Dick Van Dyke so wanted to play two roles in Mary Poppins that he paid Walt Disney for the privilege.
Van Dyke was already signed up to play Bert the chimney sweep in the classic children’s fantasy movie, but he also wanted to play the role of the doddering Mr Dawes Sr, the tyrannical boss of David Tomlinson’s George Banks at the Dawes Tomes Mousley Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank.
In a televised interview on ABC with Lin-Manuel Miranda, who stars in the forthcoming Mary Poppins Returns, Van Dyke revealed: “When they made me up as the old man in [the original movie], I had to go to go to Walt and ask him for the part, he didn’t give it to me.
“I said, ‘I’ll do it for nothing.’ Actually, I had to give him $4,000 dollars. I had to pay him to do the part.
“And I’d do it again.”
Van Dyke, who is now 92, appears in a cameo in the new movie, playing Mr Dawes Jr.
Miranda, meanwhile, plays Jack in the movie, a lamplighter, and a former apprentice to Bert from the first movie.
A recent screening of the film for the Producers Guild in the US has got talk of Oscars being the offing, notably for Emily Blunt, who has taken on the role of magical nanny Mary Poppins.
Also starring Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, and Colin Firth, it’s due out on December 21 across the UK.