Warwick Thornton’s The New Boy is one of the titles being mentioned that might premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival which runs from from 16 to 27 May 2023. The film which wrapped in December 2022 is about a nine-year-old Aboriginal orphan boy who arrives at a remote monastery run by a renegade nun, Sister Eileen, played by Cate Blanchett. The same week of Cannes Film Festival, Cate will be in France for Centre Pompidou’s Todd Haynes Retrospective.
New interviews on Reader’s Digest Australia and Bold the Magazine.
Part of the interview with Bold the Magazine conducted during Berlinale, Google translated from German to English. You can purchase the magazine here.
Ms. Blanchett, prior to your role in Tár, did you have a special connection to classical music?
I’ve always liked hearing them. But as someone who doesn’t play an instrument myself, I just let great classical music overwhelm me. And sometimes just sprinkle as I have to admit to my shame, while I was doing the dishes. A composer friend of mine, whom I got to know when I was a student, was always taught that music is not something that should just run in the background. I finally took that to heart for the film and immersed myself enormously in Mahler’s symphonies because I felt I really had to catch up in terms of my understanding of music. And then finally to stand and work in a room with these exceptional musicians, that was really an experience that changed me permanently as an artist.
In your eyes, what makes this complex and complicated woman different from her work as a conductor?
For me, she was quite an enigmatic character, who I finally gained access to mainly through the realization that her life and her career just don’t follow a linear narrative. What defines her are all these individual parts of the sum of her life: that she studied in Vienna and spent five years in the Ucayali Valley in eastern Peru, that she is American, that she grew up in Staten Island and – what you see in the film now doesn’t see at all – the daughter of deaf parents is. The fact that she is 50 years old and raising a child with her partner – all these sometimes contradictory details make her a person. And the very fact that she has had a very varied career, in which she has pursued very different interests, was something I immediately felt connected to.
Right at the beginning of the film, she jokes that in the classical world, the term “diverse career” is actually meant in a rather disdainful way. Did you also have this experience in the film industry?
Having different interests and pursuing different things is probably often perceived as indecisiveness or restlessness in most industries. I actually see it more as a sign of great curiosity. When my husband and I took over the artistic direction of the Sydney Theater Company before 2008, there was a lot of misunderstanding in my industry. That was shortly before my 40th birthday, and for a film actress of that age, many saw the step as an absolute career killer. But I didn’t let that stop me – and gained experiences that shaped me forever. I’m a big fan of making counter-intuitive decisions. Even if it doesn’t fit into comfortable pigeonholing and people can’t deal with it, for example if a professional athlete also wants to play chess and piano and has a talent for all of these things.
Source: Indiewire, Deadline