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New interviews from SK-II #changedestiny event

Two new interviews: Cate Blanchett talks about SK-II, Carol, Oscars and more!

Cate Blanchett Knows You’re Zooming in on Her Pores and She’s Cool with It

At a recent event to celebrate the launch of SK-II’s new line, Cate Blanchett apologizes for having a head cold. She can’t shake anyone’s hand and she’s sniffling, but even still the actress looks *flawless*—something she attributes in part to her consistent use of SK-II’s products. As the brand’s Global Ambassador, Blanchett is participating in SK-II’s new #ChangeDestiny campaign, which is meant to empower women around the world to affect their own circumstances. We spoke with the actress about her skincare preparation around the awards weekend, her Oscar-nominated acting work in Carol, and why Hollywood still needs to solve its gender problem.

Marie Claire: Is there any sense of relief that awards season is coming to an end?

Cate Blanchett: Yeah. I do tend to move on anyway. This is a part of my life, but it doesn’t rule my life. So I dip in and out.

MC: What sort of preparation do you do for a big awards show like the Oscars?

CB: Well, this SK-II skincare. I happen to have it here! Look, it does seem convenient, but it works. And sleep. Often with these things—because I don’t live here—I fly in the morning of. But this time I had to do a little bit of work. So I’ve had the gracious moment of having a little bit of space around the event this year. But I try and sleep.

MC: You’ve flown in the morning of the Oscars?

CB: Yeah! I have children. I’ve also left the night of. There was once where I was nominated and I was in a play in Sydney and left straight after the performance. When I got in, because you gain time, a bit like Dr. Who and the Tardis, I went straight to the theater and to the stage.

MC: Do you have a ritual or a superstition you follow before an awards show?

CB: I’m not a particularly superstitious person. I started off being one when I started onstage and I thought, I’m going to end up in a mental institution if I do this. Because I can become really really OCD. But in the lead up, if I know I’ve got a couple of events coming up or making a film, I prep. You do get scrutinized in the digital age. You know they’re zooming in on every pore, which you’ve got to forget about. And I do forget about it because I feel my skin’s in good shape. I’m the age I am, but my skin is in pretty good condition because I’ve been consistent with my skincare. I’ll use the facial treatment masks before an event and have a bath, because anything you can do to relax. When you walk that red carpet it’s big so anything you can do to feel relaxed in those environments.

MC: What do you like about the concept behind SK-II’s #ChangeDestiny campaign?

CB: I think often women can feel isolated and feel like they get into a rut and don’t quite know how to get out of it. So the message behind it is that feeling of self-empowerment, working with what you’ve got and doing the best you can. And that’s why the Internet is so fantastic and launching an idea like this on the Internet is so great, because there is a network. You can hear other people’s experiences, people who you think, Well, they’re successful in their career. You realize, in fact, there’s a road of doubt. There’s many many forks in the road, many failures, many moments of despair along that way. I feel like right now I’m at a fork in the road.

MC: You do?

CB: Yeah, you think, Well, what is my next challenge? Do I keep moving down the path that looks safe and obvious, or do I go down that path that looks slightly more murky and scary? And I think I’ll probably go down that murky, scary path of unemployment. I do like that message of self-empowerment.

MC: What’s a struggle you’ve personally overcome?

CB: I think you need to have a healthy sense of doubt because I think doubt leads to inquiry. Inquiry and curiosity is really important in any profession, but definitely in what I do. And in parallel you also need to be confident enough to try things. So it’s a tricky thing sometimes to balance those two states.

MC: Why did you want to work with director Todd Haynes again on Carol? It’s such a different role than when you played Bob Dylan in I’m Not There.

CB: That speaks to his love of what actors can do. He asks actors to such interesting things and so when you’re asked to do something interesting and you’re not asked to do the same old stuff, then actors lap that up. I certainly do. He’s such an influential filmmaker. I do find it bewildering that the costumes, two actresses, the cinematography, the screenplay, the score were nominated on Sunday, but Todd hasn’t been. And without him there would be no film.

MC: Do you think Carol failed to get a Best Picture nomination because it feels like a more feminine film than some of the others?

CB: Yes.

MC: Did you learn anything about your own womanhood making the film?

CB: I never really think about my gender, first and foremost—until a door is closed to you. Until you can see a parallel opportunity with a man in a similar place in his career and you think, That opportunity is not open to me or my fellow actresses. That’s interesting. But I don’t think about myself with gender first and foremost. So I didn’t think of Carol as being first and foremost a gay woman. I thought about her as being a woman who was experiencing a volcanic love that was forbidden, a la Romeo and Juliet. Whenever I play a role, whether it’s onstage or screen, I’m always interested in points of difference. If there’s any similarities or anything I can take away I think that happens inadvertently. But I did think a lot about Patricia Highsmith and how personal the book The Price of Salt was to her and that it was written under a pseudonym and the difference for a gay man, which of course homosexuality was illegal at the time the film was set. There wasn’t even a name for Sapphic love between women at the time. It was more considered hysteria. It wasn’t even accorded the status of being illegal. You were simply put on pills or given electroshock therapy. So I did think about the incredible bravery and sacrifice that Carol had to make.

MC: Last year Hollywood started to address the gender pay gap. What is the next big female issue they should tackle?

