PaleyFest LA has uploaded the virtual panel discussion with the cast and producers of Mrs. America. Also, two more interviews were released as part of Stateless promo. Enjoy!
PaleyFest LA has uploaded the virtual panel discussion with the cast and producers of Mrs. America. Also, two more interviews were released as part of Stateless promo. Enjoy!
Hello, everyone. Cate interviewed Fayssal Bazzi last July for Interview Magazine and there was a virtual press junket over zoom for the promo of the series.
Earlier this month, Netflix released Stateless, an Australian drama miniseries that traces the seemingly disparate experiences of an airline hostess (Yvonne Strahovski of The Handmaid’s Tale) fleeing a cult, an Afghan refugee (Fayssal Bazzi) fleeing persecution, and a young Australian father (Jai Courtney) in search of stable work. The trio’s lives converge in an immigration detention center in the middle of the Australian desert, revealing the nation’s dark history of imposing mandatory detention on immigrants who arrive on its shores without visas.
The project, executive produced by Cate Blanchett, the Australian national treasure and Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations’s High Commissioner for Refugees, was no easy feat to realize. For Blanchett, who has worked for years to enact reform surrounding the Western world’s treatment of refugees, Stateless is a labor of love. The actor spent six years combatting heavy social pressure in her homeland in order to bring the project to life, and in the month since its release, the miniseries has generated a considerable reaction across the globe.
A major source of Stateless’s positive reception is Fayssal Bazzi’s portrayal of Ameer, a father of two who sacrifices himself to ensure his family is smuggled to safety. Bazzi’s visceral performance stems from first-hand experience: at just three-and-a-half years old, the actor fled the Lebanese civil war with his parents and embarked upon the endless journey of combatting racial prejudice in Australia, his adopted home. For Bazzi, Stateless was an opportunity to portray a three-dimensional character, not a pigeon-holed stereotype, and to act alongside former refugee detainees at the detention center where much of the series is filmed. Over just six episodes, Bazzi delivers a heartrending performance that has placed him at the center of a cultural conversation that often disregards the humanity of immigrant lives. Though he never managed to “tread the boards” alongside Blanchett (who makes a glittering cameo as a suburban cult leader), the pair are confident that there will be plenty of opportunities down the line.
To celebrate the show’s success, Blanchett hopped on Zoom with Bazzi to discuss everything from the experiences that inspire his craft to the glory of growing a full beard. —MARA VEITCH
CATE BLANCHETT: Oh, hello! Are you in Sydney?
FAYSSAL BAZZI: I am in Sydney. It is a crisp Friday morning, 6:30AM and there is nothing I would rather be doing than speaking to you.
BLANCHETT: He’s just done his workout, of course. I thought that the last time we spoke virtually, you were in Los Angeles. Are you time traveling right now? Are you space shipping?
BAZZI: I wish I could be.
BLANCHETT: Or were you pretending? Were you using one of those Zoom backdrops? You’re in Hong Kong one day and in Shanghai the next…
BAZZI: Yeah. You’ll see that today. I’m just going to keep changing locations after every question.
BLANCHETT: To the envy of millions. One gift that COVID has given us is that we get up earlier than we ordinarily do; although we’re actors, so we are used to getting up at ‘the dawn of crack,’ as they say.
BAZZI: I was actually trying to think of the last time I’d gotten up at this hour, and it was this time last year filming Stateless. I actually do love an early morning, especially when I’ve got something creative to do.
BLANCHETT: And also, I mean, I don’t want to sound like I’m working for Tourism Port Augusta, but the light on the Australian desert at that time of morning is something to behold. I do think it’s quite spectacular.
BAZZI: It is absolutely stunning. I think that was one of the major benefits of early mornings and late finishes on set. The sunrises and the sunsets just look incredible. The sun setting over the rocks. I can still picture it now. It takes me back.
BLANCHETT: You don’t go to Port Augusta for the cuisine, but—
BAZZI: Actually, Port Augusta has a pretty good roast chicken shop that Yvonne [Strahovski, Bazzi’s costar in Stateless] and I would visit most days for a chook, so before you go bad mouthing the cuisine, I think you’ve got to try their rotisserie chicken.
BLANCHETT: I think the catering on set by some of the refugee cooks was probably far better than the chook shop, but I’m not going to challenge you too quickly on that one. Before we launch into the tea, have you been okay? I mean, how are you holding up? These are bewildering and heartbreaking days.
