Julie Andrews arrives ahead of My Fair Lady opening night at Sydney Opera House on September 6, 2016 in Sydney, Australia.
Don Arnold—Getty Images
March 23, 2017 6:58 AM EDT

This is a moment in the U.S. when funding for arts education is in doubt. Why does arts education matter?

The arts are the first thing that suffer these days, and yet they are truly the most vital thing I can imagine to make our lives better, to make a bridge between communities and countries and to be able to connect without any animosity.

What do you hope parents will get out of the series?

One of the things we hope is that parents or grandparents will be interested enough to come and watch the program with their children. When you read something like Winnie-the-Pooh as an adult, there’s a whole other level of sophisticated humor. That’s what I’m hoping our show has. I’m hoping that the whole family will at some point want to sit down and share the experience with their children.

There are new Jim Henson puppets in this show, but do you have a favorite classic Muppet character?

When I worked occasionally with the Muppets, I loved the mad drummer puppet, Animal, and Oscar the Grouch too. But of course Kermit. Kermit and I worked together many times, and Miss Piggy, needless to say.

I was watching a 1984 interview in which you said you exercised every day. Do you still?

If I said, “I wish,” would you understand?

Everyone knows Fräulein Maria’s favorite things–raindrops on roses, etc. What are a few of Julie Andrews’ favorite things?

My favorite things really are the quiet moments with family, everything from simply pruning my roses to playing with my dogs.

This appears in the April 03, 2017 issue of TIME.

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