Mention the name Julie Andrews and most people will think of two things: The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins. She may be considered a goodie-goodie pure square by some but what we love about The Dame is that Julie Andrews is, in fact, very camp and queer.
The most obvious incarnation of her queer campery is Victor/Victoria. Playing a woman pretending to be a man impersonating a woman in order to get work, Julie is the epitome of beautiful boyish butch. This film is so queer is almost implodes with campness. There’s farce! There’s confused sexuality! There’s actual gays! There’s the drag reveal of ‘Victor’ taking off his wig to expose that he is actually a man playing a woman on stage! But we know the truth! She’s really a woman! Oh, the twisty turns.
The thing is, Julie Andrews works in the role because she’s a total androgyne. And some might think she would be non-sexual but there’s a sexiness throughout her oeuvre. Whether it’s the repressed nun sexuality of Maria, slinking around a stage in a black, sequined catsuit in Star, or pulling off the drag kingery of Victor, Andrews is both intentionally and unintentionally sexual. Hell, she even did a topless reveal in the awful movie S.O.B. Some say the ‘shock’ of seeing Maria/Mary nude didn’t work, but the fact that she had the guts to do it and knew what it would do to her pure persona says a lot about sex, image and Julie. She’s savvy to what she is perceived to be and how she can upset it. Heck, she even said ‘fuck’ in a Sondheim song. Julie Andrews!
And camp? Well V/V aside, The Sound of Music is camp as tits. There’s nuns! There’s tearing down the curtains to make a load of weird clothes for the kids. And there’s her face-off with the luscious Baroness, two different kinds of sexuality bursting through their fancy frocks. Is it just us, or did it just get hot in here?
All that stuff plus her VOICE. We’re not just on about her singing voice here either. Her speaking voice manages to be uber-plummy, strict but affectionate, and totally sexy gorgeous. And to hear her say ‘corndog’ in The Princess Diaries, darlings, is a thing of pure beauty.