Robert De Niro to be honoured with 2019 SAG life achievement award

Robert De Niro is to be honoured with the Life Achievement Award at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.Since launching his career in the early 1960s, the Hollywood actor has appeared in a string of successful films, winning Academy Awards for hi…

Robert De Niro is to be honoured with the Life Achievement Award at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.

Since launching his career in the early 1960s, the Hollywood actor has appeared in a string of successful films, winning Academy Awards for his performances in The Godfather II and Raging Bull, as well as Oscar nominations for his work in The Deer Hunter, Taxi Driver, Awakenings, Cape Fear, and Silver Linings Playbook.

Now, De Niro has been named as the 56th recipient of the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)’s highest tribute.

“Robert De Niro is an actor of extraordinary depth and ability. The characters he creates captivate our imaginations. From the smouldering inferno of young Vito Corleone to the raging bull Jake LaMotta and everybody’s grandpa Ben Whittaker, he continues to touch our hearts and open our minds to new and exciting worlds of understanding and emotion,” said Gabrielle Carteris, president of SAG-AFTRA. “It is my great privilege to announce that SAG-AFTRA’s highest honour will be presented to one of the most singular talents of our generation, Robert De Niro.”

In response, The Irishman star commented: “I have been a member of this union for over 50 years. It’s an honour to receive this award from SAG-AFTRA.”

The 76-year-old previously received a SAG Award for his work as a member of the cast of American Hustle and nominations for Marvin’s Room, Silver Linings Playbook, and The Wizard of Lies.

Previous winners of the life achievement award include Alan Alda, Morgan Freeman, Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett, Debbie Reynolds, Rita Moreno, Dick Van Dyke, Betty White, and Julie Andrews.

The 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will take place on 19 January 2020.

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Dick Van Dyke wore his favourite dance shoes for Mary Poppins sequel

Dick Van Dyke insisted on wearing his own dance shoes in Mary Poppins Returns.The legendary actor, who had a lead role in the 1964 original, is back for Rob Marshall’s sequel, which stars Emily Blunt in the tile role – replacing Dick’s co-star Ju…

Dick Van Dyke insisted on wearing his own dance shoes in Mary Poppins Returns.

The legendary actor, who had a lead role in the 1964 original, is back for Rob Marshall’s sequel, which stars Emily Blunt in the tile role – replacing Dick’s co-star Julie Andrews.

Triple Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell is behind the film’s stunning clothes, and she loved meeting Dick and fellow film legend Angela Lansbury during fittings.

“It was amazing, of course. They were both incredible sweethearts. I remember going to meet Dick Van Dyke in his home and doing a fitting in his suit,” Sandy recalled to Deadline. “We were just regaled with stories, which was so fantastic. He was easy, absolutely easy. The only thing he insisted on was wearing his own dance shoes, which of course you couldn’t say no to. He was going to jump up on the table and dance, so he had to wear whatever was comfortable.

“And Angela was just a delight. Incredibly sprightly, both of them. So full of energy.”

For Mary Poppins Returns, which stars Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer as the now grown-up Michael and Jane Banks, Sandy and her team created 440 costumes from scratch. A lot of these were based on the trends of England in the 1930s, when the second film is set.

“The thing with Mary Poppins is it’s a fantasy world, but only when it goes into the fantasy world bit,” Sandy outlined. “The rest of the time, it’s in the real world, and I tried to be historically accurate. Most of the clothes in the background, they’re all originals from the period, so that is all historically accurate, including the clothes that Mary Poppins is wearing.”

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Emily Mortimer was terrified flying high for Mary Poppins Returns

Actress Emily Mortimer was “completely miserable” inside during a high-flying scene for Mary Poppins Returns, because she is terrified of heights and singing in public. The Shutter Island star plays a grown-up Jane Banks, one of the young children the…

Actress Emily Mortimer was “completely miserable” inside during a high-flying scene for Mary Poppins Returns, because she is terrified of heights and singing in public.