CB: Oh, the pay gap is still there! The thing is that these things are not fashionable. The lack of racial diversity and gender diversity and the lack of female directors—those are not fashionable issues. And they’re not issues that reside solely within the film industry. It’s a pandemic. Any industry loses its innovation and loses its access to creative juices if you don’t have progressive thinking and diversity. There’s a group that’s all about raising gender diversity on company boards. If you don’t have people at the top making progressive decisions, and thinking about their audiences—we’re 50 percent of the population watching film. This is the thing too about Carol. There’s still somehow this conservative thinking that it’s a woman’s film, but there’s lot of men who’ve gone to see it and been so moved by it. It speaks to the human experience and it’s an impeccably made film by Todd Haynes. Period. Like, I would go and see The Danish Girland I don’t think that because there’s a man in it it’s somehow a man’s film. Or I don’t look at Mad Max and think it’s a man film. But somehow there’s this trench before people will pick up the DVD and watch Carol. It’s just lazy thinking and lazy thinking is not creative or productive.

MC: Are you looking to direct films?

CB: I have in the theater. I’d love to eventually, but I also have four children and my husband has a career and directing does take a lot of time and preparation. But I would certainly love to see more female directors recognized at the Academy Awards.

via Marie Claire

Cate Blanchett Talks Red Carpet Beauty and Dates With Destiny

With her new short hair look and dreamy Armani Privé gown, Cate Blanchett owned the red carpet at last night’s Academy Awards. For Oscar night, makeup artist Jeanine Lobell laid the foundation for Blanchett’s ethereal realness by layering SK-II’s new super-charged R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Essence and R.N.A. Power Radical New Age Cream to bring her skin to life. “I started using SK-II when I was pregnant with my first child, who is now 14, so I’ve been using it for 15 years very consistently,” Blanchett tells me when we meet before Oscars night. “Obviously, if I’m going out, I’ll use the facial treatment masks or the facial treatment oil, but my routine doesn’t change very much.” Here, the Carol star discusses confidence and getting past the pressure to look a certain way on the red carpet.


In my life, I get thrown a lot of stuff—stuff that says, ‘This is the product that is going to change your life!’ That’s the stuff I tend to ignore because SK-II has worked for me so well. The new products have an amplified amount of Pitera. My feeling is that they’re going to the root of my skin and working on a deeper level than a lot of moisturizers.


It’s less is more. The less one can think about oneself the more interesting and attractive one becomes. If you think about Audrey Hepburn, I think she became more beautiful when she stopped being an actress and started working with humanitarian campaigns. The more engaged you can become the more you can shed your self-consciousness.


I don’t think about being beautiful or not being beautiful. I think my kids are beautiful. It’s more about feeling confident inside your own skin really and thinking about yourself as little as possible. Every single pore—not on the men, but on the women—is scrutinized, so I am really grateful that I feel very confident in my own skin. I am the age that I am and I am trying to do the best with what I got. I’m not dressing for anyone else. I don’t really subscribe to other people’s idea of what is beautiful. I just want to feel good.


Take a bath. Have a massage. Put on a facial mask and lie down. I am watching Making a Murderer, which is a very cheery thing to watch on the day of the Oscars, but I’ve got to finish it! That’s probably what I’m going to do on Sunday morning. But it’s like New Year’s Eve. If you over plan New Year’s Eve it’s going to be a disaster so you have to be alive to changes.


The notion of fate and destiny is a very Greek concept. Working in the theater you do think a lot about that, because as a storyteller you do think, ‘At what point was this always going to happen and what part have I got a hand in being able to change things?’ I’m not a big believer in linear paths. I would always have these sort of five-year plans and think, ‘Ok, I wouldn’t mind to try to get here in five years.’ I remember when I was 26. My father died when I was young and my mother didn’t have a lot of money, so I thought, ‘I want to own a flat by the time I’m 26.’ So I worked towards that, literally trying to scrimp and save. But sometimes those plans don’t go as you expect.


I think so. My husband jokes that when I’m driving in London I’ll always say, ‘We haven’t been down this road!’ Literally and metaphorically, I will always do that. And it doesn’t always work, you know? So you have to go ‘Well, that didn’t work,’ but you don’t beat yourself up about it because you don’t learn a lot by success. You learn an enormous lot through failure. It’s not that one tries to fail but they’re the bits that I find useful—confronting but useful!


Certainly meeting my husband and leaping off together into that unknown place that is marriage. And deciding to run the theater company. Also, I feel like I’m at a fork at the road at the moment. I think ‘What’s the next challenge for me?’ I can continue to do this thing called acting or are there other adventures alive to me? So I’m kind of looking for those.

via Elle

88th Academy Awards – Videos

88th Academy Awards – Videos

A bunch of videos from the last Oscars!

Red carpet

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

On stage (start at 00:48)

And behind the scenes with SK-II: videos and photos at Vogue Taiwan. The video can also be found at PopSugar

88th Academy Awards – First Photos

88th Academy Awards – First Photos

The biggest Award Event of the year, Cate is at the Academy Awards tonight (Best Actress Award has not been revealed yet). Wearing a beautiful gown by Armani, here are the first pictures from the evening:

First look at Cate Blanchett at the 88th Academy Awards Red Carpet

Here’s a first look at Cate Blanchett at the 88th Academy Awards Red Carpet where she’s nominated for Best Actress


New photos from the Oscars rehearsals

New photos from the Oscars rehearsals

Two new pictures and quick peek behind the scenes with The Los Angeles Times. Are you ready?