BAZZI: I was in a weird position, where my plan for the rest of the year was to go to L.A. for a few months and try to get some management. I was going to do publicity for a movie I’ve got coming out. So, my whole year’s trajectory was away from home. I’ve really just had to change courses and reassess what I’m doing now. I’m not one to just sit at home, so it’s been a nice break, considering. I’m trying to look at the positives in everything. I am ready for work, whatever that may be. I’m ready to dive into something.
BLANCHETT: There’s been a monumental creative recalibration, hasn’t there? But I think if there’s any industry that’s going to emerge from this, it’s going to be the creative industries, because we’re so used to dealing with challenges and finding different ways.
BLANCHETT: You have such an extensive background in theater. You’re like me, a theater animal. You and Marta [Dusseldorp] were unable to join us in Berlin when we launched Stateless to a European audience because you were on stage with Deep Blue Sea. What do you love most about performing for a live audience?
BAZZI: I guess it’s the fact that you’re creating every night, but every night is different. It’s a singular experience that you’re sharing with everyone in the audience and in the production. The ability to take people away from their daily lives and transport them somewhere in telling a story. I love doing screen work, but you just don’t get that buzz that you do from a theater crowd. I cannot wait until we’re back in theaters again at full force. That’s going to be my first port of call, just sitting in an audience and being one with the hive mind being affected by the artist on that stage.
BLANCHETT: There’s kind of a mystical, ancient call to gather with people. I think that’s what everyone I’ve spoken to is really missing. It’s a live experience. And we’ve all survived on being told stories with streaming, which is great, but you can’t supplant that live connection that you get between actor and audience, between story and audience. Do you find that, as someone of Lebanese and Syrian heritage, that there’s a more elastic sense of what is possible within theater than the more literal casting that happens in film?
BAZZI: Absolutely. I think with theater, if I walk on stage, I’m whatever I say I am. In the screen realm, sometimes producers and companies overthink it and go, “Oh, this’ll never happen.” One of my favorite experiences was watching August: Osage County on Broadway in 2012, I think it was. They had an African American woman as the matriarch. The rest of the cast were white and you don’t even think twice about it. Theater gets audiences into the habit of accepting anything in a story, because they want to be transported. They don’t really care about the politics.
BLANCHETT: The imaginative space is so large in theater that it transcends the literal. I think that’s often the struggle one has in television as well, because it’s all about the believability of the narrative. And so that sometimes it can tend towards the literal. So, casting opportunities have, probably up until relatively recently, been very literal and small.
BAZZI: Yeah, that’s been my experience coming up in the industry. I mean, I’ve been a professional actor now for 17 years and when I first started it was right after 9/11, so a lot of the opportunities that I was being offered on screen weren’t things I really wanted to pursue because I didn’t want to be a stereotype. I wanted to be a three-dimensional character with a story with a history.
BLANCHETT: So what made you actually want to get into acting in the first place? Is that something you were even conscious of? It’s a compulsion, isn’t it, in a way?
BAZZI: I can pinpoint the exact moment, and it was when my family and I immigrated to Australia in the mid-’80s. I was three-and-a-half. We were escaping the civil war at home. Our house was destroyed, which is what the catalyst for us leaving. We lost all our papers. When we moved here, I had no birth certificate and my parents told the government I was five when I was three-and-a-half to put me straight into school. I spoke Arabic and French but I couldn’t speak English yet.
BLANCHETT: Oh, wow.
BAZZI: My mother was an Arabic and French teacher, so I’d be going to school trying to learn English and I’d come home and she’d make me take Arabic and French classes. The first school was a pretty racist experience, from the teachers to the students. I didn’t really have a good time. I was bullied a lot.
My parents moved me to a Catholic school and on my first day there I met this teacher, and it was her first day as well. She came up to me and she went, “Oh, you’re Fayssal, right? I’ve heard about you. Look, I know you can understand English now, but you can’t speak it. So if you want anything, just show me what you want, and I’ll help you get it.” So I had to mime getting a pencil, mime going to the toilet, and slowly build up my confidence. I was slowly leaning English through that, and one day she just said, “You’re really good at that, Fayssal. You should be an actor.” And I’ve never thought of doing anything else. I think it was just that first bit of kindness from someone and that first bit of encouragement that just guided me for the rest of my life.
BLANCHETT: That’s amazing.
BAZZI: I’ve always said if I ever won an award for anything, I’m going to thank Ms. Moyle.
BLANCHETT: Ms. Moyle. It’s a powerful moment in one’s childhood when you feel understood for the first time. You feel that you’ve found someone who can actually see you.
BAZZI: It also highlights the importance of good teachers. I always follow the debates around cutting education budgets, and I think, “These people are shaping young minds.” It’s amazing how much difference a good teacher can make in a person’s life. I’ll always go to bat for teachers because one of them certainly changed my life.