The Shutter Island star plays a grown-up Jane Banks, one of the young children the beloved titular nanny cared for in the original 1964 film, based on the books by P. L. Travers, and while she was delighted to be a part of the Disney sequel, the project required Emily to face two of her biggest fears onscreen.

“I was singing while suspended, like, 50 feet above London on a rope and it was all acting,” she explained to breakfast show Good Morning America. “I look very happy but I’m actually completely miserable at that moment!”

Mortimer’s anxiety also made her sweat profusely, which can’t have been pleasant for her co-star Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“Poor Lin-Manuel Miranda has to hold my hand throughout that (flying) scene and I just had the sweatiest palms!” she cringed. “It was very embarrassing, and he was acting too! He was acting that he was enjoying holding my hand!”

Mortimer wasn’t the only actress on set with a fear of heights – leading lady Emily Blunt, who stars as Poppins, also had to fake her joy during the high-wire stunt scenes.

Meanwhile, the follow-up, which is set in 1930s London, features a guest appearance by screen legend Dick Van Dyke, who portrayed chimney sweep Bert opposite Julie Andrews as Poppins in the movie classic, and Mortimer reveals the sprightly Hollywood veteran, who was 91 during filming, moved everyone to tears on set.

“He arrived on the set, all 91 years of him, and bounded up onto a desk to tap dance and then sat down behind the desk and delivered the most impeccable monologue and made everybody cry,” Emily recalled. “Rob Marshall, the director, was crying so much, he couldn’t call, ‘Cut!’; someone else had to call cut!”

Mary Poppins Returns, which also stars Emily Blunt as the lead, Ben Whishaw as Jane’s brother Michael, and Meryl Streep as the magical nanny’s cousin Topsy, had its world premiere in Los Angeles in late November (18), and Mortimer was delighted with the reaction the movie received from her teenage son, Sam.

“He’s 15 and very cool and discerning, and a big film buff, and he completely lost his cool, all through the movie,” Emily smiled. “He kept grabbing my arm and saying, ‘Mum, this is amazing, this is just so great!’ It really was (the best review I could get). I was frightened he would be too cool for it, but no, totally not – he loved it.”

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Emily Blunt battled fear of heights for Mary Poppins flying scene

Emily Blunt questioned whether she was going to die while shooting a flying scene for Mary Poppins Returns.Emily is taking over from Julie Andrews, who portrayed the magical nanny in the 1964 original, in the upcoming sequel, and in one scene recreates…

Emily Blunt questioned whether she was going to die while shooting a flying scene for Mary Poppins Returns.

Emily is taking over from Julie Andrews, who portrayed the magical nanny in the 1964 original, in the upcoming sequel, and in one scene recreates the famous moment in which Mary appears to drop out of the sky.

While promoting her new animated flick Sherlock Gnomes with co-star James McAvoy, she was asked by an Entertainment Tonight reporter what was going through her mind as she filmed the flying sequence.

“Whether I thought I was going to die. Fifty feet in the air, yeah,” she smiled, before going on to explain that she doesn’t enjoy working up high. “It was one of those things where they kind of winch you up there and there’s the moment before they bring you down for the shot, and it seems like that moment extends for a forever time frame.

“You’re so high that if you look out you’re higher than the trees and you look down, Lin-Manuel Miranda was (tiny). But it was an incredible moment, you know. Very disarming.”

Set twenty years after the original, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel takes on the role of lamplighter Jack, an apprentice of much-loved character Bert, played by Dick Van Dyke in the ’60s film.

Talking about working with the musical theatre megastar, Emily gushed that he was “awesome” and “so talented”.

English stars Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer play the older versions of Michael and Jane Banks, with Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Julie Walters and Angela Lansbury co-starring, and screen legend Dick popping up for a cameo.

Mary Poppins Returns hits cinemas in December (18).

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