Exclusive Interview with “Saving Mr. Banks” actress Victoria Summer

| December 21, 2013 | Reply
Born in Berkshire, England, Victoria Summer began her acting career starring in horror films.  In 2006, she appeared in a low-budget film, The Zombie Diaries, which was eventually picked up by the Weinstein Company and in 2009 she landed the lead role in the updated retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula entitled Dracula Reborn.  In a 180-degree turn, Victoria can currently be seen playing Julie Andrews in Disney’s Saving Mr. Banks.
VictoriaS-9763_300dpi_COLORVictoria Summer
Photo: Victoria Summer
I caught up with the stunningly beautiful Victoria and talked with her about her role as Julie Andrews, meeting Richard Sherman and what she has coming up next.
Describe the process of getting the role of Julie Andrews. 

Well I have to say, it’s one of those classic Hollywood stories really. I got a phone call from casting and they said that my picture had been chosen out of thousands and I was first choice to play ‘Julie Andrews’ in the new Tom Hanks/Emma Thompson movie Saving Mr Banks and could I go on set to meet with the team. It was completely out of the blue… I went on set up in Pasadena and met with hair and make up and the director.

Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 10.09.17 PM

Kristopher Kyer as Dick Van Dyke and Victoria Summer as Julie Andrews
Photo: Victoria Summer / Instagram

What research did you have to do for the role?
Well, I grew up watching and admiring Julie Andrews as a child. However I wanted to be particularly familiar with the premiere of Mary Poppins in 1964 since we would be literally recreating that scene. I used the videos on YouTube of the premiere and studied her mannerisms on the internet.

What were your thoughts when you saw the final version?

It’s heartfelt and the movie touched me. It takes one into a completely different world and perspective than I imagined and I think it’s a fascinating story. Emma Thompson is magic. The character she created in PL Travers had me riveted beginning to end.

Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 10.09.49 PMRichard M. Sherman and Victoria Summer
Photo: Victoria Summer/Instagram

Did you have a chance to meet and speak with Richard Sherman or others who were involved in the production?

Yes I met Richard and his wife on set. It was an honor to meet Richard; particularly considering  my background and training in musical theater. His eyes danced as he spoke about what a delight the whole experience had been for him. It was marvelous.

I was lucky enough to meet many of the cast and crew – including of course Emma and Tom. They were very warm and welcoming. Particularly Emma. I went to shake her hand and she gave me a huge hug and said ‘Hello, Victoria, welcome to set.’ I will never forget that moment! She’s a truly incredible talent. I really admire her.

Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 10.08.43 PMVictoria Summer getting ready as Julie Andrews
Photo: Victoria Summer/Instagram

How did your attitude change from an actress’s point of view when you went through hair and make up and wardrobe?

I became Julie Andrews in a matter of hours! The makeup was incredible – they shaded my face in such a way that I took on her bone structure; I really didn’t look like me anymore! They bleached my eyebrows and made them thinner – that made a huge difference. When you have such a great team, it make my job much easier!

vicsumpremVictoria Summer at the premiere of Saving Mr. Banks
Photo: Victoria Summer

Where was the movie premiere scene shot? It was quite detailed.

The Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. They closed down Hollywood Blvd. and there was a huge crowd of spectators as well as extras. It is one of if not, the biggest scenes in the movie. It was quite the spectacle. An absolute honor to be able to contribute.

How long did that scene take?

A long time!!! I was on set that day eighteen hours or more.

When I saw one of your head shots – I thought you would be perfect portraying Elizabeth Taylor.

I did actually portray a young Elizabeth Taylor as the photo double for Lindsey Lohan for the ‘Liz and Dick’ Lifetime movie. That was another incredible transformation – probably my favorite. The shots looked just like her on a Vogue cover. I was completely blown away when I saw them.

What do you have coming up?

I just played the lookalike for Audrey Hepburn for a commercial in Tokyo. I love playing these icons!!

I also just finished filming Transformers 4 in Detroit and Chicago. That was incredible!

To keep up to date on what Victoria is working on you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @VictoriaSummer and by visiting her website www.victoriasummer.com

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