BLANCHETT: We should probably talk about Stateless. We were so fortunate that you were free and willing to be part of it. I think I drooled all over you in person, but I may as well do it again in public. I find that the heartbreaking openness that you brought to your portrayal of Ameer and your connection with Soraya Heidari, who played Mina, is so authentic and rich and painful to watch as a parent. What drew you to the character of Ameer? What made you want to be involved in the project?
BAZZI: I think it’s what I was saying before about roles. He was a fleshed out, real life human being who was representing a community. I was completely blown away from the script. You follow the journey of a man seeking safety for his family and it was relatable. I could look at my own life. I could look at the sacrifices my parents made. I could look at the wars that are never ending, really, and the humans that are always just seeking a better life for themselves and their families. I had to be a part of telling this story. My first day on set at the detention center, I was welcomed by the Afghan elders and they held a ceremony to say that they were overjoyed that I was the one representing their community. One by one, these background actors would come up and just share their plight and their stories. Nearly all of them had been in a detention center or a refugee camp in Australia or around the world, which really hit home just how important it was to put a face on something that’s more often seen as a statistic. We’re talking about human beings here. Fleeing home is something that every single person would do if they were put in that position. And I got all that from the script. I’m thrilled that you fought so hard and for so long to get it out there, because a lot of people wouldn’t have. Stateless has got such a wide reach and people are seeing that Australia has a checkered past, not just with our Indigenous people, but also with people seeking asylum.
BLANCHETT: It was a real process getting it off the ground, to find the right partners who were willing to realize the project in a non-compromised way, in a non-sensationalist way, in a deeply human way. Like you said, a lot of the background artists had actually been in detention centers themselves. In a lot of ways, you had lived some of this experience yourself, but a lot of the other actors hadn’t. So there was a strange hybrid of people with lived experience and people who were having to learn. And I’m sure it was a minefield for you on a daily basis, but also illuminating in a lot of ways.
BAZZI: Just knowing how important it was for them to be represented added pressure. But there’s nothing better than the pressure of wanting to represent people properly.
BLANCHETT: Part of the motivation of wanting to make the series is that the refugee and asylum seeker is pushed offshore in Australia, and pushed out of the national conversation. So it’s up to the space of drama to ignite empathy. I’ve been so gratified by the diversity of the responses, but how broad now that we’ve finally got an international audience that can find those points of connectivity with the refugee experience as well. We’re all obsessed with home right now, during the pandemic, and so many people are estranged from family, or their freedom is curtailed. That is at the core of the refugee experience. Maybe, in a way, the show has dropped at a good time, and people are more open to hearing those stories.
BAZZI: There was this study in Australia a couple of weeks ago about the mental instability of white people forced to quarantine in hotels when they come back home, and how this is affecting them in the long run. The response is like, “You’re talking about people in a 5-star hotel here. What about refugees that have been here for seven years, or 15 years?” I think it’s very timely that this should come during the pandemic because more people can connect to it and more people can start to question their own privilege.
BLANCHETT: Yeah, I mean, you’re in quarantine for two weeks. There’s a beginning, there’s a middle and an end to that experience, but indefinite detention causes real damage. I want to return to your incredible commitment on Stateless. I know we threw you in the deep end. The pre-production on Stateless was the most fast and furious I have ever experienced. You had about two seconds to learn Dari, which is a Persian dialect that’s spoken in Afghanistan, having not been a native speaker. How was that? I believe you worked with Soraya’s dad—he was your kind of Dari master.
BAZZI: I was lucky enough that once Soraya was cast and we were kind of building our family relationship, her father came forward and said that he was a Dari interpreter and translator. And so he was my shadow for the majority of the shoot. I got to know their family very well because of that. He would also sit during takes and I’d just see this thumb pop out from behind the monitors.
BLANCHETT: What did your Ma and Pa think when they saw the series? Were they pleased you became an actor?
BAZZI: They were blown away. My dad wanted to be an actor when he was younger but my granddad wouldn’t let him, so he went into medicine. So when I told him that I wanted to be an actor, he had one rule. He was like, “I’ll give you my blessing to be an actor, but you have to make it work. You can’t be a bartender who acts or someone that works in a café. You either try it for real and it fails and then you do something else, or you don’t try it at all.”
BLANCHETT: Oh, Jesus. No pressure.
BAZZI: It’s pressure, but it’s also support. It makes you go, “Okay, how can I make this work for me?” And I’m thankful to say that because of that and because of that passion and the drive to want to act, I’ve been thankful to never have had the need for another job in 17 years. And that’s all from the support and the pressure that my father and mother have given me. They really connected with the the story because they know that there are no villains, really. Everyone is doing what they think is right and everyone is trying to look for their own slice of life.
