ByVaria Fedko-Blake, writer at
Staff Writer at Moviepilot! [email protected] Twitter: @vfedkoblake
Varia Fedko-Blake

Back in 1965, a young actress called Julie Andrews ascended a green hilltop overlooking the picturesque town of Salzburg, stretched out her elegant arms and graciously twirled around in circle while belting out one of the most iconic musical songs to ever grace our ears. Remind yourself of the moment the hills came "alive with the sound of music" in the short clip below:

Without a doubt, The Sound of Music opening sequence is a spectacular example of cinematography. But, were you aware what actually went down when Andrews came to film the scene?

Recently, the 81-year-old actress appeared on Jimmy Fallon's The Tonight Show, where she revealed that filming the stunning moment wasn't as glamorous as we all previously thought. In fact, she was physically "spitting dirt" by the time director Robert Wise called cut.

Recalling that a helicopter circled her while she performed, Andrews said:

"We had this monstrous helicopter that had a camera man very bravely strapped to the side where the door would be. He had a camera strapped to him, he was strapped into the copter, and he was over like this [shooting downwards]. And it started at one end of the field and I had started at the other and we walked together, and honestly this thing came at me sideways sort of like this giant sort of crab coming at me or a grasshopper or something, and then I’d come into view."

She then revealed how it came about that she ended up spaffing soil out of her beautiful mouth:

"The downdraft from the engines just flung me into the grass, and so we did this about six or seven times and I was spitting dirt!"

Then, as well as going on to say that she lip-synced the entire sequence along to huge speakers coming from hidden locations around the field, she revealed that she spent most of the shoot drenched to the bone:

"Somebody forgot to mention that Austria has the world’s seventh-highest annual rainfall, and so we had a lot of rain while we were shooting. [In fact] a lot of the time we actually shot with rain because you don’t see it that much on camera. It has to be an absolute downpour before it’s noticeable."

Let's just hope the pay check was worth it.

Has your childhood experience been shattered with the knowledge that Julie Andrews was spitting dirt while twirling around singing "The Sound of Music?"


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