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This year’s Museum of Modern Art’s film benefit will honor Cate Blanchett.

The film department at MoMA, which will host the event in New York on Nov. 17, is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. The Academy Award-winning actress follows in the footsteps of Alfonso Cuaron, who was last year’s recipient.

One of the most accomplished actresses working in Hollywood, Blanchett won the 2014 best actress Oscar for Blue Jasmine and the 2005 best supporting actress Oscar for The Aviator. She has also starred in seven films that were nominated for the Academy Award for best picture, including Elizabeth and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. She is expected to be in the awards-season mix this year thanks to her star turn as the titular heroine in Todd Haynes’ period drama Carol, which received rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival. She also stars alongside Robert Redford in the highly anticipated drama Truth about the scandal that erupted over a Dan Rather news report challenging President George W. Bush’s military service (both Carol and Truth open theatrically later this year).

The MoMA benefit will be highlighted by a tribute recognizing Blanchett’s onscreen career.

“As MoMA’s Department of Film marks its 80th anniversary, we’re thrilled to honor a woman who embodies the greatest traditions of screen acting, while fiercely embracing innovation and risk,” said Rajendra Roy, the Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film at MoMA. “Cate Blanchett has the kind of talent that inspires others to deliver their best work, challenges the field to be more fully engaged with women artists and audiences and propels cinema forward with intelligence and grace.”

MoMA’s film collection includes several films starring Blanchett, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Aviator, The Good German, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. Originally founded in 1935 as the Film Library, MoMA’s collection is recognized as the most comprehensive in the United States, with more than 30,000 international films from all periods and genres. The benefit enables the continued maintenance and growth of the important collection as well as film series, premieres, festivals and retrospectives.

MoMA’s film benefit honor is one of the most prestigious during the awards season. Previous honorees include Tilda Swinton, Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodovar, Kathryn Bigelow, Tim Burton and Baz Luhrmann.


As Sydney Swans players prepared to run through a banner adorned with the simple word “RESPECT”, youngsters, footballers, actors and well known Australians threw their support behind Adam Goodes and the #istandwithadam campaign promoted by Fairfax Media on Saturday.

Actors Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Richard Roxborough and Peter Phelps as well as other well known Australians, including Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Greens MP Sarah Hanson-Young and TV personality Georgie Gardner, on Saturday sent videos to Fairfax Media backing the #istandwithadam campaign. Actors Les Hill and Paula Duncan also stepped up, emailing in their support.

via The Age – Photos via Sydney Theatre Company’s Instagram

Here’s the first still of Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford in Truth, which has been set to be released on October 16th.

Sony Pictures Classics has set an October 16 release date for Truth, the Dan Rather drama starring Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford.

The company plans an initial release in New York and Los Angeles, then will follow up with a nationwide expansion.

The movie stars Redford as Rather and Blanchett as Mary Mapes, Rather’s producer, in the tale of venerable anchor’s fall from grace.

The movie is James Vanderbilt’s directorial debut and also stars Topher Grace, Elisabeth Moss and Dennis Quaid.

Truth is based on Mapes’ memoir Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power.

It tells of the firestorm that erupted in September of 2004 after Rather reported that George W. Bush had received special treatment while serving in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War, a report that was based on some documents that were suspected to be forgeries. Rather’s reputation was badly damaged and Mapes, an award-winning CBS News journalist and Rather’s producer, was fired.


Director Todd Haynes’ popular Cannes Film Festival entry Carol is now slotted to open November 20, the Weinstein Company announced today. That four-week head start positions it earlier than its previous pre-Christmas frame of December 18, but puts the movie starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara into a similar awards season slot as prior TWC successes The Imitation Game and The King’s Speech.

via Deadline

2015 Helpmann Awards – Photos

Posted by Annie on
July 29th, 2015

On Monday, Cate attended the Helpmann Awards, here are photos:

Actress Cate Blanchett is continuing her role as the face of the Giorgio Armani fragrance Sì with a new campaign set to launch in September.

Giorgio Armani has revealed behind-the-scenes images of the campaign, which will be out on September 13.

