It’s Cate’s Birthday!
From Cate Blanchett Fan team, we want to wish Cate a very Happy Birthday and an exciting Mothers Day! We hope she has an amazing time surrounded by those she loves.
It’s Cate’s Birthday!
From Cate Blanchett Fan team, we want to wish Cate a very Happy Birthday and an exciting Mothers Day! We hope she has an amazing time surrounded by those she loves.
ALL CURRENT ART IS FAKE!
It’s time for more articles and interviews for the linear version of Manifesto. Read them below!
Cate Blanchett says ‘My dreams are like dog dreams.’ Find out what she means.
Apart from Tilda Swinton, there is really no other instantly recognizable, Oscar-winning actress who can shift so easily from tentpole Marvel blockbusters to avant garde experimental cinema like Cate Blanchett.
Manifesto (now in theaters) is most definitely the latter — an operatic 94-minute movie version of a gallery installation by German artist Julian Rosefeldt. It’s the only Blanchett that audiences are going to see onscreen until Thor: Ragnarok (out in November) and Ocean’s Eight (next year), but luckily it’s a lot of her. She plays 13 characters, in fact, all speaking different manifestos, from Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” up to Lars von Trier’s “Dogme 95.”
The art installation was a sensation when it played at New York’s Park Avenue Armory. The film is a different but unexpectedly robust experience, with some segments that are hilariously droll. In the funniest one, Blanchett plays a newscaster named Cate speaking via satellite to a weather person, also played by Blanchett, also named Cate. It might not be for all tastes — as Blanchett and Rosefeldt admitted when they sat down with EW last week — but those who casually dismiss a challenging and unique project like Manifesto probably shouldn’t consider themselves real fans of the actress.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Cate, when I was watching Manifesto, I thought about Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There, where you play Bob Dylan, and Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes, where you’re yourself and your punk, lower-class cousin.
CATE BLANCHETT: Yeah, for me, this is probably akin to those experiences.
JULIAN ROSEFELDT: I’m Not There actually plays a really important role in the genesis of this project. Cate and I first met three years ago at an exhibition of mine.
BLANCHETT: We were looking for something to do together.
ROSEFELDT: We talked and talked. I remember we talked about Andrei Tarkovsky films. And she was so sweet and started to compliment my work.
BLANCHETT: It was all bulls—. I just wanted to work with you and I’d say whatever it took.
ROSEFELDT: [Laughs] But I felt like a little boy. I’m being complimented by Cate Blanchett! So I brought up that scene at the end of I’m Not There, when Cate as Bob Dylan looks right into the camera. I was talking to [I’m Not There cinematographer] Ed Lachman last night and he said that it was you who decided to do that, not Todd Haynes.
BLANCHETT: Oh, really. I can’t remember.
Also there’s the ending of the other Todd Haynes film that Cate starred in. She look right into the camera in the last seconds of Carol too.
ROSEFELDT: Ah, that’s true.
BLANCHETT: Nah, I’m not looking into the camera there. I’m looking at Rooney [Mara]
ROSEFELDT: But that glance in I’m Not There for me is one of the strongest moments of anything Cate has ever done. Amazing, amazing. You can feel it’s not overly scripted, it feels like it’s just happening. So I mentioned to Cate that I found that moment to be particularly extraordinary. But, of course, right away she started talking about Todd’s earlier film.
BLANCHETT: Superstar? The Karen Carpenter film. It’s brilliant.
ROSEFELDT: Yes, which I hadn’t seen at the time. And so she was telling me all about it.
Cate, how much do you love the opportunity to play more than one character?
BLANCHETT: Oh, I love doubling. And when you’re working in cinema, you rarely get to double. It’s often done on stage but much more rarely on screen. On film, you’re usually inviting an audience into a very literal narrative experience. So to allow an audience to free associate and find points of common reference is very exciting.
There’s that one sequence in Manifesto when you’re the news reporter and the weather person.
ROSEFELDT: That maybe reminded you of Coffee and Cigarettes.
Yes, I loved it. And it’s really hilarious. How much did you both allow yourselves to have fun with all this heavy material?
BLANCHETT: The material is absurd. And actually we laughed a lot. It’s also slightly hysterical because of the pace we were working at. For me, doing it all in 11 days was quite hysterical and instinctual. So there was that natural absurdity that was built-in.
ROSEFELDT: Sometimes I’m asked if I’m making fun of those certain manifestos where there is comedy. It is not mockery, because I do love all these texts. But the humor does help discover that some of these texts were not written with 100 percent total sincerity. I mean, the guys writing “Dogme 95” were, of course, having a big laugh. Or at least an amazing fun time.
BLANCHETT: Oh, for sure. They are provocations. As in, ‘What are you gonna make of this, huh? I’m gonna blow it all up!’ But now most of these artists — and of course most of them are male — are part of what we perceive to be the establishment. But at the time they were outsiders, which is always the place of an artist. So they can be outside and look in, challenging us to look at the way we live and breathe and work and think.
Cate, you play 13 different people, including a homeless man. But were there any ideas that you considered but decided against because they were too gonzo? Like playing different ethnicities, for example.
ROSEFELDT: We had a post-coital scene at one point, with a man falling asleep while the woman is still talking.
BLANCHETT: We talked about having me speak different languages. It would have been great if I could’ve spoken Mandarin, but then there is a cultural sensitivity to crossing those lines. Art still needs to be liberated from notions of bureaucratized thinking. I mean, look at the work of Cindy Sherman. She crosses ethnicity boundaries and that’s part of the provocation.
ROSEFELDT: Let me actually ask you a question. You say you liked the “news show” scene, where the text is very comprehensible. But in some of the other scenes, where the material is much more dense, were these texts understandable for you?
No, to be honest. But I thought the experience was more about sinking into those worlds and not paying attention to every word.
BLANCHETT: I know I didn’t! [laughs]
You weren’t paying attention to every word?
BLANCHETT: I couldn’t. But each of them has a particular energy, so it made much more musical sense to me than intellectual sense. It’s like a ballet of words.
Cate, you mentioned how quickly you filmed this. I’m curious about when you’re playing all of these characters, what do you dream about at night?
BLANCHETT: My dreams tend to be like dog dreams. I’m usually so tired that I hardly dream at all. In a way, I do think that the zone one performs in — without getting too ooga-booga about it — it’s like that moment when you wake up in the morning and you’re emerging from a dream state but you’re not quite up. Where are you? Can you hear the birds? Or is that the traffic? It’s that zone in which I perform. It’s like one foot in reality and one foot in a dream state. I spend most of my life in that state!
Do either of you think that events in the world have changed this picture? Do I, seeing it for the first time now, have to interpret it somewhat differently?
ROSEFELDT: You have to.
BLANCHETT: Just by force of circumstances you do. That’s what art does. It has very specific meaning at the time that it’s made. But a great work of art mutates and it’s meaning is porous enough to allow an audience to place themselves in it.
ROSEFELDT: And now after every Q&A for the film, I’m asked about populism. In Turkey, in France, in Sundance, in New York. When Cate as the newscaster says “All current art is fake,” everybody laughs because you think about “fake news” now.
BLANCHETT: Of course you do. Language is so powerful. Artists are like temperature takers of their time. And we need them more than ever.
Interview: An Art History Lesson From 13 Different Cate Blanchetts
Manifesto is a bit of a high-minded Frankenstein’s monster, an unwieldy, electric project from German artist Julian Rosefeldt that is as hard to explain as it is unable to explain itself. Originally an art installation, Manifesto morphed into a film (but even that isn’t the right term), a collection of 12 voice-overs and monologues culled from history’s great manifestos, explosive calls to action and destruction from the world of art, architecture, film and beyond. And, naturally, for 12 different vignettes the artist enlisted 13 different Cate Blanchetts; the two-time Oscar-winning chameleon and soon-to-be Marvel menace appears as everything from a tattooed punk rocker to a news anchor speaking to a weatherwoman (both Blanchett) to a mud-covered homeless man shouting Situationism theory into a bullhorn. It’s a dazzling experience, and one that, for someone whose experience with art extends mostly to the paneled page, is continuously overwhelming.
