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A new interview from Cannes Film Festival!

The location for this interview is more than appropriate – the rooftop terrace of the Cannes Festival Palais, which Cate Blanchett has already ruled over with her enthusiastically received love drama Carol. At this point she does not know yet that the jury will ultimately overlook her performance as a New York socialite falling in love with an ambitious shop girl. But the broader verdict seems likely to go in her favor; the Australian actor is bound to dominate the next award season.

It will be an elegant dominance, if her demeanor in this interview — punctuated only by the occasional swear word and accented by open discussion of her sexual orientation and the involvement of her husband and children in her career — is anything to go by.

In what ways is this movie about gay characters relevant to our period of time?

There are many countries around the world where homosexuality is still illegal. What makes the film so special is that Todd (Haynes) thinks like an outsider, which what makes his relationships and his perspective on the world as a filmmaker so surprising and arresting. He’s described it as Romeo and Juliet, or rather Juliet and Juliet. These characters are falling love for the first time. Yes, it’s important it’s two women falling in love but it also describes the experience when you are connecting with someone deeply. The characters find that dangerous, not only because the love that they feel is illegal, but because it’s so alarming for them.

Everyone is in awe of your performance in this film…

Are they?

How do you prevent this from getting to your head? Doesn’t it drive you crazy when everybody is singing your praises?

That’s what they say to my face. I don’t know what they are saying behind my back. But it is really lovely that people are receiving it warmly. It has been a long labor of love for Phyllis Nagy, the writer, in particular. I have also been attached to the project a long time. And also working like someone with Todd, it really became a film when he came on board. It’s a collaborative process. But if you believe the good, you also have to believe the bad.

How important was it for you to know the social and legal context of this story?

It was absolutely vital. We did a political timeline and a social mores timeline from the end of the Second World War until the beginning of the Sixties. You are dealing with a decade. The 50s are not a homogenous blob. In the Second World War, women took on a lot of masculine roles they didn’t previously get the opportunity to do and then they were back in the kitchen and then you got the Cold War and nuclear technology, you’ve got the subterranean nature of American politics. And also knowing that same-sex love is illegal. Certainly in the country where I live it’s important to remember that. Even though the film is not overtly political, the conversation that may come out around it may very well be.

I also got a lot of outsider girl-on-girl fiction of that time, because I wanted to know what Carol was not in terms of the choices she hadn’t made as opposed to the choices she had. But I didn’t think of a particular sexual or political label with her. All those things just added to the texture.

Did you find any inspiration in actresses of the time?

Todd showed me a film called Lovers and Lollipops (about the relationship between a widowed mother, her new boyfriend and her daughter), which I had never seen before. It was a revelation. There was a rawness and a really unusual perspective. Also I didn’t know Vivian Mayer’s work, and I saw an extraordinary documentary on her. It had mostly to do with photographs, and there as a transition, because originally in the novel and the screenplay Terese wants to be a set designer and then she becomes a photographer. That became a really important thread in the film. It was not so much the drama of the period but more the images of the period, the music of the period.

Was it difficult to do the love scenes with Rooney Mara?

Everyone focuses on the love scenes. I loved working with Rooney. We have the same sort of practicality about work. I have great respect for her. We take the work seriously, but we don\t take ourselves seriously. So I found it very easy to work with her. There are very few actresses who could have created a character as demure and flung out of space as Therese. She has incredible range.

The great thing that Todd did about the more physical scenes — we did it with all scenes. We talked very much how we are going to shoot the thing, because there is a very clear and shifting perspective in the film. For example, when Terese sees Carol and (her husband) Harge arguing in the kitchen, we are not inside the argument, we are with a child looking at a parental argument, and that changes the way we choose to block the scene. So Todd invites you into that world. Rooney and I didn’t talk much around the scenes, but we were very open to each other on the day.

Did the crew take off their clothes?

They offered. I said: Please don’t.

Your husband is executive producer on the film. You two also ran a theater company together. How do you manage to juggle this with all your obligations as parents?

A lot of people looked at us in horror when we said we wanted to run a theater company together. But it seemed like a natural extension. When I met him, I felt I could finally talk to someone about my work and work generally. And you are only as interesting as the people you are talking with. Just talking to him, I found him fascinating. And also we don’t judge each other’s adventures, creative adventures. I love working with him.

