Emily Blunt, star of 'Mary Poppins Returns' poses at the premiere of the film at the Dolby Theatre, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, in Los Angeles. Picture: AP

Emily Blunt conquered her fear of singing on screen in 'Mary Poppins Returns' by using her accent

The 35-year-old actress takes over the iconic role from Dame Julie Andrews in the Disney sequel to the 1964 classic and was required to sing several numbers in Rob Marshall's movie.

Blunt was very hesitant about sharing her voice with the world but once she got to grips with Mary's perfect cut glass English accent she was far more confident tackling the lyrics as her alter ego.

In an interview on UK TV show 'This Morning', she said: "Singing is more personal and more intimate, it's easier for me to sing as Mary Poppins because I sing in a way that's not my natural voice, with a different accent and a different style so it's easier for me to remove myself."

Blunt received a personal phone from Marshall, 58. asking her to take on the part of Poppins and the British actress admits the "life-changing moment" is "seared" into her brain.

Recalling the conversation, she said: "Do I remember it? It's like seared into my memory, it was a life-changing moment."

Marshall - who has signed up to direct the Disney live-action remake of 'The Little Mermaid' - previously revealed that his call to Blunt felt like a marriage proposal because he wanted her to step into Andrews' shoes so badly and had a slight fear she would say no.

He said: "I guess it was [like a marriage proposal]. I didn't mean it to be. I did think it was a big deal to ask her to play this role so I wanted to set it up in a sort of ceremonious way. When I said, 'You know, it's Mary Poppins, the character and the film,' there was definitely silence. But then I heard her inhale with excitement. I knew that, of course, we all had trepidation and fear about how you follow that brilliant first film, but I know how fearless she is and I knew she would say yes. By the end of the phone call it was a big yes."