So, I went to the source. I met up with Blanchett and Rosefeldt at SoHo’s Crosby Hotel for what turned into a widespread discussion on art, acting, empathy and, dare I say, the meaning of life…and how it all boils down to a baboon sitting on a trash can.
What drew you to the idea of manifestos? I had no idea there was just…so many of them.
Julian Rosefeldt: The starting point was another project where I studied Feminist theory and read two manifestos by a French futurist, Valentine de Saint-Point, who had a really interesting, crazy life. She ended up as a Muslim in Egypt but before that, she wrote a really radical feminist manifesto. “Lust is a force.” I had already met Cate, and we had the idea to do something together. My own interest in artist’s writings started when I was a young high school student, I got into it, read hundreds of manifestos. Not only visual artists, but political manifestos, feminist manifestos, filmmakers, architects, theater makers. The idea was to do, on one side, an homage to these writings because they have been mostly forgotten or covered over by the visual work of those artists, but also trying to find out if they are applicable, if they can be used today, and what they mean to us. But it was very much driven by the beauty, the pure poetry of these texts. When I read them, I got the idea that [Blanchett] could do them because I could already sense them being performed, hearing her voice saying them instead of just reading them as art history.
In the hundreds of manifestos that you read, and the dozens that you performed, did you notice a throughline?
JR: There are many things that connect them. Insecurity —
Cate Blanchett: Assertion of their individuality. [laughs]
JR: It’s surprising because they’re all so angry so they seem secure, but if you see when they’re written you find out they can only be insecure and fragile at that moment in life. Manifestos are a wish to create utopia, ideas that can never be fulfilled but because they are so large they need to be drafted down and shouted out into the world.
CB: There’s a desire for them to change what they perceive to be the status quo. It’s an energetic response to what they percieve to be the institutions that are forcing them to be outside the system.
JR: Nowadays, it’s not so risk-taking to write a manifesto. Manifestos have certainly transformed into different possibilities of saying what you want to say. The art scene is global and massive and you do these things, like interviews and panel discussions, publish them on a blog.
CB: When I first discovered manifestos, I was at university studying art history. Part of the pleasure and the excitement is to take these assertions out of their historical context and to see what sticks. So [Manifesto] is deliberately…it’s a subversion in and of itself, but also it’s quite perverse because the characters are often antithetical to what the text is saying, or what the text is asserting. In doing that, I personally found an energetic similarity to all of them, the texts, that was quite often angry, but very youthful, and idealistic. Even though they were talking about what they wanted to irradicate, they were also talking about building something new. It was kind of a positive forward-looking, creative sense of what could come. Which doesn’t seem to be very alive in the world at the moment.
So much of the language is hyperbolic — “I want to destroy this, do away with this.”
CB: Yeah, but a much as you’re wanting to provoke change in the world around you, you’re wanting to provoke and challenge yourself.
Did you have to shy away from performing each character in that loud, overblown way or, I guess, separate the words of the manifestos from what you were actually doing?
CB: Well it was quite forensic in the planning, like which part of these manifestos lent themselves to be more dialogue, monologue and conversational, and which parts would be said from an interior voice. And when it was an interior voice, who was the voice talking to? What was the attitude, or the reason for saying it? So I found the parts that we filmed were much more easily ascribed than doing the voice-over. Because the voice-over is speaking directly to the audience…or are they speaking to themselves? We played a lot with that.
JR: The inner voice, although she speaks with the same dialect, often becomes a comment on the whole project, almost like a goddess who looks at the scenery.
CB: We talked a lot about it, because they’re not really characters, they’re just masking and then unmasking, but the voice is quite unmasked. So does that go to a neutral place? And if so, given that each person is inhabiting each of these personas, each of these situations, what then becomes neutral? Is that me?
Was there a lot of room to play with how you did each vignette?
JR: We had a very tight window for scheduling, about 12 days with Cate so it had to be prepared very well. Cate, with her experience, and her sensibility, and empathy for human beings, saw things in the text that weren’t there before. She experimented. I remember you [to Blanchett] were playing with the School Teacher, quoting Jim Jarmusch’s “Golden Rules of Filmmaking,” after saying “nothing is original. You can steal from architecture, books, random conversations…” and when you say random conversations, you used that moment to apply it directly as a teacher speaking to a student.
CB: It was a way to try and find…it’s like a piece that I saw in Berlin called “Murmeln Murmeln,” which means “Mumble Mumble,” and the actors were all basically saying “mumble, mumble, mumble” but, as children who learn language do, they intone it in different ways. Oftentimes, the texts, for me, became like that; I didn’t think about what I was saying, it was about the intention. I could be speaking Swahili right now, but you could glimpse what I was talking about by the stress, or the way I’m using my hands. But it was very instinctual. I just had to have no shame. Because we had no time, there were no rehearsals, per se. The night before we’d talk and I’d say, “Okay, let’s make this one Scottish! This one will be, I don’t know, a bit Cockney.” We talked a lot, so you can make very quick decisions because you feel like you’re all singing from the same song book.
There are surprising moments, though; I was walking through that derelict series of buildings as the Homeless Guy. I knew I’d be walking past Julian’s camera, but they were busy focusing on a baboon sitting on a rubbish tub [laughs]. That’s what the piece is. I do something, Julian does something.
JR: I remember you saying, “now we’re doing art.”
CB: That’s art.
JR: What I learned from Cate in Manifesto is that the curiosity doesn’t end with rehearsing the text. It’s neverending. Her curiosity for the human nature is never-ending. It goes on, and on, and on. I think that’s what makes an actress extraordinary. You never stop being curious. You want to keep loving humanity more. If you’re cynical, if you detest life, you will be very limited in your language. If you embrace life, if you see all things happening as surprises in front of your eyes, you can’t stop learning.
Manifesto is now playing in theaters.
Cate Blanchett Talks Playing a Punk Rocker and a Puppeteer in the Multichannel Movie Manifesto
“It’s… is it a film?” It’s a fair question Cate Blanchett asks. Manifesto is now playing at New York’s Film Forum, and it screened as part of the Tribeca and Sundance Film Festivals, and yet the tricky epistemological matter of what exactly it is remains. The work—that’s a nice neutral noun, right?—began as a multichannel video installation by the artist Julian Rosefeldt, with Blanchett playing a dozen different characters reading texts compiled from sources ranging from Marx and Engels to Lars von Trier. The “linear version,” as Blanchett and Rosefeldt call it, condenses those channels into one, and further trims the installation’s collective two-plus hours of footage into a tidy 90-odd minutes. The result is neither fish nor fowl, no longer video art but not quite a coherent theatrical feature, even an abstract and non-narrative one.
