Emma Thompson Says Saving Mr. Banks Character is 'Best Role She's Ever Had'

Thompson plays P.L. Travers, author of Mary Poppins, defending book from being turned into movie.
3:00 | 12/11/13

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Transcript for Emma Thompson Says Saving Mr. Banks Character is 'Best Role She's Ever Had'
scene from "mary poppins"? We have our own penguin here. Emma thompson, back to "gma." There he is right there. She stars with tom hanks in the new movie "saving mr. Banks." The penguins. I love it. Now, your -- you guys on something? You noticed. Yeah. We're not going to make you put on the christmas sweater. We need all the help you can get. You were delighted by the penguins. But p.L. Travers, she would have liked the penguins. No. Actually, the dancing penguins tipped her over the edge. She was in a stressed out state. She didn't want walt disney to take her beloved mary poppins and turn her into a horrid cartoon. She hated cartoons. She hated america and walt disney. But she did agree to do the film. She comes over to los angeles to work with walt disney and his team. One scene with the sherman brothers, who did the score. ♪ Room for everyone gather around ♪ ♪ it's possible how does that sound ♪ no, no, no. Responsestible is not a word. We made it up. Well, unmake it up. We can see supercalifragilistic- expialidocious. Your hair looks great this morning. Thank you. My natural blonde. I'm back to it. I have a wonderful hair designer. And she said, do you want to wear a wig? No. The energy comes off the top of your head. Will you have a perm? A perm? She said, it's not a perm. It's more like a kink. You'll look like annette bening. And I thought annette looked fantastic with that kink. And she put the stuff in my hair and I thought, that smells like perm juice. It smells like a perm. It's going up my nose. That was it. I had to live with that do off-set, as well as on. You said this was the best role you've ever had but also the scariest? It's one of the best, for sure. And certainly one of the scariest because she was so complicated and contradictory. And you never knew what she was going to be like from one minute to the next. Normally, you play people that are kind of more consistent. She's a very inconsistent woman. She's pretty nasty a lot of the time in this. You have to see that also, she's a very vulnerable creature, too. And she delighted generations for children. But yet, wasn't much for children herself. No, she wasn't. In fact, her own sort of grandchildren didn't much like visiting her. She was very fierce, rather stern. So, no. Absolutely. And she adopted one child. And he felt that she had a very, very warm heart. But she was such a defended person. She found it very difficult to show that affection. You've created something of a career now around nannies. You created a nanny. nanny McPhee, which is somewhat the anti-mary poppins. She sort of is. People asked me about the connection with mary poppins. But I'll tell you what the connection is. The nanny stories, in fact for women. A stranger comes in from out of town. Deals with your difficulties and your laws, particularly your laws. Domestic laws are what women have had to deal with. We have not been allowed to make laws in the wider world. So, our laws are concerned with our domestic environments. And they border and move on. That's it. You're doing something great. You're going to be singing on broadway pretty soon. I am. Yes, I am. I'm going to do it with an opera singer. And new york philharmonic at the lincoln center. I've been working on it since last august. Cannot wait to see it. It's going to be great. Emma thompson, thank you very much. "Saving mr. Banks" is a disney film that opens this weekend.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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