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How Mary Poppins Pulled Off That Enthralling Bubble Bath Stunt With a Clever Trick

When it comes to the movie magic of Mary Poppins Returns, it turns out there are some clever low-fi tricks that helped bring to life the unusual talents of the beloved nanny, played in the new sequel by Emily Blunt and co-starring Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Whishaw.

One such trick, making the rounds in a viral tweet, shows Blunt falling backward into a bathtub full of bubbles — and promptly sliding all the way down a hidden trapdoor in the tub, emerging onto a crash pad in a setup below. (In the movie, the bathtub ends up as a portal to an underwater fantasy land. That animated part, of course, did involve some computer-generated tricks to come to life.)

But Blunt’s stunt work for the initial drop was the real deal. “They actually carved a whole into the bottom of the bath, and had a slide that went under the stage,” Blunt explained in a question and answer panel on the movie’s publicity tour. “But it was a drop! Like, I’m going to tell you, it was fast and steep. And then they filled up the bath with bubbles.” Blunt also had to go through it multiple times before getting the shot right. Who needs rollercoasters when you have film sets?

Hopefully she got a spoonful of sugar to help with the process.


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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com