One thing Manifesto, in any manifestation, is: a showcase for Blanchett’s prodigious talents. In the course of the movie (let’s just call it that), she plays a frumpy hausfrau, an imperious, Russian-accented choreographer, a shambling, raccoon-eyed punk singer, and a bearded homeless man. (The first list of potential characters numbered around 60.) Although Blanchett’s personae sometimes match up to the words she’s saying—a patiently tsk-tsking schoolteacher instructs grade-school children in the elements of von Trier’s abstemious Dogme95 manifesto—the scenes weren’t conceived as dramatic set pieces, Rosefeldt explained alongside Blanchett at a New York hotel last week, nor was there necessarily an intellectual rationale for placing a given scene in a given setting. “An analyst might find a reason for it,” he said, “but that wasn’t really the recipe. The aim was always peeling out the original core of the idea and context.” His slice-and-dice approach to the original texts, with bits of a dozen or more combined into a single monologue, strips the manifestos of their intended prescriptive meaning, leaving a kind of urgent, all-purpose exhortation. “There’s a heavy, thick layer of dust, of interpretation, throughout history. If you blow this away, all of a sudden, you find a very fresh text that not necessarily connects to the visual work, but therefore is beautiful to discover or re-discover as pure poetry and utopia.”
Although Manifesto’s characters were conceived without any psychological underpinnings, Blanchett didn’t find it especially difficult to grasp them through their actions, even though the entire project was captured in only nine days of shooting. “The thrust of the character was very much about what they did, and what they said, rather than how they felt,” she said. “It was more about making a mask that could be taken on and off. It was much more interesting for us to elaborate them as part of a mosaic that creates society as a whole, like a puzzle.” Blanchett’s fitness for projects like Manifesto or Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There makes you wonder if she’s not an avant-garde actress who is only incidentally a movie star. Much more challenging, she says, was recording the movie’s voiceover, in which Rosefeldt’s bricolage monologues had to be spoken as a continuous whole. “I thought my eyeballs were gonna drop out, or my ears were gonna start bleeding,” she said. “When you’re not distracted by the visuals, you have to make sense of these things, which are often nonsensical. It was really hard to find a psychological attitude toward something that doesn’t have one.”
Perhaps the most charming of Manifesto’s segments is the one in which Blanchett plays a puppeteer who creates and then interacts with a puppet version of herself. The interplay between real Blanchett and puppet-Blanchett is so fluid that I wonder if she’d previously honed her skills on some past project. Blanchett chuckles. “What puppetry skills?” But Rosefeldt was equally impressed. “After you did that scene,” he says to Blanchett, “there were rumors in the crew, like when did you learn this?” He turns towards me, and away from her playful oh-you scoff. “She says, ‘I think I learned it two minutes ago.’”
“I’d watch you,” Blanchett says to Rosefeldt. “You have an incredible facility. I often find with directors that if you turn the sound down on what a director says to you, there’s something about the way in which a director communicates; they’re giving you the direction in a physical sense. Or if you watch their eyes you think, ‘Oh, I think I understand what you mean.’”
It’s fitting that in a project devoted to stripping words from their original meaning that so much of the communication would be nonverbal. And in breaking apart the sometimes blustering rhetoric of its sources, Manifesto also finds room for a new voice. “When you see it in all in one piece, it seems like it’s from a group mind rather than an assertion of individual expressions, and I think you’re much more aware, as an end result, that you’ve got a whole lot of manifestos written by men,” Blanchett says. “But the female presence is also much stronger in the linear version. I think you make that connection a lot stronger. The female presence is more acute.”
Cate Blanchett interview for Town & Country is here! There are also new photos by Max Vadukul. Enjoy the reading!
Cate Blanchett Sounds an Alarm About the Global Refugee Crisis
The actress and Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s refugee agency talks to the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee about the international effort to help people displaced by conflict.
The refugee crisis is a defining challenge of our age. Sixty-five million people have been forced from their homes by civil wars around the world. Twenty-two million have crossed borders and thus become refugees. They come from places like Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan. They are living in ramshackle conditions in Kenya, Ethiopia, Jordan, and Lebanon. They are victims of terror.
More than half of them are children.
Americans have big hearts and know the value of freedom and security. People often say charity begins at home; I say that it should not end there. But there is also a good strategic reason to help: If we don’t, the result is instability. Close allies like Jordan are struggling to support hundreds of thousands of refugees. The failure to provide proper aid has brought the crisis to Europe’s shores. And what could be more inviting to extremist groups than refugee children with nothing to do and no hope for the future?
As president of the International Rescue Committee, I know how vital our work is. The IRC was founded by Albert Einstein in New York in 1933; the needs now are greater than at any time since World War II. And at a moment when governments are threatening to reduce support, we are more dependent than ever on private generosity—and the bravery and commitment of people using their voices to draw attention to the crisis at hand. Which is why I was so eager to chat with Cate Blanchett (above, in Ralph Lauren Collection).
Most celebrities have a cause—it’s good PR, after all. But this one isn’t the simplest to tackle. It’s complicated, it’s political, it can require decidedly unglamorous travel, and it’s not necessarily something that the bulk of your ticket-buying moviegoers have a visceral connection to. Then again, as her fans know, Cate isn’t drawn to simplicity or merely going through the motions. Her work on behalf of the UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency—which is one of the IRC’s longest-standing supporters—is substantive. It also sets an example, underlining the call to action I find myself making day in and day out: It is time to step up together.
David Miliband: What drew you to work on behalf of refugees? Was there a particular story you read or person you met that propelled you to take action?
Cate Blanchett: For me this issue has always been very close to home. I, like many Australians, feel a deep shame about our government’s continual violation of international human rights and draconian immigration system when it comes to offshore detention in places like Nauru and Manus Island. Every day I would read the news and feel more and more hopeless about the situation. It got to a point where I could no longer look away or ignore what was happening, not only on Australian shores but around the world.
So I began a conversation with Alison Tilbe at the UNHCR in 2014, at a time when the crisis in Syria had reached the breaking point. Given that the world is facing unprecedented global displacement, touching the lives of millions—both those forced to flee their homes and those tasked with providing them with shelter and protection—my work with the UNHCR began with a necessarily broad focus. Never in my lifetime had I felt more of a responsibility to stand alongside the world’s most vulnerable people.
DM: It’s interesting that you felt so connected to something that seems very far from what most people would assume is the fabric of your daily life.
CB: Actually, being a mother was, for me, undeniably a central point of connection to the refugee crisis. Learning that more than 10 million of the world’s refugees are children, and then meeting refugee parents in Jordan and Lebanon who had fled to protect the lives and futures of their children—well, that was personally heartbreaking and galvanizing.
DM: When you met with these Syrian refugees, what were the main points of connection you had with them?
CB: The idea of home. That was what I found to be the most profound point of connection with the people I met. Their memories of home—the natural beauty, the smells, the tastes, the feelings. It was the sense of fondness and longing when they spoke of home that I connected to—the idea of home being something that you always want to return to, even if you know it is impossible to do so. There is a beautiful poem by Warsan Shire called “Home,” and the first line is, “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” It perfectly expresses the notion that no refugee has ever fled their home out of choice. It’s always out of necessity.
DM: Were there any particular interactions that have stuck with you or haunted you since you’ve returned from your travels?
CB: I shared a meal in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan with one family whose 13-year-old son limped around in the dust with my eight-year-old son, playing soccer. I asked why he was limping, and his parents told me that he still had shrapnel in his leg from a sniper attack.
As a parent I connected with their desire to protect their children and provide them with every possible opportunity in life: a safe home, an education—but most important, a childhood free from the horrors of war.
DM: People say that if you study the statistics it’s depressing, but if you meet the people, there is resilience and hope. Did you feel that way?
CB: The statistics are certainly depressing. If you were to simply look at the statistics, it seems like an insurmountable problem.
Before I went on my first mission with the UNHCR, I prepared myself for what I was about to witness. And it’s true—the thing that was most surprising was the sense of hope and gratitude that people had. I met with families who had been forced to flee their homes in the night, taking with them only what they could carry in their arms, but escaping with their lives. They would talk of their future with hope and excitement, despite their circumstances and the challenges they knew they would face in starting a new life elsewhere. Their optimism and gratitude were incredibly humbling.