BLANCHETT: Now that the series has been launched internationally on Netflix, what do you hope people are going to take away from it?
BAZZI: The responses we’re getting are what I was hoping for. I wanted to start putting pressure on the political powers that be to let them know that this isn’t on us anymore. The Black Lives Matter Movement at the moment is a perfect example of people finally standing up and going, “We deserve better than this.” These asylum seekers deserve better than this. Our Indigenous people deserve better than this.
BLANCHETT: Something that I’ve heard over the last six months is just how tired people are of being patient and waiting for change. And I can only imagine what that experience must be like when you’re in indefinite detention, when you’ve been forced out of your home and you’re in limbo. I think it’s a very, very brutal and tiring existence.
BLANCHETT: I’m so envious of your talent and I’m so envious of your beard. It’s so nice to talk to you. What’s next?
BAZZI: There was a movie I was in that was meant to come out in May that has been pushed to September called Measure for Measure. It’s myself and Hugo Weaving as rival gang bosses and my sister falls in love with his ward and I don’t like it.
BLANCHETT: Your performance in Stateless is an absolute calling card. I only wish that we’d had a chance to share the screen together. I hope we get to tread the boards together before we’re in adult diapers.
BAZZI: Any offer to tread a board or stand maybe to the side of you on a screen, I will take, Cate.
Some more news!
Cate Blanchett is the latest guest on Julia Gillard’s A Podcast of One’s Own.
See more infos on this episode and listen to it below!
Cate Blanchett on women in film
Julia talks to two-time Academy Award winning actor Cate Blanchett about telling women’s stories through film, the importance of diversity in creating compelling and surprising art, and her decision to play staunch anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly in new TV series, Mrs. America, which tells the real-life story of the fight to pass the US Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s. They also discuss Hollywood post-Me Too and the staggering gender pay gap that continues to exist in the film industry.
Oh, what a fun project!
Meryl Streep, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tessa Thompson, Eddie Redmayne and others also join in on the fun reading Roald Dahl’s famous kids book to raise money for charity.
If you’ve ever wanted Thor, Doctor Strange or Valkyrie to personally read to you a classic children’s book during lockdown, you’re in luck.
Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi is teaming up with plenty of well-known actors, comedians and celebrities to read James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl in a new YouTube series called James and the Giant Peach with Taika and Friends for charity.
The famous folks involved in the new web series include Cate Blanchett, Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Hemsworth, Liam Hemsworth, Mindy Kaling, Nick Kroll, Kumail Nanjiani, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Eddie Redmayne, Ryan Reynolds, Meryl Streep, Tessa Thompson, Olivia Wilde, Ruth Wilson, Billy Porter, Ben Schwartz, Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Cullum, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Roman Griffin Davis, Cara Delevingne, Cynthia Erivo, Beanie Feldstein, Josh Gad, and Archie Yates.
James and the Giant Peach with Taika and Friends will be asking for donations to help raise money for Partners In Health. The Roald Dahl Story Company and their partners will be matching every single donation.
“Being an adult child myself and having read James and the Giant Peach to my girls multiple times, I’m excited to be able to partner with my friends, the Dahl team and Partners In Health and re-tell this story to help those most in need right now,” Waititi said in a statement on Monday. “This wacky, wonderful tale is about resilience in children, triumph over adversity, and dealing with a sense of isolation which couldn’t be more relevant today.”
The first two episodes are already live. Episode one features Waititi, Kroll, Liam and Chris Hemsworth, while episode two stars Waititi, Cumberbatch and Streep.
These episodes are a blast to watch, not just because these award-winning actors are really good at reading the book in an entertaining way, but their constant joking around with each other makes you feel like you’re part of a hilarious Zoom video conference call.
New episodes will go live every Monday, Wednesday, Friday. The series will consist of 10 episodes in total.
You can watch the first two episodes below:
Are you ready for one more year of celebration?
The Cate Blanchett Birthday Project 2020 is here!
This is an idea created by Eden, a fan from our community. Since 2015, she proposes a set of tasks to express our admiration and say happy birthday to Cate.
In this 6th edition of the project, Eden decided to reunite fans again to celebrate Cate Blanchett’s birthday.
As usual, Cate Blanchett Fan website takes part in supporting this idea.
If you want to join, please read the details below:
This year the project will all be around self-motivation, feminism & success.
