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?
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.
WHAT’S YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE IN REAL LIFE?
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.
WHAT IS YOUR ATTITUDE TOWARD BEAUTY IN GENERAL?
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.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL SO BEAUTIFUL?
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.
WHEN IT COMES TO A BIG EVENT LIKE THE OSCARS, WHAT’S YOUR GETTING READY RITUAL LIKE?
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.
SPEAKING OF BEING ALIVE TO CHANGES, AND YOU’RE HERE FOR THE SK-II CHANGE DESTINY FORUM TODAY, DO YOU BELIEVE IN DESTINY?
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.
DO YOU THINK THOSE MOMENTS ARE ALWAYS LIFE’S CROSSROADS OR CAN IT BE IN A SIMPLE CHOICE LIKE TAKING A DIFFERENT ROUTE TO WORK?
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!
ARE THERE MOMENTS THAT HAVE CHANGED YOUR DESTINY?
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.