Meryl Streep has said turbulent political times call for an “optimistic point of view”.

The Hollywood star said her new film Mary Poppins Returns, in which she plays the eccentric Topsy, shows the importance of looking at things a different way.

Arriving at the film’s European premiere at the Royal Albert Hall, Streep spoke about the importance of joyful and hopeful films in times of unrest and uncertainty.

She told the Press Association: “You can’t manufacture joy, you can’t manufacture happiness, it has to be in the bodies and imagination of the people who make the film.

Mary Poppins Returns stars Emily Mortimer, Emily Blunt and Meryl StreepMary Poppins Returns stars Emily Mortimer, Emily Blunt and Meryl Streep (Ian West/PA)

“This is the product of (director) Rob Marshall’s imagination and he is somebody who is genuinely a joyful person, and in his life I’m sure he’s undergone some hardship and some setbacks but he really understands that a new point of view is what everybody needs and that is what Mary Poppins brings, to look at things just a different way and it’s the optimistic point of view that we need.”

She added: “I think that every movie you make, once you’re a mother you think how is this going to impact the world.

“Every movie I make, I think about that and this one is a gift of remembering where the seeds of joy come from, they come from human possibility and imagination, even in dark times.

“This film is set in the Thirties in a time of depression and it’s about injecting imagination and changing your world through that and the happiness you can bring each other.”

Mary Poppins Returns is released in UK cinemas on December 21.