Some actors had more elaborate tasks to carry out. Talking into camera while walking across the stage through pieces of set, Oscar nominee Cate Blanchett sought help from stage manager Gary Natoli about hitting her marks. “Is it here? Ish? And angled in what fashion?”

After a giant video screen lowered above the stage began to wobble, and Blanchett tried a more leisurely walk at the director’s request, the “Carol” star said, “I don’t know if I can walk any slower than that.”

A voice boomed from the back of the room, “That’s fine.”

Blanchett, who was wearing the set of towering silver heels she plans to wear Sunday night, looked up into the crowd. “You can always recast,” she said. “A couple of drinks, anyone?”

Elizabeth Stewart reveals what is like to dress Cate Blanchett

An enlighting conversaton with one of the best stylist in the world!

I’ve been styling Cate Blanchett for more than eight years. Because of her crazy schedule, she doesn’t have a lot of time for fittings. She has a very, very busy life—she has four kids—so she tends to come in for a fitting right before the event. I really have to know what she’s going to like.

Cate and I e-mail three to four times about dresses before we meet, so there have been some back-and-forth and images exchanged. Normally we try to prep all the clothes the night before a fitting because we often start very early.

When Cate and I are together, we’re looking for pieces for several events. We’ll do our fitting in Cate’s hotel, my studio—wherever works.

Today was a usual day working with Cate: She landed from Sydney, and we went right to work on what she would wear for some upcoming television appearances and the New York premiere of Carol. I had around 10 dresses to show her, but they were a solid 10 dresses. We have to be very quick when we’re together—we never have the luxury of a three-hour meeting. We fit about 20 events in less than an hour. Pictures are very critical during the process; we photograph everything. If I’m sending her off on a press tour, everything’s packed together, and there’s a PDF that describes exactly what the dress is, what it’s for, what accessories go with it. It’s very well documented.

One of my most memorable moments with Cate was one year at the Oscars when she was about eight months pregnant and wore the Dries Van Noten dress. She arrived that morning and tried on her dress for the first time, and then wore it. She’s really decisive. Six months before, literally all she said was, “I think I’d like to wear Dries to the Oscars,” and that was that. It just went from there. She will just drop something, and I’ll go with it.

She also loves new designers, so we really stay on top of that as well. For example, she wore this tattoo dress by Yacine Aouadi in New York, then an Esteban Cortazar piece to the London premiere of Carol. She is intensely curious; she’ll send me an e-mail about a designer and say, “What about this person?” And it’s always someone I’ve never even heard of, which is amazing.

After the fitting, we’re in the car, going to different events. We all eat in the car, or wherever we are. Everyone gets very mad at me because I always want to get In-N-Out Burger. Once I was in Tokyo with Cate and the whole team, and they all love sushi, so that’s what we ate every day for lunch.

Keep in mind, we’re also driving around with the big gowns in the car—they have to get from place to place. Cate’s team travels in the same car, so we’ll plan and chat about all of her upcoming events. Recently there was a dress designed for Marc Jacobs’s spring show, which for one reason or another did not make it onto the runway. When we were searching for a dress for the 27th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala in January, they sent it to us as an option, and we loved it.

via Harper’s Bazaar

New video and interviews from SK-II #changedestiny LA Forum

New video and interviews from SK-II #changedestiny LA Forum

Hello everyone! A video from the red carpet

another one, during the Google live chat, after the forum,

and a short trascript from the conversation

1) Talking about change in destiny, what is one thing you will not change in life?

Self respect, always love yourself.

2) What’s your advice for women who want empower themselves in their specialties?

I think women who want to progress and move ahead in their chosen field should be admired. I believe that the journey is the key, and to stop and reflect along the way so that we aren’t just solely looking at the end goal. We need to have a sense of enjoyment and accomplishment along the way.

3) Could you share 3 beauty tips (mentally and physically) for the day before Oscars red carpet and to keep healthy and perfect skin all the time?

For me the Oscars award ceremony is about trying to have fun. The selection of the dress and the hair and makeup is a joy and something I really enjoy. So I would normally start with a massage, followed by an SKII mask, then hair and makeup. In the lead up to the event, in adition to my usual SK-II skincare routine I would apply a mask everyday so that my skin is super hydrated.

My make-up artist Jeanine Lobell, also loves to use the SK-II Facial Treatment Oil mixed in with the foundation to help keep my skin hydrated and ensure a dewy finish.

Smile. I think everyone looks best when they show up with a smile. It is about enjoying the moment and having a good time.

via Vnikali

Another interview, for the Chinese public.

Gallery Links:

2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards – Photos

2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards – Photos

Cate Blanchett attended the Film Independent Spirit Awards earlier this evening where she was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Carol, but the Award went to Brie Larson. Here are the first photos!

88th Academy Awards – Rehearsals

The 88th Academy Awards will be tomorrow, and since Cate will be presenting an Award, she went to the Rehearsals today, here is a picture:

SK-II – Change Destiny Forum

SK-II – Change Destiny Forum

Cate also attended the #changedestiny Forum, promoted by SK-II, I uploaded over 700 photos to the gallery, enjoy!

