That iconic field scene of Julie Andrews' performance in The Sound of Music has defined grace since 1965. The twirling, vocals, and bountiful green fields were nothing short of perfection. Little did fans know, it was actually the least glamorous thing in the world to shoot. While promoting her role in Despicable Me 3 on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Friday night, Andrews took a little stroll down memory lane and relived the agony of the scene that so many fans adore (and probably replicate) to this day.
Contrary to what audiences may think, the epic scene wasn't shot on a sound stage, but was the "real thing," according to the 81-year-old. The first obstacle of working in nature was the rain, and there was lots of it. "We were out there for ages, because the weather was not kind to us," Andrews said. In Austria, it poured like hell. "Somebody forgot to mention that Austria has the world's seventh-highest annual rainfall. We had a lot of rain while we were shooting," she recalled. "A lot of the time we actually shot with rain."
But of course, with sun glistening on the grass and Andrews' effortless spins, fans would never know it.
While laughing, the legendary actor went on to explain that rain can only be seen on camera if it's an actual downpour. But still, the drizzle was real. Who knew that such a hopeful and uplifting song could be performed when uncomfortably wet? Yikes.
Regardless, Andrews handled it like a champ. Speaking of, there was also the massive helicopter needed to actually get the shot — one that tried to show her who was boss. "This monstrous helicopter had a cameraman very bravely strapped to the side where the door would be... This thing came at me sideways, like this giant sort of crab coming at me," she said.
As if singing in the rain wasn't enough, she had to dance and glide across a field, opposite an aircraft that would constantly throw her to the ground, making the process physical. "The downdraft from the jet engines just flung me into the grass. We did this about six or seven times and I was spitting dirt," she said.
The timeless scene and Andrews' commitment prove using a little elbow grease never hurt anybody. "You do the best you can," she said. Overcoming challenges (and a little dirt to the face) really does reap the best rewards.