His role as a lovable chimney sweep with a questionable cockney accent has entertained audiences watching Mary Poppins for years.
But Dick Van Dyke has revealed he was so intent on playing a second part in the much-loved movie, he ended up paying Walt Disney for the privilege.
Van Dyke, who starred as Bert alongside Julie Andrews in the 1964 classic, also played Mr Dawes Senior. But the role, which saw him caked him make up to appear much older, didn’t come easily and the actor has revealed that he had to persuade Walt Disney to give it to him – eventually offering money in return for the part.
The actor made the confession to Lin-Manuel Miranda, who stars in the upcoming sequel to the original film, Mary Poppins Returns, during a 20/20 special on ABC.
He said: “I had to go to Walt and ask him for the part. He wouldn’t give it to me. I said, ‘I’ll do it for nothing’.
“Actually, I had to give him $4,000 — I paid him to do the part.”
Legendary actor Dick Van Dyke discusses his return to Cherry Tree Lane with co-star Lin-Manuel Miranda. His first question upon hearing about Mary Poppins Returns? — "Can I be in it?" #ABC2020 https://abcn.ws/2OTNUpq
Posted by ABC 20/20 on Wednesday, November 21, 2018
But the actor – who has a cameo in the new film – said he had no regrets, adding: “And I’d do it again!”
Last year, the actor apologised for his accent in the original film while he picked up a BAFTA Britannia Award for Excellency in Television.
Addressing the crowd, he said: “I appreciate this opportunity to apologise to the members of BAFTA for inflicting on them the most atrocious Cockney accent in the history of cinema.”
The star has a cameo in the new Mary Poppins film, which is released next month and stars Emily Blunt as the world’s most famous nanny. Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Colin firth also have roles.