And your children, are they involved with this as well? Are you like a full on theater and film troupe together?

Initially we tried to quarantine the children from the unpredictability and vagaries of creative life. But running a theater company — being back stage is like a big sleepover. They love it. If I was a lawyer, people would think: Of course my children are going to be at the bar. In my case people are saying: Your children want to be actors? They have to really want to do it. There has to be a vocation, because there are a lot of pitfalls and rejections along the way.

How was your children’s reaction to Cinderella?

They loved it. They loved it! You might think that’s not a film for boys, but they all went to the premiere and each of them took two boy friends, and they loved it.

Did they take your side or Cinderella’s?

They didn’t tell me and I didn’t ask. But I’d rather have dinner with the stepmother than Cinderella.

Todd said that you can sometimes be too harsh on yourself on set…

It’s sometimes when you think: ‘I can sense what it is but I haven’t quite got there’ — and you don’t want that to get in the way of anyone else’s work. Sometimes you’ve to just let it go. We haven’t got any more time. That has to be it.

But that’s what maybe spurs me on – the thinking ‘(I) screwed that up’. But that’s not to a neurotic degree. I am quite practical about my work, but that’s what I love about the theater. You get a go at it every night and get to closer to something that is perfect. That’s the one dissatisfaction I have with filmmaking that it’s often when you reach the end of filming when you think: Now I know how to do it.

With this part as well?

Oh, all the time. That’s why I – apart from having to make a living – keep wanting to work. When I go: I didn’t quite achieve that. Maybe I can investigate that through that role and with that director and that actor. You don’t quarantine each job. You look at Terrence Malick’s work and you put it all together, and it’s all one lifelong investigation. He wouldn’t know it when he is in his 20s, 30s or even now, but when you look at it objectively, you see: ‘Oh, I see it’s the suite of movement that got him there.’ Yes, that film might be one chapter, but that doesn’t mean the investigation stops.

Now that you have been performing for decades…

Thanks for reminding me.

…which means you have an oeuvre like a director. Is there an investigation going on in your work?

That’s interesting. I have to think about it and get back to you. I am not being coy. I don’t know. But I guess I have done enough now that I can say: I have a career. Even though there is always a chance to kill it.

Does it make a difference when you are playing a real person like Katherine Hepburn (in The Aviator)?

It is when you are playing them in the same medium they are iconically known. I was shitting bricks, pardon my French, but when Scorsese asks you – are you going to say no? Of course you are going to say yes.

The best piece of direction he gave me at the beginning was: ‘You can be blonde. You don’t have to look like her. You look great!’ What he was basically saying to me was: ‘Don’t worry about people think, don’t worry about looking like her. We just want an energy.’ And he showed what he did. He said: ‘I want you to look at this film, this film and this film.’ And through the connective threads I knew what he was trying to show me: He was talking about the energy of the woman.

It was not a biopic about Katherine Hepburn, it was about Howard Hughes. And I thought: He wants me to burst onto screen. The first scene is all talking.  You have just got to listen to the cues a director is giving you. Because it’s not about: I must give my version of Katherine Hepburn. In a Martin Scorsese film you’ve got to serve the piece. So it’s not about slavishly being exactly like the person.

How important was it for you to have a specific lavish look in your first scene with Therese – Rooney Mara’s character?

I always find the hair and make-up process that Todd is very involved with a really creative time. Obviously film is a visual medium and people start putting together the psychology of a character before they open their mouths, and so the look of Carol was very important. And then it becomes freed up during the road trip with Therese. Also how Therese becomes more like Carol when she matures after her heart is broken. But I didn’t want to become too wound up in looking so-called ‘beautiful’. It was also an energy-production thing. It was also about trying to create a mystique or ambiguity around Carol and unknowability around her without making her alienating, still allowing an audience in, but still having that remoteness that exists within the novel.

It’s also about sexual allure…

That’s why I was cast first (smiles). Yes, because that’s in the gaze. I can act sexual allure till my pants fall down. That’s in the filmmaking, and that’s where Todd was really great. He was holding our hand a long way as we were making it together. I knew what frame I was in, and that was helpful.

