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.
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.”
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.