DM: Celebrities often take a beating for trying to use their fame to do good. How do you cope with the cynicism? Or don’t you find it?
CB: From my perspective, I feel an obligation to use my voice to speak up for those who are voiceless. It just so happens that my voice is able to reach a larger audience because of the fact that I have a public profile. If that were something that I thought was worthy of criticism or cynicism, then perhaps it would bother me that there are people out there who look to belittle or demonize those who are trying—in some small way—to help.
And I think if people were to meet the refugees I have had the privilege to meet, their cynicism would vanish. The resilience, the pride, and the resourcefulness of these people is humbling no matter what one’s profession.
As an artist, I’ve never been more conscious about the type of work one wants to make in times of crisis and in the face of moral repugnance—which we are currently witnessing around the world. There is a huge disconnect from the human collateral in this overly hostile and aggressive political climate. As a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, my task is simple: to help reforge the human connection to the stories of these people who so desperately need support.
DM: What are your next steps toward relieving the crisis?
CB: I’m currently working with the UNHCR on its global #WithRefugees campaign, and we are seeking to mobilize more voices in support of refugees than ever before.
And as you well know from your work with the IRC, in the current climate it’s no mean feat to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance. Most operations are severely underfunded. Some of the UNHCR staff members I met with were having to make unbelievably difficult decisions about what form of assistance to cut, because the money simply isn’t there. Who wants to make the decision to cut food rations down to a meager 800 calories a day for families already undernourished, or cut schooling programs knowing that children’s futures are being lost?
DM: I’m consumed with the “disconnect” you referred to. Pope Francis said the world is suffering from “the globalization of indifference.” How do you think we can galvanize people in the comfortable West to action?
CB: If it is still true that the majority of the Western world labors within a democratic framework, then our votes and our voices count. The way we consume counts. The way we discuss these issues counts. Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion, and solidarity with people who have lost everything. Never has there been a more important time to advocate for shared responsibility within our own communities and to address the fear and xenophobia that are dividing societies. Humanizing the issue–telling the individual human story–is one way to tackle that fear and indifference.
Photographed at Cipriani 25 Broadway in New York City. Hair by Robert Vetica for Leonor Greyl Paris. Makeup by Jeanine Lobell at Streeters. Nails by Tracylee using Chanel Le Vernis. Tailoring by Yasmine Oezelli at Lars Nord. Produced by Wanted Media.
Cate Blanchett spoke to Harper’s Bazaar Mexico and Vogue Netherlands to promote the new fragrance Sì by Giorgio Armani. Both interviews are also part of the promotional events in which Cate met with several magazines during The Present season on Broadway. Enjoy the reading!
Harper’s Bazaar Mexico April 2017
Vogue Netherlands May 2017
Cate Blanchett is ongelooflijk veelzijdig: ze staat op Broadway in The Present, is het gezicht van de nieuwe Armani-geur Sì Rose Signature en werd benoemd tot VN-ambassadeur. Vogue sprak haar in New York: ‘Ongecensureerd en direct, daar hou ik van!
Broadway – het beroemde Barrymore-theater gonst van de bezoekers. Door de statige deuren, omlijst met klassieke ruches van rode stof, stromen de toeschouwers binnen, in pak of feestelijke jurk, speurend naar hun plekje tussen de goudkleurige balkons. Nog een laatste keer de smartphone checken – het is en blijft New York – en dan doven de kroonluchters. Ik laat me net wat dieper in mijn pluchen stoel zakken. Het doek gaat op.
Daar staat ze, als enige op het podium, in een lange blauwe jurk, met één been leunend op de zitting van een houten stoel. Een haast koninklijke pose: trots, sierlijk, elegant. Nog voor ze zich ook maar verroert, davert een warm applaus door de zaal. Want ja, het is toch écht Cate Blanchett (47) die daar op het podium staat, de Australische actrice die twee Oscars en drie Golden Globes op haar uitgebreide palmares heeft prijken, die geroemd wordt om haar indringende vertolkingen, haar schoonheid en intelligentie.
Roerloos, met een hint van een glimlach om haar lippen, neemt ze het applaus in ontvangst. Dan begint haar Broadwaydebuut, een drie uur durende bewerking van Anton Tsjechovs eerste toneelstuk. Andrew Upton – de Australische schrijver met wie Cate twintig jaar geleden trouwde en vier kinderen heeft – bewerkte Tsjechovs tekst en laat het Rusland van de negentiende eeuw resoneren in modern New York. In The Present, zoals de voorstelling heet, wordt vooral Cate door critici gelauwerd om haar acteerprestatie.
Een halfuur na de zinderende finale, daalt Cate in leren kokerrok op torenhoge hakken elegant de trap af naar de theatersalon, waar de verzamelde pers haar opwacht. In haar filmrollen heeft de actrice vaak iets statigs en verhevens: de koude monarch in Elizabeth, de verveelde upper-class wife in Carol, de etherische elfenkoningin in The Lord of The Rings. Maar hier, in de pluchen warmte van het Barrymore-theater, is ze vooral down-to-earth met een opvallend diepe stem en een aanstekelijke, ongedwongen lach.
Twee keer een voorstelling van drie uur spelen op dezelfde dag en dan nog fris en monter voor de pers verschijnen, dat moet heel wat vergen, suggereer ik. Cate schudt het hoofd: ‘Nee, dit werk is niet wat me wakker houdt. Ik ben moe omdat ik gisteren tot twee uur ’s nachts op CNN en Al Jazeera heb gekeken naar wat er allemaal in de wereld gebeurt. Veel mensen zijn boos, ik wil hun woede begrijpen. Ik wil het nieuws van alle kanten zien.’
In The Present wordt af en toe raak uitgehaald naar de politieke actualiteit, maar er zit ook verrassend veel humor in de tekst. Enthousiast: ‘Mensen vergeten vaak hoe grappig Tsjechov is.’ Het is een complex schrijver, beaam ik. Cate buigt zich naar me toe en fluistert op ironische toon: ‘Het spijt me je dit te moeten vertellen, maar álle mannen zijn complex.’
Achterin, op de trap, handen om gebogen knieën, zit een jongen van een jaar of tien. Afwisselend bewonderend en verveeld kijkt hij naar de kakelende menigte. Dan raapt hij zijn moed bij elkaar en schuifelt tussen de mensen naar Cate, slaat zijn armen stevig om haar benen. Cate schrikt, kijkt om, ziet haar zoon en lacht vertederd. Het is half twaalf en mooi geweest; mama moet mee naar huis.
NIET IN STEEN GEBEITELD
Gedurende de speelperiode van The Present verblijft Cate met haar man en kinderen in New York. Samen hebben ze drie zoons: Dashiell (15), Roman (13) en Ignatius (11). Twee jaar geleden adopteerden ze dochter Edith (2).
Eigenlijk is het vreemd dat Cate nooit eerder op Broadway heeft gestaan. Ze knikt: ‘Andrew en ik wilden het al een lange tijd, maar de speeltijd van Broadwayshows is drie tot zes maanden en het bleek onmogelijk om onze agenda’s samen zo lang vrij te houden.’ Met haar man runde ze van 2008 tot 2013 de Sydney Theatre Company, een van de meest gerenommeerde gezelschappen van Australië. ‘Nu we het theater niet meer leiden, is veel meer mogelijk.’
Hoe is het voor haar om voor het eerst op Broadway te spelen? ‘Het publiek is heel betrokken en divers. Maar Andrew en ik zijn vooral trots om met deze voorstelling Australisch talent ? bij een Amerikaans publiek te kunnen introduceren.’
