Author P.L. Travers, whose "Mary Poppins" books were turned into a fanciful Disney film, was a notoriously prickly woman -- and according to Tom Hanks, she wouldn't have cared for "Saving Mr. Banks," the movie that tells the story of her struggle with Walt Disney over the rights to her creation.
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Hanks, who plays Disney in "Banks," said that Travers would most likely have applied many of the same criticisms she lobbed at "Poppins" to the new film had she lived to see it.
"She would absolutely hate it," Hanks said during a red carpet interview at the film's premiere at Walt Disney Studios Monday. "She would say, 'Why don't you make a movie about the poetry that I wrote?' She would hate this movie. But that's what's great about it."
Meanwhile, his co-star, Emma Thompson, who plays Travers, had a different take on the author. Thompson thought her on-screen alter ego would have enjoyed the film because it centered on her, the actress said, adding that Travers was so protective of Poppins because the character meant so much to her -- and represented her overcoming a dark period in her childhood. (WARNING: Some slight SPOILERS ahead.)
"She as a child was deracinated many times by her father's alcoholism and her mother's attempted suicide," Thompson said. "She never managed to make the ground under her feet feel steady. Mary Poppins was a way of soothing herself in the same way as Mickey Mouse was a way of Walter soothing himself. They're subatomic characters and there's only a few of them that survive the adaptations: Mary Poppins, there's Pooh Bear, there's Peter Pan, Peter Rabbit."
"Saving Mr. Banks" opens nationwide this Friday, December 13.