New interview with Cate Blanchett!
Mirror, mirror on the wall, how much fun did Cate Blanchett have playing one of the most wicked stepmothers of them all? OK, that’s from Snow White, but in the box office smash, Cinderella, the two-time Oscar winner tears it up as Cindy’s evil stepmom. “It was fun…Once you reach a certain level, you can lose your drive to experiment,” says the Aussie actress. “So my attitude is, ‘I really want to try this, even if I fall flat on my face.'” It’s hard to imagine the 45-year-old failing at anything, but here she cops to her own parenting challenges and what makes her marriage to playwright Andrew Upton work (hint: It rhymes with ex).
You seemed to get a kick out of playing a classic meanie. And those clothes she wears!!
I was interested in looking into what makes someone wicked and why she does ugly things. Hopefully, you get a glimpse of someone who’s tried to start her life again but jealousy overwhelms her. I say let me play anything different, whether it be a villain or an elephant.
In your personal life, you are a mom of four. Is the role what you imagined?
Before we had kids [three biological sons, Dashiell, Roman, and Ignatius, and a daughter, Edith, whose adoption was announced earlier this year] a lot of people talked to me about children in a vaguely negative way—how your life is going to change and how it was all about the compromises you would have to make and how your relationship with your partner would change. Of course all that’s true, but for me, it was like I turned the corner and opened this door to this whole other universe. It was like I’d fallen down the rabbit hole.
It’s a never-ending challenge, isn’t it?
It’s absolute chaos, but if you give yourself over to it, it’s the most extraordinary experience. Every single day brings a challenge—your sense of your own immortality, what sort of world you want to bring your children up in and the enormous responsibility of educating them.
As you became a star, did you ever worry that your career would have to take a backseat to being a mom?
It’s important to know that there is not a right time to have children. You can sort of prepare yourself, but there’s a new being that’s going to affect the rhythm of your life. You just have to be open to it. I’ve never been worried about how it’s going to affect my career. I’m not a fearful person. There’s more to life than acting, love it as I do.
Has all this made you appreciate what your own mother gave to you?
I think, having children, I understood just how much I was loved by my own parents because you realize that the love you give to your children is unconditional. My mother is very encouraging and very optimistic, so she’s always the sort of person to pat people on the shoulder and say, ‘Come on, don’t give up.’ If you get along with your parents, it’s a really great thing.
What makes your relationship with your husband Andrew work? It’s obviously very successful.
We don’t take ourselves too seriously. I just love him. It is quite simple actually. I think when things are good, they are very simple. He is just incredibly gifted and a generous human being, and I’m blessed. I’m going to start to cry if I talk about this much more. He was the first person I could actually talk to about my acting, get down and dirty and talk about work and still have a really good friendship and a great sex life. He’s my confidant.
Do you ever get concerned that you’re expected to share too much of your personal life?
It’s nice to talk about my children and my wonderful husband, but I don’t want it ever to become just blah, blah, blah, and I don’t want to go too far. I don’t want to know what stars had for breakfast or where they shop. I just want to see their films. It’s a lot easier to see them as the character they’re playing. That’s why I worry about exposing too much of the real Cate Blanchett. I love watching a performance by an actor who hasn’t revealed too much of his or her personal baggage.