Tijdens de repetities voor The Present ging het er regelmatig heftig aan toe: ‘Andrews tekst staat niet in steen gebeiteld, hij is vooral benieuwd wat de acteurs ermee gaan doen. Voor ons is de repetitieruimte een plek waar we met de hele groep discussiëren, soms zelfs ruziën over conflicterende ideeën. Gelukkig nemen we die conflicten niet mee naar huis.’
Lukt het bij zo’n nauwe samenwerking met haar partner om het werk achter te laten? Lachend: ‘We moeten wel; met vier kinderen heb je geen tijd om over werk te praten.’ Met lichtspijtige ondertoon ‘Of überhaupt te praten!’
Cate Blanchett is geboren in Melbourne en groeide op met een oudere broer en een jongere zus. Haar moeder is een Australische onderwijzeres, haar vader was een Amerikaans marineofficier die later werkte in de reclamewereld. Toen ze tien jaar oud was, stierf Cate’s vader onverwachts. Haar moeder is nooit hertrouwd.
Op de middelbare school ontdekte Cate haar passie voor acteren en tijdens een reis in Egypte werd ze gevraagd voor een figurantenrol als cheerleader in ruil voor vijf Egyptische ponden en een falafel. Toen ze op de set kwam waar een man in het Arabisch door een megafoon schreeuwde, waar het warm was en het wachten lang, hield ze het voor gezien. Haar filmdebuut zou nog even op zich laten wachten.
Na die reis werd ze toegelaten tot het prestigieuze National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. Film was geen prioriteit. Cate: ‘Ik was bezig met theater en dacht eerlijk gezegd niet dat een filmcarrière ooit mogelijk zou zijn. Theater is en blijft mijn grote liefde. Je hebt er zo’n directe, dynamische relatie met je toeschouwers. Dat maakt het voor mij bevredigend. Bij film heb je nauwelijks zicht op de reacties, critici kunnen in hun recensies totaal anders reageren dan het publiek. Ik hou van de rauwe, eerlijke respons in het theater.’
Zoals de lach die door de zaal galmt als Cate in The Present frummelt aan haar beha, hem onder haar jurk vandaan trekt en met een boog wegslingert. Een opvallende move. Ze glimlacht: ‘Dat heeft alles te maken met de moeder van Andrew. Tijdens het schrijven van The Present is ze helaas overleden. Ze had de gewoonte om aan het einde van lunches of feestjes iets dergelijks te doen. Andrew heeft het een plek gegeven in de voorstelling.’
‘Mijn dagelijks leven heeft veel weg van een militaire operatie’
Cate acteert, regisseert en produceert, maar haar creatieve curriculum reikt verder: op het Holland Festival is deze zomer Manifesto te zien, een indrukwekkende beeldende-kunstinstallatie van Julian Rosefeldt, waar Cate op negen schermen evenveel rollen vertolkt.
‘Beeldende kunst inspireert me. Julian en ik waren al langere tijd van plan om samen iets te maken. Toen hij zijn idee voor Manifesto met me deelde, was ik meteen enthousiast. Het project ging fast and furious; we filmden negen dagen lang, er was nauwelijks repetitietijd. De film is grotendeels uit improvisatie ontstaan: ongecensureerd en direct, daar hou ik van. Ik vind het een uitdaging om toeschouwers te verleiden zich te verhouden tot een manifest. We leven in moreel verwerpelijke tijden, waarin elke vorm van idealisme gewantrouwd wordt. Iedereen die een creatief geluid laat horen wordt elitair genoemd en dus gemarginaliseerd. Ik vind het mooi om met dit kunstwerk terug te gaan naar een tijd waarin mensen hun overtuiging en idealen durfden te delen.’
Beschouwt ze de installatie als een statement? Ze krult haar lippen, schudt het hoofd: ‘Statements interesseren me niet. Het is een twijfelachtig voorrecht om op dit moment in Amerika te leven. Het zijn turbulente tijden en ik vind het als vrouw schokkend en ontmoedigend wat hier allemaal gebeurt. Maar de onrust heerst niet alleen hier in Amerika; wereldwijd worden grote groepen gemarginaliseerd. Vijfenzestig miljoen mensen zijn op drift, een situatie die alleen kan verbeteren door intensieve samenwerking, niet door het zaaien van nog meer haat en verdeeldheid.’
Vorig jaar werd Cate aangesteld als wereldwijd Goodwill Ambassador voor de Verenigde Naties. Ze werkte mee aan de korte film What They Took With Them, gebaseerd op getuigenissen van vluchtelingen: ‘Hun schrijnende verhalen raken me, maar ook hun onvoorstelbare veerkracht en optimisme. Ik kom uit een land dat gekoloniseerd is door de Nederlanders en de Engelsen, een land dat door migranten is opgericht. Toen ik op school zat, was de multiculturele samenleving iets om te vieren – hoe anders is het nu! Gelukkig zijn er nog steeds miljoenen mensen bereid om op te staan en te vechten voor het kloppende hart van een land als Amerika.’
Onder hen Cate zelf, die op Broadway betoogde in een gebreide roze pussyhat, een initiatief van feministen die tijdens manifestaties met de roze muts met oortjes niet alleen hun eigen solidariteit maar ook die van de mutsenmakers vertegenwoordigen. ‘Ik heb mijn muts van een vrouw gekregen die er maar liefst tweeduizend had gebreid. Kun je je dat voorstellen? Dat is pas engagement!’
Zonder opsmuk of poeha liep Cate tussen de betogers, dochter Edith op haar arm. ‘Wat mij vooral ergert is de wijze waarop het discours zich aan het ontwikkelen is: vluchtelingen zijn ineens immigranten en worden in één adem terroristen. De woorden versmelten, maar het zijn woorden met een heel andere betekenis.’ Ze benadrukt met haar zangerige, lage stem: veeeery different.
‘Het merendeel van de vluchtelingen is kind, weggerukt van de ouders, vaak fysiek gehavend door granaatscherven; als ouder vind ik dat hartverscheurend. Want, eerlijk waar, ik zou ook vluchten. Als ik in een dergelijke situatie zou verkeren met mijn vier kinderen, zou ik ook vertrekken en ik ben ervan overtuigd dat iedereen in die positie precies hetzelfde zou doen. Er is op de wereld een schrijnende behoefte aan meer empathie en medeleven.’
‘Be present! Voor mij draait schoonheid om presence, er helemaal durven zijn’
Ervaar je als celebrity een verantwoordelijkheid om je uit te spreken?
Ze veert op: ‘Iedereen heeft die verantwoordelijkheid! Of je nou acteur bent, of niet. Ik ben niet geïnteresseerd in politiek; mijn werk voor de VN is apolitiek. Mij gaat het om rechtvaardigheid, een menswaardig bestaan voor de meest kwetsbaren onder ons. Vrouwenkiesrecht schaadt niemand, maar white supremacy schaadt een heleboel mensen – dat is het grote verschil. Voor mij ligt de oplossing in praten en positief benaderen. Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat we, ondanks alles, vol vertrouwen moeten blijven, bewust van onze waarden en rechten. Als we die niet zomaar krijgen, eisen we ze op.’
Cate is het stralende gezicht van Giorgio Armani’s parfumcollectie Sì, een professionele verwantschap die al heel vroeg begon: ‘Met mijn eerste loonstrook kocht ik een schitterend pak van Armani – ik heb het nog steeds. Ik draag graag mannenkleren. Ik hou ervan om vrouw te zijn binnen een mannelijke esthetiek, een dualiteit die Armani in zijn ontwerpen meesterlijk integreert. Als tiener struinde al ik tweedehandszaken af op zoek naar mooie mannenpakken. De combinatie van een goedgesneden pantalon en colbert is voor mij de meest comfortabele kleding die er bestaat.’