Cate Blanchett is a huge inspiration for us all: she teaches us to be brave, to love ourselves, to DO things, to do things with no regrets, to work hard and not to think about what other people say. These are only some minor examples of the things Cate loves sharing with the world.
This year we will make a MOTIVATION BOOK in which we will write:
- Something Cate motivated you to do and how does the process go
- Some aspects that changed or influenced the way you think thanks to Cate Blanchett (related to feminism)
- A special thing you did or contributed to thanks to the motivation Cate Blanchett gave you
- A story of success that happened to you thanks to the motivation Cate brought into your life
- You can choose one aspect only
- The story will be written UP TO 300 WORDS
- You can (definitely) wish Cate a happy birthday but if you won’t follow the theme of the project you won’t be included!!
- You can add a small video / photo related
- The project will be released ONLINE
How does it work?
- Send an email with your Name, Age & Country
- Mention in the email if you joined any of the past projects and if yes mention the year
- Write the aspect you wish to write about
- Share your project part
- Keep an appropriate language
- Protect copywrites
- The project will be released ONLINE
All projects should arrive until APRIL 10TH, 2020. Send them all to the following address: CBFbirthday2015@gmail.com (the same one from past years).
If you have any questions you can reach Eden by email or her twitter @catelandishere.
- Who can participate the project? – Everyone who wants to.
- Can I send a picture of myself with a happy birthday poster? You can include that, but it can’t be instead of the project itself.
- Can you guarantee Cate will receive the book? – sadly not, but we will try our best to make this work.
Few days ago, it was announced that Cate Blanchett is among the inspirational women featured in AGENDA 2020 book, the result of a project partnership between photographer Danielle Harte and journalist Sandra Sully.
AGENDA 2020 book aims to celebrate women with black & white portraits and getting to know more about 14 remarkable leading women in Australia. Beyond that, the book also seeks to find out what Australian women want and what they believe needs to change to achieve an EQUAL world.
Cate Blanchett looks divine! Take a look at few images shared on social media.
The book is set to have a series of launch events during International Women’s Week ?from March 1-8.
As soon as we get more information about it, including know where to buy it, we will update this article.
To download the first images of Cate Blanchett in Agenda 2020 book, visit our gallery!
Last Monday, actress Cate Blanchett was at The British Fashion Awards 2019 in London. She and Julia Roberts, among other famous guests like Tom Cruise, Naomi Campbell, attended the event where Giorgio Armani was honored with the Outstanding Achievement Award.
Looking stunning in an Armani Privé dress from the Fall 2019 Collection, Cate, who is the first global beauty ambassador for the Italian brand, took the stage to celebrate the relationship with the 85-year-old designer alongside Roberts.
The award is a recognition of Mr. Armani 45 remarkable years in fashion, with many iconic tailored suits and gowns for Hollywood.
Cate has a long partnership with Mr. Armani, in fact, according to some interviews, her first paycheck went to a suit she still has! Over the years Cate has been seen in many fashion pieces from the designer, they also collaborated in film, during the Sydney Theatre Company years, and, since 2013, Cate became the face of the successful fragrance Sì.
Mr. Armani also designed the gown Cate was wearing when she became a two-time Oscar winner in 2014.
Discover below some photos and videos from Cate Blanchett at The Fashion Awards 2019. Enjoy the reading!
Hello dear Blanchetters!
As you guys know, last September, Cate has been to Italy for Giorgio Armani dinner and during the event, she had an interview with Madame Figaro!
That interview has been published this week, and there were several questions she was answering about her life as an actress, beauty, style, inspirations and Feminism.
Also, there is another interview to Now To Love New Zealand.
Take a look at the new content below!!
La Giudecca, septembre dernier. Cate Blanchett vous attend dans une suite immense du Cipriani, avec vue imprenable sur Venise, l’île voisine, le canal et les églises. Le soir même, elle assistera à l’avant-première du Joker (c’était la Mostra) avant d’honorer de sa starissime présence un dîner pour Giorgio Armani Beauty, dont elle est l’égérie – elle est également le visage du parfum Sì.
Il n’existe pas aujourd’hui une star de cinéma qui fasse autant d’effet que Cate Blanchett, actrice remarquable, capable de se glisser dans la peau d’une reine ou de… Bob Dylan. C’est une femme à effet spécial, faite de blanc et d’or, le teint d’albâtre et la blondeur, les pommettes hautes et les yeux laser.
On pourrait la surnommer The Look, si ce terme n’était pas réservé pour l’éternité à Lauren Bacall. Les yeux de Cate Blanchett sont bleus et pénétrants, des yeux faits pour les close up, des yeux faits pour exprimer le désir, le bonheur, la détresse ou la folie, tout comme sa voix, ce timbre grave, puissant et profond, un timbre fait pour le théâtre, où elle est «née à l’art».