Foreign Language Film Award Directors Reception by the AMPAS – Photos

Foreign Language Film Award Directors Reception by the AMPAS – Photos

Yesterday, Cate attended the Foreign Language Film Award Directors Reception by the Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts, here are some pictures:

Four new interviews with Cate Blanchett

Four new interviews with Cate Blanchett

As I’m writing this post, Cate Blanchett is attending the Indipendent Spirit Awards. Yesterday she walked down the red carpet of the SK-II #changedestiny Forum in L.A. Here the interviews from the evening.

Cate Blanchett Reveals the Unglamourous Thing She’ll Be Doing Sunday Morning Before the Oscars

Cate Blanchett looks absolutely radiant in person. Which is why I was surprised to learn during our sit-down interview on Friday afternoon in Los Angeles, that she is in the midst of recovering from a pretty bad head cold, just a day before the Academy Awards. But the Australian actress, who is nominated for Best Actress for her role in Carol, isn’t letting a raspy voice and a little congestion put a damper on her party. “What I have to do is get a Vitamin B shot in my butt, if you really want to know,” Blanchett bluntly blurts out as she simultaneously starts chucking. “So that’s what I’ll be doing Sunday morning.”

Somehow a shot in the rear still sounds glam coming from Blanchett, who revealed she has narrowed down her Oscars gown to two final choices and wont decide “till I wake up Sunday morning,” She is poised, whip smart, sarcastic, and absolutely hilarious. And so our conversation continues forward to how the statuesque star is prepping for one of the biggest nights in her career.

“I think about my skin care more,” says the SK-II spokeswoman, who clearly doesn’t need to with one look at her porcelain complexion. “I’ll put a facial treatment mask on beforehand, because anything you can do to feel unselfconscious and confident when you’ve got all those cameras looking at you on Sunday is good.”

No doubt the actress will slay on the red carpet in whichever gown she chooses (when does she not), but there’s one accessory you likely won’t see the star accentuating her dress with.

“I’m not really a clutch girl,” she states. “Normally my agent hates me on the way there because it’s a long trip [down the carpet] and I ask her every five seconds ‘do I have enough lipstick on?’ She goes, ‘Yes.’ There’s a silence. I go, ‘do I have enough lipstick on?’ So I normally ask her to carry lipstick. And then we carry my mobile phone so I can call my kids and then I’ll take the SK-ll Essence along in my bag. Because it’s a very long night.”

We can’t wait to see the star hit the carpet on Sunday at  the 86thannual Academy Awards.

via Instyle

Cate Blanchett On The Incredible Media Scrutiny Women Face In Hollywood

The Oscar nominee opens up about “Carol,” beauty and critics.

On Sunday, Cate Blanchett will spend her day getting ready for the 88th annual Academy Awards — she’ll get her hair and makeup done, put on a gorgeous gown, walk the red carpet and then sit among her Hollywood peers as the Academy celebrates some of the finest films and performances of 2015.

She’s done this before, of course. The celebrated Australian star has won two Oscars (Best Supporting Actress for “The Aviator” and Best Actress for “Blue Jasmine”) and has been nominated for several more, including Best Actress for this year’s “Carol.”

Still, Blanchett says, it doesn’t get old; attending the Oscars feels new nearly every time.

“I’ve been fortunate,” she told The Huffington Post in an interview. “Each time I’ve had the privilege of being there, it’s with work that I’m proud of … I’m talking about the films — because you don’t get there by yourself. You have to be directed well and you have to be working opposite good people and you have to be lit well and have a good script.”

All those pieces came together with “Carol.” Directed by Todd Haynes (“I’m Not There”), the film, set in the 1950s and co-starring Rooney Mara, explores the romance that develops between the titular character and an aspiring female photographer as they work together in a department store. 

“Carol” wowed audiences in 2015 at the Cannes Film Festival, going on to become a critics’ favorite in the lead-up to awards season. It racked up six Oscar nominations, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Supporting Actress for Mara. The film had been in the works for a while, stemming back to 1997, when Phyllis Nagy wrote the first draft of the screenplay. From the start, Blanchett believed in the movie and knew that as soon as Haynes and Mara came on board it would become something special.

“I’d been with the project for a long time and through a lot of ups and downs and I knew that this story, it was incredibly compelling. I found it moving. I found it unique — speaking to the whole kind of notion that love is love is still kind of revolutionary, which seems kind of ridiculous in 2016, but there you have it,” Blanchett said.

She describes the production of “Carol” as a labor of love for everyone involved, saying, “The experience of making it was incredibly unique and special and the film exceeded even the experience of making it.”

So it comes as no surprise that Blanchett is looking forward to celebrating the film and all of the people behind it — from the set and costume designers, to the lighting crew — at the Oscars. 

On Sunday, she will spend the day prepping for her red carpet appearance.

“For award shows, you have to get ready at the crack of dawn and sit in the car for four-and-a-half hours before you get on the red carpet and run the gauntlet,” she said, adding that with all the hoopla comes a certain level of media scrutiny about looks and attire.

“I can only speak for my industry, although I think a woman’s appearance is scrutinized in industries where that’s utterly irrelevant,” Blanchett, 46, told HuffPost.

That said, it’s not utterly irrelevant in Hollywood. It’s actually, oftentimes, the opposite in the midst of the paparazzi, media and critics. And Blanchett says that judgement over appearance and aging can actually affect the work itself.