Inmiddels is Giorgio Armani een goede vriend. ‘Regelmatig schrijft hij me om te vertellen wat hij van een specifieke uitvoering of filmrol vindt.’ Per mail? ‘Nee,’ ze schudt fervent het hoofd. ‘Altijd handgeschreven brieven. Mijnheer Armani is een overtuigd brievenschrijver.’
Als je Cate vraagt naar haar kijk op uiterlijke schoonheid, volgt een kort en krachtig antwoord: ‘Ik denk er zo weinig mogelijk over na. Ik ben heel praktisch ingesteld, gebruik al vijftien jaar dezelfde huidverzorging. Ik geloof in de oosterse benadering van schoonheid: in alles wat perfect is, schuilt een imperfectie. Juist de imperfectie maakt een vrouw of man aantrekkelijk. In het westen zijn we zo geobsedeerd door symmetrie, een ideaalbeeld dat niet haalbaar is en, eerlijk gezegd, niet eens mooi.’
Actricejaren, zei ze eens, tellen als kattenjaren; je moet ze vermenigvuldigen met zeven, Cate is inmiddels de honderd gepasseerd. Toch wordt van filmactrices iets als ‘de eeuwige jeugd’ verwacht. Ze knikt: ‘Er ligt in het algemeen veel druk op vrouwen om er jong uit te blijven zien. Voor mannen is dat anders, die worden er minder mee geconfronteerd. Schoonheid draait voor mij in de eerste plaats om presence, aanwezig durven zijn, helemaal. Als je moe ben of gestrest, merk je dat meteen in je uitstraling. Be present. Zorg goed voor jezelf, wees betrokken bij je omgeving en richt je zo weinig mogelijk op wat anderen beschouwen als zogenaamd aantrekkelijk.’
‘Na elke rol denk ik:That’s it, I’m done!’
Volgende week rondt ze de opnames af van Ocean’s Eight, een spin-offvan de Ocean’s Eleven-reeks, met, voor de afwisseling, een voornamelijk vrouwelijke cast. ‘Stephen Soderbergh is een vriend van me en hij kwam met het voorstel: een sidestep van de franchise met Sandra Bullock in de rol van Danny Oceans zus. Ik ben dol op Sandy en toen ik de andere namen van de cast hoorde, wist ik zeker dat ik het project wilde doen.’
Ocean’s Eight wemelt van de krachtige actrices: naast Cate Blanchett en Sandra Bullock doen Helena Bonham Carter, Katie Holmes, Anne Hathaway, Dakota Fanning, Olivia Munn en zelfs Rihanna mee. Cate: ‘Als ik een rol krijg aangeboden, check ik eerst: met wie ga ik werken? Wat wordt de cast? Zou ik de film zelf willen zien? Is hij relevant? Veel later pas, kijk ik naar mijn eigen rol.’
ZO VAAK MOGELIJK JA
Aan elk project gaat voor Cate een proces van wikken en wegen vooraf: ‘Ik neem mezelf niet al te serieus, maar mijn werk wel. Bloedserieus. Elk project vraagt veel commitment, toewijding en tijd. Ik ben een moeder van vier, dus het moet de investering waard zijn, anders kan ik beter thuisblijven bij de kinderen.’
Voor haar rol in Ocean’s Eight moest ze volgens het contract topfit zijn; ze kreeg voor het eerst een personal trainer. Grote ogen: ‘Dat was bruut! Eindelijk begrijp ik hoe het voelt, het is een hel, maar je krijgt er veel energie voor terug.’
Heb je weleens ergens spijt van?
‘Oh,’ ze rolt met haar ogen: ‘I am full of regret! Kleine dingen als vergeten te sporten. Een trainingsschema volhouden is niet makkelijk als je laat thuiskomt en de kinderen in alle vroegte naar school moet brengen. Maar ik ben geen fan van spijt; ik heb een vol leven en er moet al zoveel, ergens wil ik stoom afblazen. Ik zeg: maak fouten, maar maak ze niet opnieuw.’
In haar vijfentwintigjarige carrière heeft Cate prachtrollen vertolkt en daarvoor alle lof ontvangen. Toch denkt ze bij elk project dat het haar laatste is: ‘Na elke rol roep ik: that’s it, I’m done! Ik moet steeds opnieuw verleid worden om te spelen. Luister, er is zo ontzettend veel te doen op de wereld en ik vind het moeilijk om nee te zeggen, dus ik zeg zo vaak mogelijk ja – waarom zou je anders leven?’ —
Lees er meer over op: unhcr.org en pussyhatproject.com. Filminstallatie Manifesto is te zien op het Holland Festival (3 tot 25 juni) hollandfestival.nl.
Last Tuesday, Cate Blanchett attended a dinner at the Louvre in celebration of Louis Vuitton colaboration with Jeff Koons for a new collection of bags. She was photographed by Patrick Demarchelier and interviewed during the event. Enjoy the pics and videos released by Louis Vuitton:
Louis Vuitton Instagram:
An old behind-the-scenes with Cate Blanchett for SK-II has emerged. The video shows makeup artist Mary Greenwell using SK-II products to create Cate’s flawless look. Enjoy the video and caps below!
Manifesto will be shown in many festivals around the world. See more info below!
On April 7, Lakeshore Records released a soundtrack album to Del Kathryn Barton’s live action short film, RED, starring two-time Academy Award® Winner Cate Blanchett, Alex Russell, Arella Plater, and the Sydney Dance Company’s Charmene Yap.
The album features original score composed by Tom Schutzinger and is currently available exclusively on Bandcamp but it will be released through all major digital retailers on April 14. Visit Amazon or Itunes to pre-order the album.
Here’s the album track list*:
Check out a free track on youtube:
Here’s the album cover:
*Bandicamp’s album version includes an extra compilation track entitled Album preview, unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
11 Page Digital Booklet featuring artwork and stills from the film. (BUY Here)
The Art Gallery of South Australia also announced some weeks ago that its shop was selling the soundtrack and the poster of the exhibition.
RED posters, and soundtracks composed by Tom Schutzinger and signed by artist del kathryn barton, now available in the Gallery Shop. Snap them up before they sell out! @nick_mitzevich @curatorscocktail #reddelkathrynbarton #delkathrynbarton #tomschutzinger #cateblanchett #contemporaryart #australianart #art #artgalleryofsa #adelaide #southaustralia
RED opened earlier this year at the Art Gallery of South Australia (screening through April 30), as part of the 2017 Adelaide Festival and will be shown in New York (open June 1st at NYC’s Albertz Benda Gallery) , and later in 2017 at the National Gallery of Victoria.
About Tom Schutzinger:
Tom Schutzinger has worked in the film industry for over 13 years and has been a touring musician for more than two decades, Tom founded the band Decoder Ring. Tom’s films include SOMERSAULT, JEWBOY, YOLK, LUCKY COUNTRY, CAUGHT INSIDE and THE PACK.
Finally we have some images of Cate Blanchett in the new Terrence Malick film, Song to Song, staring Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender and Natalie Portman. Cate plays Amanda. Thanks to Fab Cate Blanchett on Twitter for the news. Enjoy the photos!
via Allo Cine
The full episode of Theater Talk featuring Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh is finally available.
New promotional interview for SK II and one more beautiful photo!
