October 28th, 2010
12:31 PM ET
On the first day of filming “The Sound of Music,” Julie Andrews taught the seven von Trapp children how to sing “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” As “Mary Poppins” hadn’t arrived in theaters yet, the young actors thought she was “genius.”
At that time, Andrews wasn’t the Academy Award-winning actress she is today – she was a 28 year old Broadway singer who had just made her first film and was ready to tackle her second. Fortunately, the second film would propel her into stardom.
“It made my career,” Andrews said on "The Oprah Show" today. “It was that big of a movie.”
The original cast of “The Sound of Music” reunited on the show for the first time in 45 years. And they spilled all kinds of interesting tidbits for their dedicated fans.
Tidbits like Christopher Plummer, who played Captain von Trapp, calling the movie “The Sound of Mucus.” Or his drinking binges while filming in Austria that left him too big for his costume.
Apparently it was Plummer who taught then 21-year-old Charmian Carr (Liesl) how to drink. And Carr was more than willing to learn as she had a huge crush on the actor. “He was so perfect.”
Remember the scene where Maria and the children fall out of the boat? Kym Karath, who played the youngest daughter Gretl, didn’t know how to swim. Before filming the scene, an assistant director asked Andrews to fall forward to catch the girl when she fell into the water, but Andrews accidentally fell backwards.
“I’ve never swam the breaststroke so fast,” Andrews said laughing.
During the nine months of filming, the children grew as actors and simply grew up. Nicholas Hammond, who played Friedrich, grew six inches, so they had to keep bumping older sister Liesl up using platform shoes and boxes. And the littlest girls lost their front teeth, which made for a bit of a continuity problem.
Yet, grow up they did. Heather Menzies later posed for Playboy to shake the squeaky clean image of Louisa (“It didn’t work,” the actress said with a laugh on "The Oprah Show.") Angela Cartwright, Duane Chase – who STILL looks exactly the same as his character Kurt! – and several others continued their acting careers.
They have their own real families, but the von Trapp family actors stay close. They keep in touch at Christmas and other holidays and are now working on a book about their time on set that’ll release next year.
If you can’t wait that long, “The Sound the Music” has been restored and is set to release on Blu-ray on November 2.
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