“Particularly with women, there’s an incredible amount of scrutiny on what you’re wearing, how your skin looks, all of that stuff … Whilst you know I adore costume. I relish the chance to wear a dress that I may have no other place to wear in my life apart from a red carpet.” But not, she says, when it “eclipses the reason why you’re there,” which is to celebrate the work itself.

“I think that there’s an incredible amount of scrutiny, which can lead to pressure … It can lead to consciousness,” she said. “In my industry, which I can only speak for, if you start to become self-conscious, it’s actually the enemy of the place to make work from.”

For her part, Blanchett tries not to overthink being under the entertainment microscope or get too overly conscious about looking the part. She does admit, however, that her skin gets “beaten around a bit with with the travel” — not to mention spending some 80 hours a week on a film set. 

In order to look and feel her best, Blanchett tries to get a good night sleep whenever she can, one of her top priorities. She’ll sneak in a face mask while on the plane. Overall, she tries to keep things consistent. The mother-of-four started using SK-II products — from the moisturizer to the serum — about 15 years ago when she was pregnant with her first son. She still uses the same skin products today and has been a longtime spokesperson for the brand.

“I think it’s important to silo that stuff,” she said about scrutiny, no matter what field you’re in. “You realize that there are parts that you can take charge of. You can take charge of looking after yourself, if you have the time. You work with what you’ve got and you try to do the best you can.”

via The Huffington Post

What Cate Blanchett does before the Oscars

Cate Blanchett has been nominated for an Oscar six times already, and is in the running yet again for Best Actress for Carol tomorrow. We catch up with her just before the big night

Cate Blanchett is one of the most compelling and lauded actresses of her generation — and is admired for her poise, grace, beauty and intelligence. From her breakout role as Queen Elizabeth in Elizabeth to playing living legend Bob Dylan in I’m Not There, it seems there’s no role this fearless performer won’t take on.

A two-time Oscar winner, for Best Supporting Actress in The Aviator and as Best Actress in Blue Jasmine, she’s in the running yet again for Best Actress for her title role in Todd Haynes’ Carol. Find out what skincare products the SK-II ambassador finds indispensable before awards season, how fear plays an interesting role in her career choices and what her winning Oscar song — is there even such a thing? — would be.

Do you ever feel the pressure in Hollywood to look younger and go for anti-ageing treatments like Botox and fillers?
I don’t think that those things make people look younger… I think they make them look different. My face is part of my tool, and the idea of freezing it or not allowing it to go through the natural changes seems an anathema.

I subscribe much more to the idea of working with what you’ve got. I enjoy the process of change and the consistency of using SK-II over the last 15 years has meant that my skin is in a better condition than it was when I was 25. To give in to that level of panic is not particularly useful as an actress.

What products do you use on your face every day? And do you do anything special for the Oscar weekend?
I use the SK-II LXP range every day. And when I’m under a lot of scrutiny during Oscar weekend, I’ll use the Facial Treatment Mask. And I love the Facial Treatment Oil — it’s a bit of a miracle product for me and I’m so pleased to have discovered it.

I’m so basic and lazy. As long as I drink enough water and try to get sleep, I don’t change my skin routine very much. I would go for a good massage or an acupuncture facial to take the stress off your face. I’m a big subscriber to acupuncture. And I’m planning to have a massage on Oscar Sunday.

What’s the best beauty advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t try and tan yourself. I try to stay out of the sun. Sun damage on the skin gets worse as we get older.

What’s your decision making process when you come across a new role?
My career involves taking on roles that other people have turned down… such as when actors think they’re too small or their agents say it doesn’t pay enough money. I love a challenge. I like that leap into the void. For me, I feel that you don’t learn a lot from your successes, you learn a lot from your failures… and that’s terrifying.

If perhaps someone else has turned a role down, I think, “Why have they turned it down?” If I pick up a script and I can imagine myself doing it, I put it down. It’s the roles where I have no idea how to do them and where to start that I take on.

What projects do you have coming up next?
I feel like I’m at an exciting crossroads because I am risking not knowing what’s coming next. I am going to get fit. [She is set to play a villain in Marvel’s Thor:Raganok] I’ve been looking after my skin for so many years, but not my exercise regimen. I might actually develop a few muscles. I haven’t started training, but I’m going to change my destiny tomorrow!

What was it like to portray Carol?
It is a very quiet, lonely process. Both women were totally isolated, they didn’t fit into a niche group and there was no language around same sex relationships as there is today. But the challenge for me, was trying to embody an object of desire, which was a very objective space. The challenge particularly, was to develop a mask that became increasingly thin as the process wore on, and to get a sense of the allure of Carol.

Who do you think are the best Oscar contenders this year and why?
It’s very hard. It’s not a horse race. The remarkable thing about this year is that there have been some extraordinary performances for women and many extraordinary performances that were not nominated. It doesn’t mean that they were not worthy of it or that the any of us who are nominated are entitled to be there. It’s very subjective. I don’t know how to answer that.

If you win the Oscar, what would be your victory song?
It’ll be something from Bob Dylan. Don’t Think Twice it’s Alright probably.

via Buro 24/7

This last interview has a different tone: Cate Blanchett talks about Truth, her family and The Present.

Cate Blanchett: ‘A lot of people thought I was having some sort of early midlife crisis’

Cate Blanchett was brought up in a family of strong women and has just adopted a baby girl. No wonder she’s using her Oscar-winning clout to start producing her own films, fight for women’s rights and equal pay, and to tell the story of the investigative journalist Mary Mapes.