Filmed in Australia, the new campaign was helmed by the Iranian-American director Massy Tadjedin and is intended to depict a woman who is authentic, strong, passionate and accomplished.

Tom Munro is behind the print campaign. Sì, launched in 2013, is a modern chypre with a focus on blackcurrant.

Photos by Josh Prendeville

via Pursuitist and L’Officiel Paris

Gallery Links:

“Knight of Cups” Gets Release Date

Posted by MLS on
July 24th, 2015

Terrence Malick’s latest film, “Knight of Cups,” is getting its official release date from Broad Green Pictures. The Los Angeles-based drama is set to open on March 4, and will feature an A-list cast including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Frieda Pinto, Imogen Poots, Wes Bentley, Isabel Lucas and Teresa Palmer.

“Knight of Cups” follows Rick (Bale), an uninspired screenwriter addicted to the success and glamour of Hollywood, but simultaneously depressed by the emptiness of his life. After his brother Billy passes away, Rick seeks distraction through women who seem to know him better than he knows himself. As he navigates his way through a blur of lavish parties, he gets closer to understanding the heart of things and his place in the world by seeking guidance from the individuals he has met throughout his life.

via Indiewire

New project for Cate!

Cate Blanchett is to develop and direct an Australian TV series, “Stateless.”

The series centers on “the tragic and true story of Cornelia Rau, which made headlines in 2004.” The young German/Australian woman escaped a frightening cult only to be trapped in a bizarre labyrinth of psychiatric and legal systems, landing her in the notorious Baxter Immigration Detention Centre.

“’Stateless’ will be Cate Blanchett’s first venture into high-end TV,” said Screen Australia , the federal Australian funding agency that announced that it will providing development finance. Matchbox Pictures is the production company.

It is unclear if Blanchett intends to also appear as an actress in “Stateless.”

via Variety


OSCAR winner Cate Blanchett will bring Hollywood glamour to the Helpmann Awards later this month.

Blanchett will present awards alongside Wentworth star Danielle Cormack and Marta Dusseldorp, of A Place To Call Home, at the ceremony in Sydney on July 27.

The annual awards celebrate the best work on Australian stages with 44 prizes covering contemporary and classical music, theatre, opera, dance, comedy, cabaret and musicals. Les Miserables leads the hotly contested musical theatre awards with 12 nominations.

The awards will be broadcast live on Foxtel Arts.

via Herald Sun

After the Berlin and the Moscow Film Festivals, Knight of Cups, Malick’s upcoming movie, it’s going to be screened at the Jerusalem Film Festival on July 15th, 2015. To buy a ticket click here

A new video interview from the Singapore Fashion Week it’s online.

Read the transcript below!