Bref, sa beauté un peu étrange convoque à elle seule tout un imaginaire hollywoodien qu’on pense englouti – Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn – mais d’une modernité implacable : actrice «globale», elle est partout, virevolte entre films d’auteur (Carol, de Todd Haynes) et blockbusters (Le Seigneur des anneaux), biopics (une de ses spécialités – elle va bientôt incarner Lucille Ball pour Amazon), ne redoutant pas les rôles à risques, qu’elle parfume de son exceptionnelle expressivité.
À l’affiche de Bernadette a disparu, de Richard Linklater (sortie début 2020), Cate Blanchett vient de terminer une mini-série TV qu’elle a coproduite, Mrs. America, où elle joue Phyllis Schlafly, une activiste américaine réactionnaire et antiféministe des années 1970. En bref, un contre-emploi.
«Je suis née à Melbourne, mon père était texan et ma mère australienne. Juste avant d’entrer à l’université, j’ai choisi de voyager pendant un an. En Italie, je dormais dans des couvents, j’étais fascinée par les nonnes. Lorsque je suis revenue à Sydney, j’avais découvert ma vocation : le théâtre. Devenir actrice m’a stabilisée. Le mystère et l’imprévisibilité de ce métier me conviennent bien.»
«Venant du théâtre, où le glamour n’est pas une priorité, je n’ai jamais pris en considération cette beauté qu’on m’attribue aujourd’hui, je n’y pensais même pas. Je n’ai plus 20 ans, j’ai pris de la distance avec tout ça et, de toute façon, le physique n’a jamais été ma carte de visite. La beauté conventionnelle présente assez peu d’attraits à mes yeux. Ce qui m’intéresse, c’est de rendre séduisant, ou acceptable, ce que je possède en moi.»
«J’étais une adolescente brouillonne et assez terrifiée par les filles sophistiquées. Mais le style, c’est un contexte : il évolue, s’adapte, répond à l’environnement. Je suis très attentive et très inspirée par les références picturales, par l’esthétisme, par la beauté. J’aime les gens uniques. Regardez Frida Kahlo : il en a existé une et une seule. Ma définition du style ? Irrévérence, transgression et détachement. Le style ne doit pas être trop travaillé ou conscient, car le contrôle est l’ennemi de la beauté.»
«Les femmes qui m’impressionnent sont au-delà de la beauté : elles sont intenses. Je pense à Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Liv Ullmann ou Charlotte Rampling. Je pense à Bette Davis dans Eve ou à Katharine Hepburn dans Sylvia Scarlett. À Judy Davis, formidable actrice australienne. Mais aussi à Cindy Sherman ou Georgia O’Keeffe. Je pense aussi à Katharine Graham, qui a dirigé le Washington Post. Des femmes remarquables qui ont fait bouger les lignes…»
«Nous perdons du terrain. Nous avons progressé de façon spectaculaire jusqu’aux années 1970, celles de l’émancipation, et depuis il y a beaucoup de signes d’un retour en arrière. L’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes ne devrait même plus être l’objet de discussions ou de débats. Nous les femmes, nous représentons la moitié de la population de la terre. Dans le monde du cinéma, la sous-représentation reste flagrante, même si un changement profond s’est produit : nous ne sommes plus silencieuses et nous avançons, je crois, dans la même direction. »
Some answers from the Madame Figaro interview are translated to English below:
“I was born in Melbourne, my father was Texan and my mother was Australian. Just before entering university I chose to travel for a year. In Italy, I slept in convents, I was fascinated by the nuns. When I came back to Sydney, I discovered my vocation: Theatre. Becoming an actress stabilized me. The mystery and unpredictability of this job suit me well.”
“Coming from theatre, where glamour is not a priority, I have never considered the beauty that is attributed to me today, I did not even think about it. I am over 20 years old, I’ve been getting away from it all, and in any case, the physical has never been my business card. Conventional beauty has few attractions for me. What interests me is to make seductive, or acceptable, what I have in me.”
“I was a scrambled teenager and quite terrified by sophisticated girls. But style is a context: it evolves, adapts, responds to the environment. I am very attentive and very inspired by pictorial references, by aesthetics, by beauty. I like unique people. Look at Frida Kahlo: there was one and only one. My definition of style? Irreverence, transgression and detachment. The style should not be too worked or conscious, because control is the enemy of beauty.”