Cate Blanchett is forthright, funny and exceedingly good company. She is also astonishingly beautiful, but today, sitting in a hotel room in London to talk about her forthcoming film Truth, she hasn’t felt the need to put on the red-carpet style. Dressed in jeans and a loose sweatshirt with what appear to be cartoon fluffy sheep all over the front, her hair is scraped back, her face free of make-up. She looks… tired.

Blanchett and her husband, the playwright Andrew Upton, have three boys aged 13, 11 and seven, and a daughter who has just turned one. ‘Like any working mother, you just make the time for everything,’ she says. ‘What you don’t get is a lot of sleep, but it’s fine. I don’t think I’ve ever really slept that much.’

When we meet, she’s just been in New York for a short run of the Jean Genet play The Maids, adapted by Upton. Then she did a series of interviews leading up to the UK premiere of Carol, the rather beautiful Todd Haynes-directed Sapphic romance that has attracted Oscar attentionfor both Blanchett (her eighth nomination) and her co-star Rooney Mara. Now she’s fitting in some promotion for Truth, with Robert Redford and Dennis Quaid, before flying home to Sydney.

‘You feel like you’re saying the same thing over and over again, and by the time you’re done you really do want to take a bath, put some gaffer tape over your mouth and take a vow of silence,’ she declares. ‘You get so sick of the sound of your own voice.’

She and Upton moved back to their native Australia in 2006, taking over as joint artistic directors of the Sydney Theatre Company in 2008. It’s quite a feat, working together in such a high-profile way as well as raising a family, but she says it’s all about communication. ‘We would divvy it up in a fluid way that perhaps only a married couple could. We’ve always talked. He’s the first person I met who I could deeply talk about work with, and I think we’ve kept each other healthy in that way because you can go a bit bonkers. And I’m bonkers enough! We’ve never been competitors, and we’ve never shied away from robust argument.’

Blanchett is proud of what they have achieved there, putting on 16-19 shows a year over four stages, making the organisation environmentally sustainable, and touring productions internationally. ‘It was a lot of work, but it was in partnership. And it meant that I absented myself from filmmaking for six years. There were a lot of people who I could tell were thinking, “You’re in your late 30s, and the film industry’s not going to be your friend forever. Is this really the time?” They thought I was having some sort of early midlife crisis, but Andrew and I knew the wealth of talent in Australia, and it’s our creative wellspring. So to return to that community and to be inside it was game-changing for us.’

She stepped down from her full-time role at the theatre in 2013, but continued to star in STC productions while Upton carried on as artistic director till the end of 2015. So her film work was still limited. ‘What prevents me from picking and choosing is my geographical location and my desire to not have someone else raise my children.’

Although Truth is set in America, it’s a sign of Blanchett’s standing that the whole production was moved to Australia once she showed interest. ‘Most of the film happens in interiors, so we ran the numbers and it was possible for it to be filmed in Sydney – which I was really thrilled about, because it meant I could do it. I read the script and found it gripping, shocking, surprising and really fascinating.’

Set in 2004, just before George W Bush was elected as president for the second time, Truth follows award-winning CBS News producer Mary Mapes (Blanchett) and her team as they prepare a story on Bush’s dubious military record, a story that was ultimately to cost Mapes her job and force veteran newsman Dan Rather (Robert Redford) to resign from the network’s flagship show 60 Minutes.

Based on Mapes’s own book about the incident, it rattles along at the pace of a good thriller, offering a real insight into how TV news is made, and examining the shift from old-school investigative journalism to the brave new world of infotainment.

‘In the same way that All the President’s Men is not about Nixon, Truth is not about George W Bush,’ says Blanchett. ‘Even though it’s about a very particular moment in recent American history, it speaks universally to the state of media in the West, and that dangerous proximity of politics, big business and the corporatisation of media. It was the questions that the film was asking that I was primarily interested in – and then I met Mary, and I found her completely compelling, hilarious and wry.’

Mapes was riding a career high in 2004, having broken a string of high-profile stories, including the abuse of prisoners by US soldiers in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. At first, the story Dan Rather presented on air that September seemed to be yet another scoop, alleging that strings had been pulled to allow Bush to sit out the Vietnam War by serving in the National Guard, and that he’d failed to show up for such commitments as a routine medical.

But the Right rallied in spectacular fashion, and within hours the internet was alight with speculation that some crucial memos from one of Bush’s commanding officers were fakes. The debate suddenly became not about whether Bush unfairly evaded the Vietnam draft, or whether he had absented himself from duty with the National Guard, but whether typewriters could produce certain characters in the late 1960s. (They could, but this information was drowned out by a rising tide of personal abuse aimed at Mapes.)

The truth of the story, and the corroborating evidence that Mapes and her team had found to support it, were lost in the noise. CBS quickly chose to apologise instead of defending its story, Rather stepped down, and after an inquiry Mapes was fired. She has never worked in TV again.

‘The conservatives basically played a political parlour trick on the country,’ Mapes explains on the phone from her home in Dallas. ‘Everyone’s talking about fonts and typewriters, and it’s a forest for the trees situation. If you tell a lie loudly enough, and long enough and strong enough, pretty soon it’s not a lie any more. It becomes the truth.’