On my last visit to Singapore a few weeks ago for Singapore Fashion Week, I got super lucky that SK2 invited me to have a little chit-chat with Hollywood actress and Oscar winner Cate Blanchett. She was really sweet in person, and has really stunning and glowing skin in real life! We talked about her beauty routine, her muses in life, and her thoughts about world’s beauty standards.
Q: Hi Cate! How do you think having a good skin can encourage women to do big things? 
Anything that you can do in life that makes you feel more confident, or literally helps you fit better in life, or more comfortable inside your own skin. For my personal experience, using SK2 consistently over many years, means my skin more resilient, which means I have to think about it less, so I actually have more time to think about the outside world.
Q: Since we already know what you do for your face, what do you do for the rest of your body?
Oh, you don’t wanna know what I don’t do for my toes (laughs) I should do exercise regularly. It makes you feel better. My job is very physical, and I have 4 children so I’m not running around quite a lot. I want them to eat healthily so I eat relatively healthily, and I want to make my exercise consistent, instead of being a short burst.
Q: Do you have anything to comment on the consistent beauty trend where the Asians want to look like the Western and the Western wants to look like the Asians? 
SK2 is a really interesting case in point that I’m Caucasian and I’m the ambassador of an Asian brand, and they were quite surprised when they heard that I’ve been using the whitening range. Because that supposed to be a very Eastern obsession rather than a Western obsession. But I think there’s a lot of crossover. And there’s a lot that Western can learn from Eastern’s notions of beauty. One which I certainly subscribed to is beautiful things are unique and also contain a flaw or imperfection in them. And in the West I think we’re obsessed with perfection. And which is what I love about SK2 is that not only the science is real, it’s also based on working making people look the best that they can for themselves.
Q: What or who is your beauty ideals, manifested in person? 
When you look at people like Georgia O’Keeffe, Charlotte Rampling, or Louise Bourgeois or Liv Ullmann, and you can tell through all the way their faces have gracefully aged, that they have really interesting lives, and they’re really magnetic. I didn’t have the great fortune to meet Louise Bourgeois or Georgia O’Keeffe, but I can say that they’re very magnetic and alluring, interesting women. And when you meet them, you meet their minds, as much as their physics. Their personality continue to evolve and get richer. 
Q: What is your philosophy when it comes to aging gracefully? 
I’d say work with what you’ve got and don’t panic. I mean, it’s not a question men ever get asked, isn’t it? It’s really not a question men get asked at all. So stay engaged with the world. And think about yourself less. 
Q: How do you know that when you have made a particular decision or you’ve chosen a path, that it will lead you to your destiny? 
Often the things in my life where the most profound changes happened I’ve taken unusual unexpected turning of the road. I’ve been surprised by how it opens up many other doors. There is a sense you know that not only with one’s DNA, that you’re born with good skin or you’re born with great intelligence. People with great intelligence can squander that and become the most stupid people in the world. People with great skin can have sun exposure and use products and insane amount of cosmetic surgery and all you see is they’re panic. I think it’s what you do with what you’ve got. And in that way I think the choices that we make can really shape not only the way your personality evolves. It’s what you expose yourself to and who you surround yourself and what you actually do with your life. 
Q: If you can go back in time, what would you tell yourself then?
Hmm, what would I tell myself? I don’t know, a million things. I wish I’ve found SK2 ten years earlier. Because no one said you’ve got amazing skin in your twenties. It won’t really until my mid-thirties that people began to say your skin really luminesce, well I thought the only thing I do different is I use SK2 consistently.
Q: You’ve won the oscar twice, how the awards has change your possession towards yourself, your personality, and your confidence? 

Winning the second one was quite something. It is a very humbling overpowering experience standing up in a room in front of people who you revere, and they’re standing up for you, I will never forget that. But I think it’s important to know that you haven’t arrive anywhere. I didn’t deserve that any more than the other women in my category, that’s just what happened. And I’m grateful for it, but I don’t think “Yeah, I’ve achieved this, I’m gonna sit back and enjoy them.” You gotta look for the next challenge, the next thing that you can screw up. (smiles)


Gallery Links:

The Present will premiere in less than a month, have you bought a ticket? If not, you have one last chance on July 9th. More info here 

In the meantime, enjoy the first interview with the cast and a new photo in the gallery!

A week into rehearsals, Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh and Jacqueline McKenzie discuss The Present – Andrew Upton’s new adaptation of Chekhov’s Platonov.

Cate Blanchett is widely regarded as one of the finest stage actresses of her generation. We’ve been incredibly lucky to see her give unforgettable performances in a number of Sydney Theatre Company productions over the last few years including A Streetcar Named Desire, The Maids, Gross und Klein and Uncle Vanya.

But with the family relocating to the US when her husband Andrew Upton’s contract as artistic director of STC concludes at the end of this year (after eight years, five of them shared with Blanchett), the chances are we could be about to see her on a Sydney stage for the last time in a while.

Blanchett co-stars with Richard Roxburgh in The Present, adapted by Upton from Anton Chekhov’s sprawling first play Platonov. Directed by John Crowley, the production plays at the Roslyn Packer Theatre from August 4. The season is all but sold out but a final limited release of tickets will go on sale on Thursday July 9.

Blanchett and Roxburgh wowed audiences and critics alike when they performed together in Upton’s 2010 adaptation of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya in Sydney, Washington and New York. As you’d expect, their reunion has made The Present one of the hottest tickets in the STC’s 2015 season.

The rest of the 13-strong ensemble is pretty extraordinary too, among them Jacqueline McKenzie, Toby Schmitz, Anna Bamford, Chris Ryan and Susan Prior who recently won an AACTA Award for The Rover.