Did you steal one of the dresses?

No. Although I do like a girdle. It completely alters the way you walk. Underpinnings are very important.

There was that misinterpretation of Variety magazine about you allegedly claiming that you had lesbian relationships…

It was not necessarily Variety. It’s the down side of the Internet. Internet is a fantastic tool, but it’s also like the back of a toilet door. Something gets said and then it’s these whispers. Who I am is of far less interest than the film Todd Haynes has made. It’s only annoying if it becomes a smokescreen between the audience and the work. But I didn’t let you finish your question.

I was just thinking…

Am I gay? (laughs) Not yet. We are pointing at the ’50s and yet we are acting as if it mattered. But this also points to an obsession that we have if actors are to truly connect to a role, they have to live it. And your job as an actor is to transport the audience to make it feel it couldn’t be any other way. That is the part that I love — you get to inhabit. From an anthropological perspective, you get to politically, socially investigate the mores and people of a certain time and step inside their shoes. It’s like an act of physical investigation and research. What my sexual persuasion is, what my politics are — that’s of absolutely no interest.

Can a character be a challenge to you personally?

Definitely. There is a little residue of a character that stays with you. I can’t say what it is. But that’s what the pleasure of being an actor is, you get a little bit expanded. It’s like the more novels of great writers that you read, the more your sense of the world expands, the more great roles you get to play or and the people you get to be in creative conversation with, the more your sense of the world gets expanded and the residue stays with you.

Is there a real difference between theater and cinema for you?

It’s been a big help for me as an actor to be have been able to move between the two. Without sounding too banal, I think, working within a big proscenium arch I understand better how to use a wide shot and also being in big cast on stage I understand better how to be intimate. But also the theater makes you accountable in an immediate sense for the audience. And that’s a really important thing for me as an actor to constantly reingage with that energy. Because you do get quite dislocated from that in the cinema. Not here in Cannes — they’ll tell you whether they like it or not.

via Winsconsin Gazette

New footage from “Carol”

Posted by MLS on
June 19th, 2015

Film4 released a special interview from Cannes Film Festival, featuring new exclusive footage from Carol. Watch it below!


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First stills for “Knight of Cups”

Posted by MLS on
June 13th, 2015

New stills from Knight of Cups have been released yesterday. The movie will be released at the end of the year. Have a look!

 

via The Film Stage

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News on movies!

Posted by MLS on
June 12th, 2015

Good evening! Save the dates, it’s going to be a busy year!

Quick reminder: from August 4th to September 19th, Cate Blanchett will be on stage with the play “The Present” at the Sydney Theatre Company. Tickets are already sold out but there is a chance for the upcoming tickets limited release. More info here.

Cinderella – September 15, 2015

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment today announced that the live-action reboot of Cinderella will be available to own on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, Digital HD and Disney Movies Anywhere on September 15, 2015. Bonus features will include the Frozen Fever short as well as more than twelve minutes of deleted scenes, including the alternate opening titled ‘Ella’s Childhood’.

via Stitch Kingdom

 

Truth – October 2015

Sony Classic Pictures to release Truth this October!

Sony Pictures Classics is a long time supporter of Los Angeles Film Festival,  frequently bringing their summer films to the fest. SPC’s co-President Michael Barker was talking up some of their Oscar-baity sounding Fall entries as well, especially October release, Truth which stars Cate Blanchett as Mary Mapes and Robert Redford as Dan Rather. He was almost breathless in describing Blanchett’s performance. “Just wait until you see her in this. She’s amazing,” he said echoing comments I recall him making at this same festival after-party a couple of years ago about her then-unseen Blue Jasmine and predicting she would go on to win the Oscar. He’s not going that far – yet. He also said Redford should get supporting attention.

via Deadline

Plus a very short stoyline via IMDb

A behind-the-scenes look at news anchor Dan Rather during his final days at C.B.S. News when he broadcast a damaging report about how President Bush relied on privilege and family connections to avoid fighting in the Viet Nam War.

 

Knight of Cups and Carol – December 2015

According to the Internet Movie Database, Knight of Cups and Carol will hit US theatres on December 11th and December 18th respectively.