In the US, reviews of the film indicate how polarising the Bush-National Guard story still is, and Blanchett says it is still too toxic to discuss. ‘Quite a few journalists want to distance themselves from what they perceive to be a series of catastrophic bunglings. So I kept saying, “OK, but what did you think of the story?” and still no one wants to talk about it, which I find fascinating.

Blanchett is wary of drawing too many parallels between her own life and that of the characters she plays, but she and Mapes both grew up in households dominated by women. (Mapes’s estranged father was an alcoholic, who left her mother to raise five girls alone; Blanchett’s father died of a heart attack when she was 10.)

Blanchett grew up in Melbourne, the middle of three children. Her mother, June, gave up her job as a teacher and launched a career as a property developer in order to support her children and send them to private school. ‘She was very resilient,’ Blanchett says, ‘and my grandmother had always lived with us so I grew up in a female household.’

People often ask her about her father’s death, she adds, trying to draw some sort of narrative line that she suspects isn’t really there. ‘As a child, you incorporate those losses, those hurdles, those moments of grief or challenge or whatever it is. We all have them. My life has been relatively privileged, but I think perhaps I developed enormous empathetic connection with my mother because I could see the hurdles – financial and emotional ­–­ that she had to get over. But she was determined that we would have a good education, for which I’m incredibly grateful. Not that I did massively well at school, but I had a lot of fantastic experiences there. Our school plays were all devised by the students, and if we were doing Macbeth, then the girls took turns in playing Macbeth as well as Lady Macbeth because they wanted us to have that Shakespearean experience.’

Last March Blanchett and Upton extended their own family by adopting a baby daughter, Edith. I ask if it feels different, having a girl after giving birth to three boys. ‘The first time I changed her nappy, it was a bit, “Oh, how do I do that?”?’ she says with a smile. ‘Which is ridiculous given that I’m equipped with the same apparatus!’

The process of adopting is as rigorous in Australia as it is in the UK, and the boys were involved at every stage. ‘All the children were interviewed as a family, they were interviewed individually and separately from us.’ She is enormously proud, she says, seeing them all mesh together. ‘You must remember those Sunday afternoons when your parents are doing something, and you’re off in this whole other world. Watching that now, you feel you’re fostering this unit that will be there long after you’re gone. I find it very, very moving.’

None of them enjoys seeing her on stage. ‘Andrew just did this wonderful kind of reinvention of [Chekhov’s unfinished first play] Platonov, which he called The Present, which I was in. My seven-year-old had never seen me on stage and he really wanted to go and see his dad’s writing. It was a matinee, and he sat up the back with the usher, because Andrew had to take the other boys somewhere else. In the first act, there’s one point where I come down and look towards the audience, and I could see him waving madly at the back.’

Five minutes later, when she was briefly offstage, she noticed he was at the vending machine outside the green room. ‘He didn’t make it through the first act! They know you with baby vomit on your pyjamas, and so to see you made up, pretending to be someone else, or in interview mode where you’re trying to string a sentence together, they just think it is really weird. It makes them feel uncomfortable.’

Her eldest son, Dashiell, frets about her film choices, too. ‘He asked when I was going to do a blockbuster, and I said, “Well, what’s The Lord of the Rings?” and he said, “But you’re hardly in it!”?’ She laughs. ‘He gets worried about my career path.’

Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Present will open on Broadway later this year with Blanchett starring, and Upton has said the whole family will move to New York – for a while, at least.

via The Daily Telegraph

Celebrities Read Mean Tweets – Movie Edition

Jimmy Kimmel did it again! Cate Blanchett reads for the second time a mean tweet about herself. Watch the video!

Gallery Links:

New promotional interviews for ‘Truth’

New promotional interviews for ‘Truth’

A video interview, recorded few months ago,

Gallery Links:

and a recent interview with Vogue

It’s hard to think of many moments in the past decade when it could not have been said that Cate Blanchett was having kind of a big year. With that caveat: Cate Blanchett had a pretty big 2015.

This fall saw the release of two much-anticipated Blanchett vehicles: Carol, director Todd Haynes’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt, and Truth, director James Vanderbilt’s adaptation of disgraced CBS News producer Mary Mapes’s 2005 memoir, Truth and Duty: The Press, The President, and the Privilege of Power.

Carol is the story of a forbidden mid-20th-century love affair between the titular character (Blanchett), a glamorous, wealthy middle-aged wife and mother, fighting for custody of her young daughter in the midst of a vicious divorce, and Therese (Rooney Mara), an aspiring photographer tentatively exploring the bounds of her own sexuality. Gorgeously art-directed and subtly told, Haynes’s film was revered by critics and recognized with six Oscar nominations, including nods for Blanchett and Mara (though notably not for Haynes in the coveted Best Director or Best Picture categories).

Truth, released only about a month before Carol, received less fanfare and was met with more controversy. In Vanderbilt’s film, Blanchett plays Mapes, the Texas-based 60 Minutes producer who was herself, in 2004, having kind of a big year. First she helped break the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse story, a segment that would go on to win a Peabody Award. Then she uncovered evidence that President George W. Bush received preferential treatment during his service in the Texas Air National Guard. Under a time crunch, Mapes produced that piece with her mentor, longtime CBS Evening News anchor Dan Rather (played by Robert Redford), their case hinging on a series of damning memos leaked by a somewhat wobbly source.