“It’s a great bunch,” says Blanchett.

“It is an incredible cast. Looking around the table and listening to the voices when we were doing our first read-through, it was just absolutely stunning,” says McKenzie.

“But if you had seen (Blanchett and Roxburgh in) Uncle Vanya and their amazing chemistry and work together, as an actor you want to be a part of that. So that’s really how you can collect such an amazing group of people because we all want to be in amongst it. It’s Andrew’s writing too. He’s an extraordinary adaptor,” adds McKenzie who performed in Upton’s adaptation of Maxim Gorky’s Children of the Sun for STC in 2014.

“So you’ve got Chekhov, you’ve got Upton, you’ve got the Rox and you’ve got the Blanchett – and then you’ll get anyone.”

Chekhov’s first play – commonly known as Platonov after its central character – was an unstructured epic, which would have run for more than five hours if staged in its original state. The manuscript was discovered and published 16 years after his death. There have been various adaptations over the years including Michael Frayn’s Wild Honey.

 “You couldn’t do it (as written). It was a mad thing. That’s why it ended up in a Chekhovian sock drawer and he never pulled it out again,” says Roxburgh.

“The play was a broken thing, a play without a name,” says Blanchett. “Andrew has taken the fragments as a starting point, really, the characters and the basic situations.

“We’ve got this box set of rather crusty old sepia Chekhovs done by the BBC in the 70s. It’s quite useful to see just the bare bones of the storytelling. It’s very, very English (depicting) Russians as eccentrics but I went back and looked at Platonov the other night and it doesn’t make a lot of sense, and certainly the women don’t make any sense. What Andrew has done is really teased out not only the relationships but the states of being that all the various women represent in the piece.”

Roxburgh plays Mikhail Platonov, once considered a great intellectual but now a disillusioned, wittily acerbic provincial schoolteacher, though still something of a Lothario. Blanchett plays Anna Petrovna, the widow of a much older General who she married in her 20s, and McKenzie plays Sophia, a former flame of Platonov’s who is now married to Anna Petrovna’s stepson.

Set in a country summerhouse where a group of old friends gather for Anna Petrovna’s 40th birthday party, the play is awash with yearning, shattered dreams and vodka.

Blanchett says that they are still discussing whether Anna Petrovna is also a former flame of Platonov’s.

“There is a sense that they are soulmates. Anna Petrovna is not at the centre of it but she’s the catalyst for the collision of desire and longing that happens around her 40thbirthday.”

Upton has updated Platonov to the mid-1990s, to Russia post-Perestroika, and has the characters in their 40s rather than their 20s as in the original.

“What I like about the updating – Andrew’s updated it to 1995 I think we’ve settled on – is that when Chekhov was writing there was the sense of Russia in transition but it was quite a dangerous time politically and morally. Setting it in the mid 1990s, Russia is once again in that similar state of transition. With the wisdom of hindsight you see that there was a real chance for change,” says Blanchett.

“What is beautiful about it is that it really mirrors the state the characters are in. There’s still that opportunity to change. When you’re in your 40s, as we know, life’s not over.”

“It becomes so much more make and break than in your 20s when you’ve got the whole world laid out in front of you,” says McKenzie.

“It has that depth of meaning when someone is approaching the middle of their life,” agrees Blanchett. “Had the characters been in their 20s, there’s a self-centredeness to it whereas there’s a desperate futility and sadness about it. Suddenly the play has a purpose and an energy and an ache inside it.”

“It has a much darker depth to it, doesn’t it? It’s really fabulous,” says Roxburgh.

Upton’s adaptation of Uncle Vanya, set in the 1950s and directed by Tamas Ascher, got the tightrope balance between laughter and tears just right. The highly physical production verged on slapstick at times with pratfalls, pillow fights and drunken dancing. Blanchett’s elegant Yelena cooled her sudden ardour by standing in front of an open fridge. Hugo Weaving’s Astrov did a boisterous, drunken jig then fell backwards through a window. But for all the laughter you never lost sight of their misery.

The Present has “a different spirit”, says Roxburgh. “I think the fact that it has a contemporary setting gives it a different quality. What is I would say is that what is incredibly manifest is this energy in the storytelling. There’s a fantastic energy to it that gets pushed and pushed.

