How Lin-Manuel Miranda’s MARY POPPINS Character Is Like Dick Van Dyke’s Bert

The return of Mary Poppins in Disney‘s oh so aptly named Mary Poppins Returns means the nanny with the carpet bag that can hold everything is coming back and so is her world. That means we get more of the unique combination of odd and wonderful that arrive with Mary, and that means we get to interact with her acquaintances–who are anything but ordinary. In the 1964 film, Dick Van Dyke‘s Bert made for an amusing and peppy companion. In Mary Poppins Returns, Lin-Manuel Miranda is stepping into a similar role opposite of Emily Blunt‘s Mary. of the first things we learned about his character, Jack, is that he apprenticed with Bert in his younger years. Jack’s a lamplighter, Bert was a chimney sweep (among other things)–it’s not a stretch. Entertainment Weekly (EW) spoke with Miranda on set and learned Jack, like Bert, knows what up. Miranda said, “The magical is commonplace, at least to a couple of people like Mary and Jack, similar to the way it was to Mary and Bert. It’s almost like, ‘Well, yeah, we’ll just jump into the painting and spend the day in the painting, because why wouldn’t we do that?’”

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If you’ve read the Mary Poppins books by P.L. Travers–and you should because they are wild and bizarre–you know you have to kind of roll with whatever bananas activities happen. Mary lives in a fairy tale-esque world, and though Jack isn’t featured in those books and is a new character for the film, I can easily see him having the right kind of “I’m gonna go with the flow attitude,” just like Bert did.

Also, Van Dyke returned for a non-Bert cameo in the film, and Miranda was excited to be in a scene with him. You can read full details over at EW, but I just imagine Miranda’s reacting like this when he was in the same room with Van Dyke:

What do you think Jack will be like? Share your thoughts about and hopes for the character in the comments.

Featured Image: Disney, TBS/ Team Coco

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