Julie Andrews’ iconic ‘Sound of Music’ scene not fun to film – do you know most Austrians haven’t seen the film?

Julie Andrews was on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon on Friday night where she talked about filming that iconic scene on The Sound of Music where Maria is spinning around in a field on a mountain top.

Andrews said it was difficult to shoot as much of The Sound of Music was shot in rain because “We were out there for ages, because the weather was not kind to us. Somebody forgot to mention that Austria has the world’s seventh-highest annual rain fall. And so we had a lot of rain while we were shooting.”

(Not sure where she gets her data on Austria, though, as I live in Austria and that’s not remotely true).

As for how did they deal with her singing the song while she was up on that mountain?

“These huge sound speakers are in the trees, cause you’re lip-syncing, and so they’re belting out music and full orchestra. I don’t know where they came from. And we had this monstrous helicopter that had a camera man very bravely strapped to the side where the door would be, and he was over like this (and she mimes filming 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 crab coming at me or a grasshopper or something, and then I’d come into view.”

And then she humorously explains how the helicopter was very close and they had to do many takes and, every time the helicopter had finished its run, the back draft would fling her into the grass and she’d come up spitting dirt and hay.

Watch Julie Andrews talking about filming that iconic The Sound of Music scene to Fallon in the video below.

And I will add, as I live in Vienna, Austria where the subject of The Sound of Music comes up in conversation now and again — Austrians think it is hilarious that the movie is so representative of Austria outside the country, as most Austrians had not heard of it, and I have yet to meet one who has actually seen it.

Some of that, of course, is because it is a Hollywood version of Austria and not something most Austrians are interested in buying into.

Plus, even though the story is based on a book, it is not a particularly accurate telling.

But…for me, a Brit who grew up on The Sound of Music, it is a lovely movie and, I think, one of Julie Andrews’ best.


About Michelle Topham

I'm a journalist, and the founder of Oh My Vienna. I have been living in Vienna since 2016 as an immigrant, because 'expat' is just a fancy word that means exactly that.