Manifesto is also set to be screened in several festivals from this December.

The Untitled Terrence Malick Project, which informal title should be Weightless, is set for 2016, as well as the documentary Voyage of Time.

Not for the first time Cate Blanchett, with her husband Andrew Upton, is involved to promote a good cause. Learn more here

Cate Blanchett travelled with UNHCR to Lebanon, where she met Ahmad, a Syrian refugee who was celebrating his 14th birthday. Ahmad was one of a group of young refugees acting in a drama at a community centre they attend. He was an A-grade student back home, but is currently not in education and working full-time at a bakery to help support his family. However, Ahmad remains positive, hoping to return home and one day fulfil his dream of becoming an airline pilot.

Cate Blanchett is a supporter of the UN refugee agency, and recently visited Lebanon to meet Syrian refugees living there.

Video narrated by Cate Blanchett

Gallery Links:

Here’s a scan and the textless photo from the June 5th issue of Madame Figaro, which brings a feature on Cannes Film Festival.


madame-figaro-june5-2015-001

While in Cannes Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and director Todd Haynes have released the first promotional interviews for Carol. Watch them below!

Reuters

ZDF

Radio Television Suisse

And a new photoshoot for The Hollywood Reporter




Gallery Links:

68th Cannes Film Festival – Videos

Posted by MLS on
May 31st, 2015

Good Sunday! Here are the videos and the screencaptures form the 68th Cannes Film Festival. Enjoy!

May 17th

May 19th



Gallery Links:

Good evening! I’ve found a two more videos/interviews from the Singapore Fashion Week.

for the other one check out BlanchettCate Blogspot.

I have updated two photoshoots, with better quality photos and outtakes.


Gallery Links:

No stranger to the prestigious Cannes Film Festival is SK-II Global Ambassador and leading lady Cate Blanchett who returned to Cannes with a nomination for her latest film “Carol”.

Currently tipped as one of the favorites of the festival, Cate Blanchett graced the red carpet for the “Carol” premiere in positively radiant skin, and highlighted by a stunning Giles Deacon gown.

As she prepared for the film premier with her favorite skincare products – beginning with the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, followed by the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, the LXP series, and finally a spritz of the new SK-II Mid-Day Miracle Essence over the final makeup look – the multiple Academy Award- winning actress shared her experience being at Cannes.

“There are turning point moments in one’s career and life, and certainly walking up the Croisette and climbing those steps is a mystical and out of body experience. It is here that not only one’s work, but also one’s physical appearance that will engender the most intense scrutiny. You’ve not only put yourself out there with your work, and then again on a red carpet which is like no other red carpet.

It takes an incredible amount of courage to feel relaxed in that environment, so anything one can do to make themselves feel at ease and confident helps – be with people that you care about, wear a dress that makes you feel fabulous, and make sure you feel as comfortable in your own skin as possible.” – Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett & Haruka Ayase Together at Cannes

Also in Cannes for the film festival was SK-II Global Ambassador and Japanese actress – Haruka Ayase, whose film “Umimachi Diary” was a festival nominee.

As it was Haruka Ayase’s first time at the glamorous film festival she shared, “As a first-timer at Cannes, I feel as though this is one of the defining moments of my life. So far, it has been truly an eye- opening experience, and this has truly inspired me to change my destiny by pushing myself to achieve even more.”

Although nervous about her first Cannes red carpet, Haruka Ayase shared that her confidence was boosted with the use of her favorite SK-II regimen, which included the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, and SK-II STEMPOWER Essence and STEMPOWER Cream.

As the climax of their journey in Cannes, the two SK-II Global Ambassadors, Cate and Ayase, came together for a short tete-a-tete, where Cate offered the younger actress words of advice on surviving Cannes, beauty tips to looking good the entire day, and shared her own #changedestiny moment from a previous festival.