“It’s people in extremis. Things unfold that push people to their various breaking points and that can be terrible and hilariously funny, so it does explore all those things. But it’s by no means slapstick. It feels very real. It is people in extremis. To my mind that’s the definition of great theatre.

“But it is hilariously funny. I was rolling about laughing when I read it, which is not what you expect when you read an adaptation of Chekhov. But it’s never silly. It really feels like Chekhov, but not as you’ve ever got him.”

“The dialogue is fantastic,” says McKenzie. “It’s very witty, very fast. It’s like throwing little darts across the room. I’m laughing on stage. I have to stop.”

“John Crowley has a terrific way of putting it, which is that it seems like all of the scenes are not the scenes you’re supposed to be seeing,” says Roxburgh. “They are the grabbed moments in between. There’s a dinner, there’s a lunch, but you don’t see those, you see everything around that, the accidental moments or the catastrophic conclusion of the lunch. It’s a kind of string of all these broken, wrong moments.”

“Those points of genuine contact are like a life raft,” says Blanchett. “They happen occasionally when people do connect in the play. I was reading one of Chekhov’s short stories the other night, I think it was The House with the Mezzanine. It’s a brilliant story and it was describing a painter who was having a conversation with someone he was lodging with and he said that this lodger had the student’s predilection for turning a conversation into an argument. And that’s why this feels like a young play. Conversations very quickly turn into argument, sometimes fierce and sometimes frivolous. But there’s that cut-and-thrust in the play. My character is constantly saying: ‘can everyone just stop being mean!’”

“The crafting of the writing is very finessed,” says Roxburgh. “There’s a lot of overlap in it, which I reckon had Chekhov lived into these times he would have used because his sense of rhythm was so beautiful. It obviously wasn’t a thing of the time but the overlapping dialogue just creates this constant feeling of the shadow play of life. It feels just like we are with one another.”

The three actors speak very highly of Crowley, who has directed in London and on Broadway. McKenzie says that during the first week he got them all to research different aspects of Russian culture and politics from Russian oligarchs to Perestroika.

“I got post-Soviet country houses, where this is set. But it was fantastic because we all came together and shared our findings. It was so great because normally you all do your research yourself. I’ve got a six-year old now and my situation isn’t as free to sit in a library for hours obsessing, which is what I used to do.”

Working with Crowley “is about discovery”, says McKenzie. “What happens with actors a lot of the time is that things happen osmotically. He allows that to happen at the different paces that people work at. It’s just very generous. I tell you, I trust him. I really do. I don’t feel any agenda other than to find the best play.”

“And he seems to have great taste as well,” says Roxburgh “I saw his production of The Pillowman in London. It was a beautiful, very classy piece of work.”

Blanchett and Upton met Crowley when they were living in London. “We’ve been talking about working together for a long time. We’ve been trying to lure him here but dates and situations didn’t work so it’s great that it has now,” says Blanchett.

Asked if it’s hard to return to a rehearsal room when you have a young baby, Blanchett responds with an emphatic “yes!”.

She and Upton adopted baby Edith from the US earlier this year and have said that they and their three sons are “besotted”.

“I feel a bit sleep deprived,” she admits. “But you have to work with whatever state you’re in and turn it into a positive. Sometimes it can be good to be a bit tired in a rehearsal room because your defences are down, your guard is down.”

“You seemed to be working very well this morning in your mad aria!” chuckles Roxburgh.

“But Chekhov is excruciating (to rehearse),” rejoins Blanchett. “The couple of times I’ve had the fortune to work on Chekhov it’s really difficult. There’s nothing to hide behind. That’s why it was so wonderful touring Vanya because by the time we got to New York and we’d done three seasons of it, it had gone to another level. When you work on great writing – and what Andrew has written is really great – it’s difficult to get there but the longer you live with it, the richer it becomes, the more it feeds you and the more the company can bring to it.”

“I’m not finding it excruciating,” says Roxburgh cheerily. “I’m having great fun.”

via Jo Litson

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!

Gallery Links:

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

Gallery Links:

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