“The women who impress me are beyond beauty: they are intense. I think of Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Liv Ullmann or Charlotte Rampling. I think of Bette Davis in Eve or Katharine Hepburn in Sylvia Scarlett. To Judy Davis, a wonderful Australian actress. But also to Cindy Sherman or Georgia O’Keeffe. I am also thinking of Katharine Graham, who headed the Washington Post. Outstanding women who moved the lines … ”
“We are losing ground. We have progressed dramatically until the 1970s, those of emancipation, and since then there are many signs of a retreat. Equality between men and women should not even be the subject of discussion or debate. We women, we represent half of the population of the earth. In the world of cinema, the under-representation remains flagrant, even if a profound change has occurred: we are no longer silent and we are moving, I believe, in the same direction. ”
If you are scandalized by the notion of an unfaithful-to-the-book film adaptation, you might not get along with Cate Blanchett.
“Why even bother?” she said recently, of films that take little to no creative liberties. “The only reason to turn something from a book to the screen is if you’ve got something more to say.”
The actress was being asked about her starring role in Where’d You Go, Bernadette? Based on Maria Semple’s best-selling book of the same name, the movie, which hit theatres earlier this year, tells the story of an agoraphobic architect wrestling with her own wasted potential as her daughter, for whom she put her career ambitions aside, prepares to leave home for university.
The restrictions of the medium mean the film’s plot necessarily diverges from that of the novel.
“But it’s tangentially fascinating,” reasons Cate, whose true-blue Aussie background mitigates the pretentiousness of her frequently over-the-top turns of phrase. “It’s not a replication because the novel exists!”
Cate, it’s fair to say, doesn’t do replicas. Having shot to fame playing Queen Elizabeth I in 1997’s Elizabeth and fearful of being typecast, the now 50-year-old actress turned down a number of period films in the years that followed, explaining that in rehashing “pre-masticated versions” of previous roles, “there was no potential for discovering anything new. There was no risk.”
This is not to say there’s no common thread in the roles she’s taken on since. “Malice and mania” is how one journalist described it. “The King Lear end of the spectrum” is how it’s summed up by Cate herself.
We might instead comment on the ‘complexity’ of characters like Elizabeth’s headstrong virgin queen, Notes on a Scandal’s cradle-snatching high school teacher, Carol’s bi-curious housewife, and Blue Jasmine’s socialite brought low.
Gripped by creative failure and, according to Cate, “experiencing the kind of identity crisis that comes with recognising this enormous gulf between who she thinks she was and who she really is”, Bernadette is yet another highly complex character.
“She’s got this relentless negativity that’s acerbic and hilarious and slightly unhinged,” she explains, pointing out that anyone who’s made professional sacrifices for the sake of family will relate to Bernadette’s despair, and the drastic decisions born from it.
“We all have a certain image of ourselves and we’re all clinging to a particular perception of ourselves that is different from the reality.”
You might think it’s a generous ‘we’ – secretly denoting ‘you and I’, not ‘she’ of the double Academy Award winner, worth $134 million, who has been happily married for 22 years with four children.
But as it happens, Cate is no stranger to a career-centred existential crisis. She certainly said as much to fellow A-Lister Julia Roberts, who in a piece for Interview earlier this year, elicited from Cate an admission that Bernadette’s “creative shut-down” resonated deeply.
It arose, however, that the trigger for Cate wasn’t exactly creativity or a lack thereof. Instead, questions of deeper fulfilment and its sources were raised and debated, with the Australian saying to the American, “When you’re inside a richly lived life, you suddenly think, ‘Do I need to pretend to live inside these other experiences?'”
Without dismissing her career and the associated experiences that have added to the richness of her life (one of her happiest days was spent kayaking in Greenland, shooting scenes for Bernadette), she makes it clear that acting means taking the good with the bad. And that ‘the bad’ isn’t something she is willing to put up with forever.
“When I was younger,” she told Julia, “I would wonder why the older actors I admired kept talking about quitting. Now I realise it’s because they want to maintain a connection to their last shreds of sanity.
As I get older, I ask myself if I still want to submit to the shamanistic end of this profession and go completely into madness… I’m on the proverbial couch thinking, ‘Do I want to go in that direction, or do I actually want to live?'”
There’s no question of what the family-oriented actress would do were she to give up the craft and make ‘living’ her sole focus. But first, a brief history: Having begun her acting career in Sydney, where she met and married fellow thespian Andrew Upton, Cate relocated to the UK in the late ’90s to pursue the parts – including Elizabeth – that would make her a star of international proportions.
Then, in 2006, when Andrew was invited to take over as artistic director of the Sydney Theatre Company, the couple returned down under, and Cate spent what she calls “the most enjoyable six years of [her] career” working and raising their young family in an eco-friendly mansion in the North Sydney suburb of Hunters Hill.