“Going to a festival like Cannes is a real destiny changer. I had a similar moment that I think Haruka Ayase is about to experience. I was very green, and had never been to a film festival, when I went to Venice Film Festival with Elizabeth. I remember being so scared as I was told just before I went in that sometimes people boo. I knew that either way something was going to be different for me in the morning – and it was true, it was quite extraordinary.” – Cate Blanchett

“It was highly motivating and exciting that I had the chance to meet Cate. She is a great actress, and also such a great person full of positive enero,’ and power. As someone who has been to Cannes before, she shared a few words of wisdom about the festival. I am truly grateful that we were able to share time together at Cannes.” – Haruka Ayase

About SK-II

For more than 30 years, SK-II has touched the lives of millions of women around the world by helping them to “Change Destiny” through the miracle of crystal clear skin and life. The fascinating story behind SK-II began at a sake brewery in Japan, where scientists noticed the elderly workers had wrinkled faces, but extraordinarily soft and youthful-looking hands. These hands were in constant contact with the sake fermentation process. It took years of research for scientists to isolate the miracle ingredient Pitera, a naturally-derived liquid from the yeast fermentation process. Since then, SK-II with Pitera has become a special secret shared by celebrities such as Cate Blanchett, and Rebecca Lim around the world, transforming skin along the five dimensions of texture, radiance, firmness, spot control and wrinkle resilience critical to crystal clarity. A leading skincare brand in 13 markets, SK-II continues to deliver the transformative power of crystal clear skin and life through well-loved products including the Facial Treatment Essence, ST EMPOWER, and Cellumination Aura Essence. For the latest news and in-depth information about SK-II, please visit http://www.sk-ii.com.

via Men Lifestyle Singapore

Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett will appear as the star attraction at a major fundraising event for the opposition’s most senior woman in Federal Parliament – Tanya Plibersek.

Blanchett is billed to appear at the Margaret Whitlam dinner in Sydney on June 19th. The online promotional material for the fundraiser highlights Blanchett’s climate change activism.

“As an actor, story teller, climate change activist and leading voice for women in public life, Cate Blanchett brings a unique and interesting experience to our event,” the website says.

“As co-artistic director of Sydney Theatre Company, Cate not only helped shape the artistic vision of the company but took on a responsibility for the company to address their impact on the climate.”

via The Sydney Morning Herald – You can book a ticket here

68th Cannes Film Festival Sicario Premiere

Posted by Annie on
May 20th, 2015

Cate Blanchett attended the premiere for Sicario yesterday in Cannes, here are some photos:



After the Carol Premiere on Sunday, there were an after party, here are some photos, and more photos from the Carol Premiere and Photocall:

A new interview from the Singapore Fashion Week!

Amidst the flurry of Singapore Fashion Week, the two women talk beauty, motherhood, and equality

When Buro 24/7’s petite but powerful founder meets one of the greatest actresses and beauties of her generation, what else could transpire but a meeting of minds? Blanchett was here to grace Singapore Fashion Week as an SK-II ambassador and jetted in and out within 24 hours to head to Cannes where her film, the Todd Haynes-directed Carol, reigned as one of the hottest tickets. Here, two of the most intriguing and admired women in the world, share a chat about beauty secrets, motherhood, and fighting for gender equality.

Miroslava Duma: We’ll start off with beauty questions. How do you maintain your beautiful skin despite the constant travelling and extreme climate changes?

Cate Blanchett: Everyone’s suffering from extreme climate change. You don’t have to be in the plane…I think it’s air-conditioning or artificial environments that we all find ourselves in. I come from Australia where the the sun is really harsh. I basically stay out of the sun and try to drink a lot of water. I used to decant the Facial Treatment Essence (FTE) and spray it maybe three to four times a day within air-conditioned environments or while I’m on set, both over makeup and also under makeup. But now SK-II has helped me as they’ve brought out this product called the Mid-Day Miracle Essence, so you simply spray it on. Because the skin is the largest organ in the body, you’ve got to drink water…you’ve got to feed your skin.

MD: Do you drink a lot of water? Does it help? For me I get a bit bloated when I drink too much water.

CB: Yes I do, but you can drink too much water. You’ve got to find a happy medium. With this product you also can spray it on top of makeup. Because often people will spend all this money on skincare and then they’ll put makeup on top of it and it sort of ruins the effect. I use SK-II Foundation which has pitera in it, so you’re actually moisturising your skin with a liquid foundation and then I spray the FTE on top. It seals it in.



MD: What are some of the best beauty secrets you’ve picked up?

