Cate expectations

MUCH has been written about revered Australian actress Cate Blanchett, but chances are you didn’t know she enjoys dancing around the house listening to The Clash and Nick Cave.

That’s the appealing thing about Blanchett: even with constant media scrutiny, she manages to keep a fairly low profile and seems refreshingly normal for someone so talented and alarmingly beautiful.

She eschews an entourage and is most content when surrounded by the men in her life: writer husband Andrew Upton and sons, Dashiel, five, and Roman, three.

“I am a very private person and I’m not interested in the whole celebrity thing,” she tells Insider at the Sydney Theatre Company, where she and Upton will become co-artistic directors next year.

“Maybe that makes me too normal. I haven’t got an eating disorder, an addiction or any serious issue so I guess I should check into rehab in 10 years time, when my career is on the wane.”

It is certainly not on the wane right now.

In films to open this year, Blanchett reprises her Elizabeth I role in The Golden Age (opens November 15) and, rather surreally, plays a young Bob Dylan in I’m Not There (opens Boxing Day).

She is currently filming the latest Indiana Jones instalment in the US and was recently tagged by Time magazine as one of the world’s “most influential” people.

“I was incredibly and phenomenally honoured by that Time list but, you know, next year there will be another list so you can’t get too much of an ego boost out of it; but it was kinda nice,” she grins.

Next year, Blanchett’s focus will be on the STC when she and Upton take over from the incumbent artistic director, Robyn Nevin. The pair inherit Nevin’s 2008 program and will deliver their own program in 2009.

“It is exciting to be working with something that has such a reputation here and globally and we have great plans to take it even further,” she says.

“I am directing Blackbird (at the STC) later this year and the process of auditioning new faces for that has been a real joy.”

Away from Australia, Blanchett, who is also putting her name and face to Japanese skincare range SK-II, is in serious “action-hero” mode, playing a Russian villain in the fourth instalment of Indiana Jones, shooting in the US with director Steven Spielberg.

“I grew up watching all the preceding movies, so now to be in one will be quite strange,” she says.

“When I got the call from Spielberg, I just couldn’t pass it up. Harrison (Ford) is certainly the hero. And what is great about it is that I can go in for a few weeks and then come back to it later, as it is being filmed in stages.”

As with her approach to so many things in her life, Blanchett is charmingly down-to-earth about her beauty: “I certainly didn’t grow up being the gorgeous girl in school, so you just deal with what you’ve got. And so then when it starts to fade, you don’t feel a sense of loss and get into that cycle.”


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