Judi Dench once compared Cate Blanchett’s complexion to that of a white peach. It’s not entirely a euphemism — in person on the morning of the blizzard, Blanchett’s skin appears firm, refreshingly tan-free, supported by excellent bone structure, and yet, without an overdone layer of Hollywood gloss (nary any obvious contour, highlight, or anything you might find on Instagram). Minus a brief stint when she played Bob Dylan and actively tried to moisturize less so that her complexion was more true to the musician, Blanchett has been keeping herself exquisitely moisturized for 13 years with SK-II, the legendary Japanese beauty brand for which she has been a spokesmodel for 13 years (it’s one of the longest-running spokesmodel gigs in the business). The Academy Award winner is very convincing, as she talks to me about why she believes she’s found the One when it comes to skin care, how she’s looked beyond lip service to truly recognize flaws as beautiful, aging without judgment, and why she’s very, very blonde in the upcoming Ocean’s Eight movie.
I read that you loved facial mists so much that you managed to convince SK-II to make one.
I’ve been pestering them for a long time! I used to decant it into a spray bottle. I would put it on in the morning or during the day over makeup. I found working in film, particularly with HD, putting powder on really reads on camera. If you spray the Essence on it, it sets the makeup, and keep you looking hydrated. Finally, after about ten years of working with them, they did it [SK-II Mid-Day Essence Spray]! I was very pleased.
What do you do for your skin when you’re traveling?
Well, the Essence is it. I carry that with me all the time. The Facial Treatment Oil is hydrating. I’ll take a Facial Treatment Mask and an Eye Mask. Or I’ll decant a little of the LXP cream. I like to decant the LXP cream, too.
Do you still get strange looks when you’re doing a mask on a plane?
Um. I guess I do. But I’ve done it for so long. I usually wait till the lights are out, but I forget I’ve got them on. You don’t want to eat through them, that gets a bit ugly. If you leave them on too long, you realize how dehydrating the plane is. After 20 minutes, it goes completely dry.
We’re excited about your new role in Ocean’s Eight. Can you tell me about it and how you’re conceptualizing the character?
It’s a great, great bunch of women. I’ve been in the same movie with Helena [Bonham Carter], but never acted with her. I’ve never worked with Anne [Hathaway], but she’s gorgeous. And it was great to finally work with Sandy [Bullock].
We wanted to make sure everyone in the film had a distinct look. That’s the fun of the film — that these unlikely bunch of people are bound together to pull off a heist. You would look at them on a subway train, or walking down the street, and not be able to see how they could connect.
I worked with the costume designer, hair and makeup team to design my look. It’s part of the fun. A lot of times, people think your role as an actor is passive, but it’s not. For me, my character is a nightclub owner, so I looked punk into the ’80s. In the film, you’ll see I’m very, very blonde and bleached. My character moved through the punk, but we used that as an initial starting point. I’m very visually stimulated, and sometimes it can be a gallery image or piece of music that will inspired me. I’d been listening to a lot of Siouxsie Sioux during Thor and thought about that period, so that was influential to me.
People often use the word “perfect” to describe you. Does that surprise you?
They should see me at 6 a.m. I just try to look the best I can at whatever age I am. I’m interested in fashion and how people express themselves differently though clothing over time. I’m not interested in fashion when it comes to skin care. My skin is in pretty good condition and has been stable, because I found something that really works for me, and I’ve stuck with it.
How have your ideas about beauty evolved?
Well, it’s constantly changing. People talk about the idea of perfection, but I love that the Japanese idea about beauty involves flaws. Like, if you got a beautiful ceramic pot there would be a flaw in it. And the flaw in it is beautiful. A beautiful flower arrangement is always slightly asymmetric. It allows for a greater sense of people’s individuality. I always find people attractive when they are comfortable with their own skin and not trying to be someone else, but their best selves. They might have a slightly big nose or asymmetric eyes or interesting hair, but there’s a naturalness to them.
Some people are embarrassed by extensive beauty routines, or to even care about beauty at all, for fear it can make them seem vain. What do you think?
The best piece of advice is to wear sunscreen and not go out in the harsh Australian sun. You could say that’s looking after your skin. From a vanity perspective, you don’t want to be old and wrinkly. But it’s also protected my skin. It’s very different from makeup. Your skin is the biggest organ in our body. Exfoliate [Dermalogica makes a good one — Daily Microfoliant], moisturize, and wear sunscreen. That’s it. That’s fine. I’m very conscious of sun damage in my children.
What’s your sunscreen of choice?
I use a good one by Neutrogena. I also like a Swiss one called Daylong. In France, there’s a lot of good ones you can buy over the counter.
We often pay a lot of lip service to accepting imperfection, but when did it become real for you?
As a woman, it takes a lot of strength. There’s so much pressure. I really long for a time when women aren’t mean to other women about it, and aren’t judgmental about what other women do. I don’t expect everyone to subscribe to the same type of beauty I’m interested in. Everyone is different, but it would be good to take that pressure off ourselves. There’s so much pressure on women to look a certain way, or be a certain thing, or to think that their outward appearance is the most important part of their personality or character. It’s certainly a part of it, but not the most important thing.
When I started working in the film industry, I was working with a lot of women. Some of the women were interested in the work and the characters. Some, more in how they look. I realized that I didn’t want to be in the latter. I want to be interested in the work. I want to look out at the world. I want to be interested in the job at hand. I should look how the character should look, and not think about how I look. The obsession on one’s looks can make you a bit crazy. And I thought, I don’t want to go crazy.
Hollywood and its unattainable standards for anti-aging are well-known. How has the way you thought about aging changed over time?
Well, I’m older. You’re older than you were last year. People talk about it a lot. Being consistent with the one skin-care line and not giving into the professional fear about it, has made me feel a lot more at peace with whatever age I am. I think my skin is a lot more resilient. I have fewer breakouts than I did in my 20s, which you can say is partially hormonal, but also because I’m not changing it up. I’m not anxious about my skin. Strangely, the more people are talking about anti-aging, the less I feel anxious about it.
When I was in my teens and 20s, it was what you put on top of your skin. Certainly since having children, I realized it was all about skin care. When people are having issues with their skin, that’s when they don’t feel as confident, and they start to retreat. All that other stuff you layer on top — or we inject into our faces, or other things people are into — are ways to try and hide. It becomes less significant or less important. But for me, it’s about looking the best you can at whatever age.
There’s a big difference between altering your appearance and trying to work with what you got. My philosophy is to work with what you got. It’s about feeling comfortable in your own skin. But it’s easy to form judgment on other people. For me, I’ve just grown up that way. My mother is not someone who has surgically enhanced herself. It doesn’t seem natural to me. But that’s just me — ultimately, I believe women have judged other women too long.
This interview has been condensed and edited.
via NY Mag
One more promotional interview for SK II and a new beautiful photo!
It took Winter Storm Stella to prove what we’ve long suspected:
Cate Blanchett is fucking hardcore.
The acclaimed actress is dressed, glossed, and ready to go at 10 am, despite blizzard conditions shutting down Manhattan. She insists she’ll perform as scheduled in the stage hit The Present, even if half the audience will be stuck home in New Jersey. She gamely talks about politics, Rihanna, and day-old eyeliner as the wind hits 70 mph outside. And she knows a lot about skincare, too, which is good because we’re here for SK-II’s latest launch.
It’s a version of their famous Facial Treatment Essence, decked with flowers and designed for Mother’s Day gifting. Called “Sakura” after Japan’s famous cherry blossom season, the limited-edition bottle hits Sephora this week—just as Blanchett, SK-II’s most famous spokeswoman, wraps her six-month run on Broadway.
We grabbed our sled dogs and mushed uptown for the chance to meet Blanchett in person. (Yes, she looks exactly the same as she does onscreen. Yes, we were nervous. Yes, that means we asked really random questions… Would you have it any other way?)
You’ve played two immortal characters: Galadriel in ‘Lord of the Rings,’ and Hela, the goddess of death, in the upcoming ‘Thor’ movie. Is there a skincare technique you use to look immortal onscreen? Some sort of seriously ageless primer?