CB: I think I’ve gotten better at putting makeup on by working with great makeup artists. It’s finding the right shade of concealer or makeup, but in the end it’s all about diet and skincare. So I’m more obsessed with skincare than I am with makeup because I find that if I use good skincare — which I have been using for a long time —  you don’t really have to use as much foundation.

MD: I wanted to ask you about kids because I know you have four. I just recently had a second baby, a girl four months ago.

CB: Oh…did you? Congratulations.

MD: I was in Australia recently and honestly felt that they [Australians] were the best people in the world, and it was the best country in the world. You know I often associate people with animals. We visited the zoo and when I saw the kangaroos — maybe because I travel so much and try to do everything all at once — I thought it would be nice to be a kangaroo in my next life so I can carry my kids with me.

CB: Until they’re ready to come out and go with you? But you carry them here(points to heart) and you carry them here (points to her head).

MD: But as a very successful person and mother of four, how do you manage?

CB: It’s all about partnership. I’m lucky that my life partner is also my work partner and we work together and raise children together. We tag team. I think it’s harder for women when they don’t have supportive partners. And still women get asked how we find that balance, men don’t get asked that question. Child rearing is still seen to be solely a female activity. And I love it. You know it changed my outlook and it changed my life. I didn’t grow up as a girl with big dreams to have babies, but when I did it made me more aware about the roles I choose to play.

MD: It’s important for a great woman to have a great man behind them to help them develop. Like in the case of Margaret Thatcher.

CB: But that’s the thing about equality, you want to work alongside people. So no one’s behind me…I work alongside people. Hopefully one day we will get there. It’s 2015 and we’re still talking about inequality.

MD: Do you identify as a feminist?

CB: Yeah. Unfortunately we’re in 2015 and women still do not receive equal pay for equal work. I don’t quite know why. Domestic violence is on the increase. There are 27 countries around the world where women can’t confer their nationality upon their children. That’s why I think it’s important for women to identify as being a feminist because I think we’ve lost a lot of ground.

MD: What is a feminist to you today?

CB: I think it has to do with choice. I think it has to do with equality. There was a point that feminism was a dirty word, because it was somehow considered to be threatening or denigrating to men. But equality benefits everybody and to me that’s what it’s all about.

MD: Today it’s equality, exactly. Do you ever still feel vulnerable in front of the camera or in front of a big audience?

CB: I always try to look out, rather than think about it if I’m feeling nervous. It’s an exciting tightrope walk being on stage. But yes, it always feels like the first day of school. I think how am I going to do this? I don’t know the process and I don’t know where to start. But then you do it with other people so it takes some of the pressure off.

MD: You support charities like Solar Aid. How do you choose the causes you support?

CB: There’s a whole suite of individuals who need support. Something that affects us all is global poverty — it’s the issue of refugees which is a global problem. The issue of 10 million stateless people around the world. It’s an economic problem as well as a social problem and a moral issue. Since I’ve become a parent,  I’ve felt it’s even more important and the lack of political will is very frustrating. Poverty is an essential problem that everybody faces.

MD: It’s amazing what you’re doing.

CB: I don’t think it’s amazing… there are a lot of people doing a lot more than what I’m doing.

MD: Well that’s my opinion! Especially because you have this power of influence. A lot of young women look up to you and you’re setting an example. So they don’t just want to look beautiful, they want to do good things. And I think that’s what you represent.

CB: Women are complex, evolved, diverse human beings. And there’s many women trying to progress things forward in their small sphere, so if I’m doing something small that’s great. There’s a lot of women doing things… you included, it’s fantastic!

MD: Thank you. My last question is, if you had a choice, would you rather be a woman or a man?

CB: I’m a middle-class white girl who has grown up in relative privilege, so I’ve had the option to not think about my gender. But there’s millions of women the world over who bemoan the fact that they’re women every day. They can’t get educated, they can’t get a job or can’t vote or they’re sexually enslaved or they can’t even ride a bicycle. And it’s not just in the Middle East, I think it’s also in developed countries where it’s difficult for a woman to re-enter the workforce. It behooves men for women to be equal. It’s an economic advantage for everyone. I love being female, but I have the privilege to say that.