The story may have had truth to it, but the authenticity of the memos was called into question, and the oversight became a major national news event, a high-profile humiliation for CBS, and eventually cost both Mapes and Rather their jobs. Vanderbilt’s film, based on Mapes’s account, skews sympathetic to her team of journalists, seen as thrown under the bus by network brass kowtowing to conservative corporate overlords with not-so-hidden political agendas.

Some critics heaped praise on Vanderbilt’s efforts. Others took offense to what they saw as glorification of bad journalism. (This charge landed particularly hard when Spotlight’s homage to painstaking reportorial process hit theaters only a few weeks later.)

But most agreed that Blanchett had turned in another captivating, nuanced performance as the besieged Mapes, suddenly in the midst of the sort of career-ending controversy that is every journalist’s nightmare, in a political climate deeply hostile to any perceived liberal bias.

Truth came out on DVD a couple weeks ago, which offered an occasion to get Blanchett on the phone. A little more than a week ahead of next Sunday’sAcademy Awards, we chatted about Truth, Carol, and the “conservatism” of the Oscar race.

The agenda for this interview is technically the DVD release of Truth. I feel this movie got a bit lost in the hubbub over Carol.
It’s never a happy moment when you’ve got two films coming out on top of one another, particularly two films that I felt equally passionate about. But that was unfortunately outside of my control.

I think it’s interesting that there were two really different films made about the process of putting stories together, Spotlight and Truth. It’s still, in a way, much easier for an audience, and for the media, to process the hideous and destructive transgression of the Catholic Church than to discuss the unhealthy crucible of American politics, media, and big business. It’s a very complex and unexamined relationship those three entities have. I think it needs to be talked about.

And the timing is interesting, that this came out during our current insane election cycle, and that it takes place during Bush’s re-election in 2004.
But you know, that’s when a lot of the spin in American politics started to ramp up. It became a real whirligig during that second Bush election. Certainly in the first Bush election. But one transgression, one event just rolled into the other, undiagnosed, unprocessed. It’s the 24-hour news cycle.

I’ll call him the character of Dan Rather, even though this is based on true events, but he harks back to a time when that cycle did not exist. That beast has to keep being fed, whether that information is true or accurate or otherwise.

Do you remember when the story on which Truth is based broke?
I remember the Abu Ghraib story. I remember there being a question mark over Bush’s service in the National Guard. But I didn’t know anything about the personal fallout for Mary Mapes. That was all really from Mary’s memoir. It’s important when playing a role like that to try and canvass and understand everyone’s opinion. Mary’s memoir was certainly warts and all. So that was a real revelation to me. I said, “Why hasn’t this been discussed?”

The interesting thing, too: [In the aftermath of the discrediting of Mapes’s reporting,] she was still an employee of CBS, even though she was suspended, and she was told not to speak to anybody until the so-called independent panel held at Black Rock had taken place. Whether you agree with the story going ahead or not, for one party to be silenced and the other to have all the airtime seems slightly undemocratic.

It strikes me that in both of your major films this year, Carol and Truth, you play women who have been subjected to a certain degree of oppression from the establishment. For Carol, in the 1950s, that treatment was certainly both anti-gay and deeply sexist. Do you feel Mary Mapes’s treatment was sexist?
I think the environment in which she worked was. But I think that’s the same in every single industry. I think the attacks on her were definitely to do with her gender. It’s really interesting. I just spoke to a male journalist. One of the first things he said was: Your portrayal of Mary is not sympathetic. I remember, years ago, I played an Irish journalist called Veronica Guerin. A lot of producers went to absolute lengths to justify how, as a mother, she could place herself in a dangerous position. That’s not a question you would ever ask of a male journalist.

Both movies actually have quite interesting takes on motherhood.
What I liked about Truth is that James Vanderbilt’s script didn’t overplay the mother card. Mary was a mother, her husband was a journalist. He was based in Dallas, she came and went. The film doesn’t justify how she can operate as a mother, which I think is probably some progress in cinematic storytelling from 15 years ago, when I made this other film.

You’re up for an Oscar for Carol. This year has had a particularly political run-up to the ceremony. You’ve generally had a way of staying above the Hollywood fray. Have you deliberately stayed out of that conversation?
You mean, in terms of films like Beasts of No Nation and Straight Outta Compton not being [nominated]?

Yes, exactly.
Yeah. Not deliberately. I think every year it’s important to remember: A healthy Academy, a healthy industry, is a diverse industry. A monochromatic industry is never creative.

I think what [also] needs to be remembered every year—because it doesn’t seem to shift ever—is where are the female directors? Where are the women Best Actors who are in movies made for more than a wing and a prayer? Let’s get to first base on that one. Somebody!

There’s a conservatism at work on many levels. I hazard a guess that there are many Academy members who didn’t even see films like Carol who said, “Aww, this is just a film about two women who fall in love. I don’t know if that’s going to appeal to me.”

I think it’s important to be open-minded. Todd [Haynes] has directed an extraordinary film. It’s resonated with critics and audiences. In the end that’s the most important thing. Todd has been doing this for so long, and has been so influential because he’s got an outsider’s perspective. What he’s done with Carolis he’s brought the authenticity of that perspective but made a completely insidefilm. And I think that’s a quiet revolution. For his work not to be recognized, I find it bewildering.

18th Costume Designer Guild Awards – Videos

18th Costume Designer Guild Awards – Videos

The first videos from the 18th Costume Designer Guild Awards!

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