Julie Andrews calls therapy wonderful, ‘it saved my life in a way’
Julie Andrews, who just celebrated her 84th birthday on October 1, has published her second memoir, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years. Dame Julie is making the rounds on talk shows and stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Monday. She talked about working on what are probably her two most iconic films, Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music. She also opened up about time that she spent in therapy:
“Sadly, I’d separated from my lovely first husband and separations were always inevitable and the marriage was over,” the actress told the late night host. “My head was so full of clutter and garbage and believe it or not, it was (film and theater director) Mike Nichols who really tipped me into wanting to go to therapy because he had been … He was so sane and so funny and clear. He had a clarity I admired so much, and I wanted that for myself and I didn’t feel I had it.
“I went and I got into it, and it saved my life in a way,” she said.
Colbert asked the “Sound of Music” actress why she chose to share her experience with therapy.
“Why not, if it helps anybody else have the same idea?” Andrews said. “These days, there’s no harm in sharing it. I think everybody knows the great work it can do. Anybody that is lucky enough to have it, afford it, and take advantage of it, I think it would be wonderful.”
I’m glad for Julie that she found therapy to be useful, and that she spoke candidly about it. I also really appreciate that she touched on the conversation around therapy. I agree that there shouldn’t be harm in sharing that one goes to therapy, but there is still a tremendous amount of stigma attached to talking about needing help for one’s mental health. So, I appreciate Julie’s attitude of “Why wouldn’t I talk about this?” and maybe someday we’ll get to a place where more people share it. Her interview with Stephen is worth a watch. He clearly adores and respects her, and refers to her as a “global treasure.” Absolutely.
I’m excited to read Home Work. I read Home: A Memoir of My Early Years when it came out in 2008, and really enjoyed it. (Julie also narrated the audio version.) I’m trying to remember, but I think her second memoir was initially supposed to be published a couple of years after Home. I’d occasionally see something about it “coming soon,” but it never materialized. I was happily surprised when a friend posted about it on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. I still remember being amazed when my mother gave me Julie’s novel Mandy when I was about 8 or so. I thought it was so cool that “Mary Poppins”/”Maria Von Trapp” had written a novel, too. Julie’s eldest daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, with whom she has co-written numerous children’s books, helped her write the memoir. Julie is on a book tour, too, and the dates are on her website.