MD: We’re very lucky. Thank you very much Cate.

via Buro 24/7

Cate Blanchett was on the cover of Mindfood Magazine on April. Now you can read the interview online!

Her feet firmly on the ground, Cate Blanchett chats to us about playing the villain, embarrassing her children and why she doesn’t have any mirrors in her house.
She’s been a monarch, an ethereal elf, won an Oscar for her portrayal of a society lady’s dramatic fall from grace and now Cate Blanchett is beguiling as Cinderella’s cruel stepmother. With a strong interest in environmental issues, women’s rights and the arts, the luminous Blanchett is also now a mother of four, thanks to her and her husband’s recent adoption of a baby girl.
Her name evokes the ultimate in elegance and sophistication, and she’s a woman so impeccably put together that she seems almost preternatural. As always in life, the truth may be somewhat different, hearing Blanchett’s recollection of a recent family trip to LA that saw her navigating the city’s perilous freeways with three boisterous young sons in tow.
“Apparently I’m in the zone where I’m now deeply embarrassing,” she laughs. “Everything I do is deeply embarrassing. We were in the middle of a four-lane freeway and we were all singing to a song on the radio. My son had his head in his hands saying, ‘Can you stop, Mum, someone might hear you!’ And I said, ‘What? We’re in the middle of a freeway.’ The things that come out of the mouths of babes. Hilarious.”
Blanchett is a far cry from any sort of embarrassment this afternoon, in a Jonathan Saunders black-and-blue dress, with flawless hair and make-up. It’s the day before she will announce the life-altering news that she and husband Andrew Upton’s brood of three sons, Dashiell, 13, Roman, 10, and Ignatius, six, has been joined by adopted baby girl Edith. I ask if she ever feels outnumbered in a house full of testosterone, but ever the pro she replies coyly, “We have a dog called Carol”.
The new mum’s latest role is as the evil stepmother in Cinderella (2015); Blanchett delighted in the opportunity to play the villain. “Oh, I relished it,” she swoons. “It was delicious.” She stars opposite Lily James (Lady Rose in Downton Abbey) in the live action movie directed by Kenneth Branagh.
Cruel to be kind
A contradiction of sorts, Blanchett’s physical allure has an ethereal quality (who else could have played the elf Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings trilogy so authentically?). Yet away from the cameras, she has a rather brusque, straightforward demeanour utterly rooted in the real world. She scoffs at the notion that some parents fear reading fairytales to their children due to their often-dark content.
“I think it’s incredibly important to read fairytales to children. I think children are interested in testing the boundaries; it’s like if you put too much hand sanitiser on your child they don’t build a resistance to bacteria in the world. It’s the same for their emotional life. Fairytales have been around for centuries, told across cultures because they teach not only a moral lesson but also gently introduce the dangers of the world and offer the child, before they go to sleep, a chance to dream and navigate through that.”
Watching Blanchett’s performance as this iconic baddie, it seems that she does wicked very well indeed. “I’ll take that as a compliment,” she smiles.
“I think there’s meanness in us all. I think that’s why we love watching others vicariously doing mean things. It draws back to the parts of ourselves that we don’t want to reveal but in the intimacy of the screen, we can say, ‘Oh, I felt that,’ or, ‘I would like to do that’. And it’s about teasing that out of people and giving them a catharsis.”
Of course, there are endless examples of cruelty, particularly nowadays with social media. “I don’t think people set out to destroy other people but they do inadvertently. I think the cruelty we inflict upon people is often unintentional and we don’t realise that we’re doing it.”

