better mum I hope because of understanding myself. And very kind therapist quickly realized that what I’d craved most of all was an education, and I write in the book that he decided to give me one. And because I’d never really had one, never been to school really – travelled with a tutor but never went to high school, graduated high school, never went to college, which I so wished I had done. So this very bright sort of man, much like Merlin, gave me this wonderful education.

AMANPOUR: So that’s really interesting because you also say in the book – and there’s a quote here that you didn’t even tell your therapist for a long, what, for a week or however long that you’d won the Oscar.


ANDREWS: I know.

AMANPOUR: You felt that somehow what?

ANDREWS: I didn’t want to be boastful and I didn’t want to show off and so many stupid things like that. I mean, of course today I would have blurted it out, but I didn’t know him so well and I thought I’ll be discreet about it. It’s silly to burst into an office and say I won an Oscar.


AMANPOUR: Well, no. I mean, he must have known. It’s also broadcasted on T.V.

ANDREWS: I don’t know. Really I had no idea, but anyway, silly me –


AMANPOUR: It’s the proudest achievement for an actor.

ANDREWS: Well, most amazing that’s for sure. I think – this does sound Pollyanna-ish, but the doing is the best. And the rest is just icing on the cake, and how lucky can one get if you’re lucky enough to be in that position, but truly everything’s collaborative. Everything’s – you learn so much doing it, and it’s such a wonderfully interesting life. At least I thought so.

AMANPOUR: Well, I mean, it is, and to have given back so much is – must be incredibly satisfying.

ANDREWS: That’s the joy really.

AMANPOUR: But the doing of cause for you was also your voice.


AMANPOUR: And you write very poignantly it’s like opening your chest and bearing your soul. My singing teacher used to say to me singing with a great orchestra is like being carried along in the most comfortable armchair. It can engulf you when you feel that incredible, intense joy coming over you.

ANDREWS: Yes, it can. It can make you almost want to weep, and I think I further write that that’s the moment to give it to the audience because that joy is so intense.

About This Episode EXPAND

Vali Nasr and Karl Sharro join Christiane Amanpour to discuss protests in Lebanon and Iraq. Actor Julie Andrews reflects on her dazzling career. Twitter co-founder Ev Williams explains what went wrong with social media and how he’s trying to fix it.