Okay, that’s really interesting. An ageless primer… hmm… Well, first I need to give credit to my amazing makeup artist Morag Ross. I’ve worked with her for years, and she’s truly a genius. And I will say that she’s used the SK-II mist to help set my looks, because it’s hydration but not shiny. I can’t stand powder, and feeling dry on my face. This mist, I guess it is sort of an immortal primer, if you want to call it that, because it keeps the glow but also seals my makeup look in. And I’ll tell you that when I first started meeting with the Thor team about Hela, they wanted her to wear a mask the whole time.
No! She’s too cool for that.
Well, Morag and I had gone on YouTube and found all these incredible Hela makeup looks that women all over the world had done, as fans. They showed her face, and they imagined it was sort of necrotized, and it was so powerful. So I said, “Don’t you want to know what she looks like without her mask? Isn’t that more interesting?” And Morag did such an incredible job with the makeup that I think you’ll get to see my the character’s face a lot more.
What does the goddess of death get to wear?
Morag worked a lot with iridescent powders and veins in the face—I mean, she’s the goddess of death. She has to look striking, obviously.
She’s also got some serious after-party eyeliner happening.
Good, that’s what we were going for! I mean, she’s been locked in a closet for millennia.
How do you get makeup like that off, after you’ve been filming for twelve hours straight?
You know, this is a true story: I spoke to SK-II years ago and [requested] an eye makeup remover, exactly because of things like that! And they gave me this oil cleanser, and it’s what I always use on-set and onstage.
This Sakura bottle is meant for Mother’s Day. But how do you give your mother a skincare product without the implication that she needs help in the beauty department?
I mean, my mother asks for it! She’s very happy when I come back from an SK-II press trip. This is the thing: I’ve got friends in their 20’s who use anti-aging facial treatments. I’ve been using mine for over 15 years. Everyone gets obsessed with anti-aging but I’d rather look as good as I can at the age I am. And the thing about the facial treatment essence is there’s no other product like it because it’s about clarity, tone, texture, and what I’ve found is it’s given my skin elasticity. Which is great for anti-aging, but it’s not the only benefit. So if you have someone who’s sensitive about it, maybe just spin it away from aging. Say something like, “This is for you, to make you feel good.” Also, it’s very pretty. The cherry blossoms on the bottle really make it look like a gift, although do you give gifts to yourself?
Good, I do, too. I have SK-II products all over my house.
Do they ever go missing, like after you have a party?
You know, I have a friend—she works in the beauty industry—and she lines up scents in her bathroom. So when you go visit her, you can try something new, and I quite like that. So if you want to try one of my products, that’s out in full view, go for it. But if your friends are stealing your beauty products, you might want to get new friends. Or stop having parties where you don’t know everyone.
Have you thrown a rager recently?
It’s been a while. But I do think, also, that there used to be something illicit about a woman’s beauty regimen, where it had to be a “secret,” and so sometimes people would snoop because everyone’s products were behind closed doors. And I’m incredibly open about that stuff. All my friends know what I use. They’re already stocked up.
Can you talk about Ocean’s Eight at all? Did you get to pick pockets like Matt Damon?
Oh, my character doesn’t get to rob people like that. At one point, and I don’t know whether it’s in the movie or not, but I had to learn to ride a motorbike. And I did have to play a lot of poker. That’s what my character does, she plays poker. So I would play all the time with Sandra [Bullock].
Did you win?
I’ve got a really good poker face, to be honest. You just have to blank your eyes. But the bluffing of poker is where the pleasure really is, at least for me. But you know who’s a really good poker player? Ben Affleck. He is world class, as they say. I’m not there yet.
My mom plays poker, and she’s amazing. But she says sometimes people can’t read her, just because they don’t expect a woman at the table…
The idea of women playing poker, they’re not given a lot of credit. People underestimate you. Women have the power to ambush in that situation, and there’s a lot of fun and pleasure in that. But I just wish we had power, full-stop.
We’re fighting for it. We won’t stop.
Yeah, but we’ve been working on it for a couple of Millennia now. It’s been a long time since universal suffrage, and I’m sick of the old white men running the show.
What do you think is the way forward? A strike?
We have to band together, but the thing in this country is that people are terrified of losing their jobs… Maybe California needs to secede. The only thing that’ll make any difference is the money… Tax dollars and losing that amount of money. It’s one of the most economically powerful states, isn’t it? That’s where it hurts.
What about through the arts? Should political stories be given more exposure right now? What can artists do?
You know, I was talking to a theater director who I really rate. He was saying some work is overly political. If you were doing a production of Richard III right now, it wouldn’t be anything but political. But then some work deals with the kind of timeless undertones of being human. And I think it’s really important to embrace both types of work, because culture civilizes us, and that’s why every single despotic regime has tried to smash [the arts]. Because art civilizes us and it connects us and activates us. And so it’s really important to connect with compassion, with stories about people who are different from us. Moonlight is an astonishing film because it’s not overtly political, but it’s human. And that’s why it had such a big trajectory, because in the current climate, things that are true, brave human stories become political.
Many women love music festivals, art openings, ballets… but it’s harder to get some people to go see a play. What’s your advice for theater newbies?
The first thing is to accept that theater is an unknown. If you go to a concert, you know the music. If you go to an art show, you can literally see the art on your phone before you see it in person. But with theater, often times people aren’t prepared to take risks, even though that’s exactly what’s great about it. So go get a rush seat to a play, or get a really cheap ticket through an online promotion or because it’s a smaller theater. The great thing about theater is that when it’s great, you’ll remember it for the rest of your life. But if you go see ten shows, you’ll only get five—if you’re lucky—that’ll give you that experience. But the rest, at the very least, will be interesting. You will not leave the theater with nothing to talk about. For me, comedy and tragedy when you get them both in one evening, that’s the most satisfying. So I’d say, look for that.
Benedict Cumberbatch had to tell audiences to stop filming ‘Hamlet’ on their phones. Do you see smartphones onstage when you’re performing in ‘The Present’?
You do sometimes! I know actors who have stopped the show. I haven’t done that yet, but at the same time, you know, I just don’t understand it. To record something on your iPhone to be watched later, that’s like the opposite of theater. The joy of being there is experiencing it with other people. It doesn’t translate onto your phone. It’s about being present. And I can absolutely see you if you’ve got your phone up. You can’t hide it from us.
Last question: How’s Rihanna as an actress?
Oh, she’s honestly great! She’s really open and humble, and she’s got a great sense of humor. She’s got a really dry wit about her. And she’s really relaxed and natural.
Did she beat you at poker?
She never got to play! Her character is more of a computer person. But if she did start playing poker, I bet she’d be really good at it. Really good.
via Elle Magazine
Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh from The Present, on Broadway until March 19, will be interviewed in this week edition of Theater Talk, the acclaimed talk show that offers interviews with top theatre celebrities and writers. See the full schedule below!
We welcome the luminescent, yet and strikingly articulate actors Richard Roxburgh and 2-time Academy Award- winning actress Cate Blanchett, now starring on Broadway in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Present. The play is a riveting comic drama, loosely adapted by Andrew Upton from Anton Chekhov’s first play, Platonov
Friday, March 17 at 1:30 AM (Saturday morning)
Sunday, March 19 at 11:30 AM
Monday, March 20 at 5:30 PM
on CUNY TV:
Saturday, March 18 at 8:30 PM
Sunday, March 19 at 12:30 PM
Monday, March 20 at 7:30 AM, 1:30 & 7:30 PM
NEW on NYC LIFE/25:
Thursday, March 23 at 11:00 PM
Monday, March 27 at 3:30 AM
via Theater Talk
via The Mix