Woman of substance
Blanchett comes across as, to use a very tired Hollywood cliché, “blessed”. Even before movie stardom and a successful personal life, Blanchett was a good student and attended Methodist Ladies’ College before going on to the University of Melbourne and then the National Institute of Dramatic Art.
Given that her formative years were spent in a single-sex school, Blanchett has obviously witnessed the gamut of female relationships.
“I found that I took schoolyard girl-girl cruelty more personally than any sticks and stones that were thrown by a boy. I felt that I could bat that right back. But female cruelty is much more invisible and subtle and difficult to pinpoint.”
A serious expression appears on her face. “When I find people acting unjustly towards other people it really gets my goat.” It seems there are a few things that get her goat.
“Women who endure terrible abuses,” she says without hesitation. She told Sky News in 2013 that she was concerned about “a wave of conservatism sweeping the globe,” in regards to women’s roles in society.
Blanchett isn’t one to shy away from political debate. “When I was in high school studying 400-year wars that were waged during the Middle Ages or during the Greek period, and people were sailing off to Troy, I would think, ‘How did that happen? How can they fight wars for 400 years?’”
Well, we are there. We are in the middle of one and at some point the retaliation has to stop, the invasions have to stop, the baiting, both economic and political. But a lot of it is to do with our energy resources.” She takes a sip of water. “We pretend it’s about religion, but it’s not really.”
A keen environmentalist, Blanchett has been an ambassador for the Australian Conservation Foundation since 2007 and has learned that volunteering for a cause can sometimes bring unwanted attention. In 2011, for example, she was criticised and branded “Carbon Cate” for taking part in a TV campaign promoting the benefits of a carbon tax. “The gift of being an actor is that you have to develop a pretty thick skin,” she says.
Speaking of skin, hers has always garnered high praise. She glances at a poster featuring her luminous complexion and famed bone structure at its best advantage.
“It’s a team effort. For better or worse, I have one of those faces that can look incredibly plain, or, with the right lighting and make-up, okay,” understates the face of luxe skincare line, SK-II.
Interestingly, Blanchett has few opportunities to look at her face when she’s at home, except when she least wants to. “We actually don’t have any mirrors in our house, except in our shower, which is very confronting because it’s mirrored from all angles. So, I have very short showers – not only for environmental reasons.”
So, what does she do when she needs to check her outfit before leaving the house?
“I step into the shower.”
Moving stateside
Blanchett and Upton, a playwright and screenwriter, met in 1996 and married the following year. The family made their home in Brighton, England, for nearly a decade before relocating to Sydney in 2006. What is her home like? She pauses.
“I respond to visuals and so any time we had a little bit of extra money tucked away, we would collect paintings, sculptures. I love living with those things,” she says. “My taste is very eclectic.”
Upton has held the artistic directorship of the Sydney Theatre Company since 2008 (including five years as co-artistic director with Blanchett), but as his term comes to an end later this year, the family has decided to seize the opportunity for change and move to the United States.
Blanchett is fairly certain that allowing her children to live in other cultures can only be a positive learning curve. “I don’t know what a normal childhood is. I think childhood is a deeply abnormal thing,” she says.
Although they enjoy the typical family beach holiday, as evidenced by paparazzi shots taken of the family in Vanuatu last year, they also appear to enjoy gatherings with extended family.
“We had a wonderful huge sprawling family Christmas full of memories that will stay with me for a very long time – for all of us, I think.” Were they perhaps sunning themselves on a tropical island paradise? “No. We were in Europe. We went to
many places and we took our boys to Auschwitz.
It was extraordinary.”
Like most mothers, her children are never far from her mind. It must be challenging for one whose life is so privileged to raise children in a manner in which they will become productive, sensitive adults.
“I realise when I go to other children’s houses that mine don’t really have that many toys. We offered to buy our eldest son a Kindle for Christmas because his backpack was so heavy with books. He said, ‘No. I like the smell of print. I want to hold it’.”
She smiles proudly. “And then I thought, ‘Well, okay. We’ve done something right’.”

Happily ever after
In this technology-driven age, when our devices and social media profiles can be so personalised, the thought of sharing an email address can seem quite confronting. Yet this is exactly what Cate Blanchett credits as her secret to a successful relationship.
Blanchett says the arrangement with her husband, writer and director Andrew Upton, works for them because “he hates emails” and is more than happy to leave all matters of correspondence up to her. The actor says this allows her to run the household like a “well-oiled machine”.
“We work together and it’s a way of synchronising our lives. I can see what he’s up to – it’s not that I don’t trust him,’’ she says.
The actor says of her husband, “[I was] incredibly fortunate to have met the intelligent, generous, risk-taking, stimulating man to whom I am married.
“He’s really amazing. I don’t think it’s more difficult for actors to have a good marriage than anyone.
“I think, in the end, a really important component of any relationship is honesty, and it also comes down to luck,” she adds.

via MINDFOOD Magazine

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