When work opportunities called them back to the UK in 2016, purchasing an idyllic piece of real estate in rural Sussex complete with a lawn and a lake was a no-brainer. It’s from here that Cate and Andrew have continued to raise sons Dashiell, 17, Roman, 15, and Ignatius, 11, as well as daughter Edith, four, who they adopted in 2015. “It wasn’t about biology,” Cate explained to the Daily Telegraph. “We felt we had space, enough emotional room in our hearts and we’re privileged enough to have the capacity to have another child.”
A big proponent of ‘having it all’, she likes her children to see her working. It is, however, important to her to be a highly-engaged parent which, by celebrity standards, means opting into the tasks she could presumably delegate – school drop-offs and pick-ups; making her kids’ lunches; cooking the family dinner.
At times, ingredients are a bone of contention. A vegetarian for a number of years, Cate says her “Machiavellian” plan to turn her children off meat by adopting two pet piglets was a huge failure.
“I explained to them that if they wanted to eat bacon or sausages, that’s where it would come from. They were fine with that and I was horrified!”
But despite having spent “a lot of time running away from being an actor”, it transpires that Cate, unlike Bernadette, has enough creative outlets to keep her in the game for the time being.
She recently remarked that her work with visual artists and choreographers was “more rewarding at the moment than the cookie-cutter projects” – a hangover, perhaps, from helping her husband helm the STC, where she developed a taste for running the show.
This doesn’t mean she’s relegating herself to standing behind the camera, or even swearing off big blockbuster films. And in fact, come 2020, she’s set to appear on the small screen for the first time, playing conservative commentator Phyllis Schlafly in FX’s Mrs America.
A nine-episode limited series about the rise of feminism in the 1970s and the push for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), of which the anti-feminist was a key opponent, the production is already attracting positive attention from critics.
With women’s rights issues a hot topic in today’s America where, due in large part to the work of Phyllis, the ERA remains unratified, the show’s subject matter rings close to home.
Cate – who is also an executive producer on the project – says that the opportunity to “peel back the layers of this recent period of history” couldn’t have come at “a more appropriate time”.
Time, after all, is up. Somewhat controversially, you won’t find Cate making specific statements about the movement’s major targets. Reluctant to wade in on Harvey Weinstein or Woody Allen, who directed her in Blue Jasmine and who continues to deny the abuse allegations levelled at him by his own daughter, she argues that contributing to the “white noise” already before the courts would be “unhelpful to the goal [she is] ultimately interested in,” which is to see justice served.
She does, however, speak positively about how the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements have enabled women to rewrite the power structure. “It’s a matriarchy,” she said to Julia Roberts about the current sense of sisterhood in the film industry and beyond.
“It’s not about competition – it’s about collaboration.” Recounting to Harper’s Bazaar the tale of a male director who pitted female cast members against one another in what she calls a “classic divide and conquer”, she notes that such an approach wouldn’t fly any more, “because women are talking… that’s the biggest, most profound change I’ve felt. It’s shifted things in a really permanent way.”
She adds that with more women in the writers’ room, we can expect more female-centred narratives.
“These characters are being placed in very interesting backdrops and the stories that are being told about them are more sophisticated and complex,” she told Vogue UK in March.
Just as they did at the very start of her career, complex women, it seems, will continue to intrigue and inspire Cate into the future – and not just from an acting perspective, but from an ageing one, too.
“I don’t think about ageing at all until someone brings it up,” she said in the same Vogue UK interview. “When I think of some of the faces that inspire me most, it’s Louise Bourgeois and Georgia O’Keeffe. I’m looking into the spirit of the woman and that’s what I love.”
Yes, she’s realistic about how getting older will impact her work.
“You can’t hope to be of relevance to every generation,” she says. But when it comes to the experience she brings to the table, it occurs that age is, in a sense, Cate’s biggest asset.
And if Bernadette is your touchstone? It’s safe to say she isn’t going anywhere.
Things are pretty quiet in Cateland right?
But we had quite the week with Cate’s 50th birthday. So many beautiful messages and actions from the fans!
During the past few weeks some news became available on the two new series projects Cate is attached to.
Firstly, we have the CBS / FX Network mini series Mrs. America where Cate will play Phyllis Schlafly, the conservative woman who helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment initiative that would guarantee the equal rights of women (USA).
Blanchett is also in executive production of this limited series and she will be joined by stars James Marsden, Sarah Paulson, Uzo Aduba (as Shirley Chisholm), Rose Byrne (as Gloria Steinem), Margo Matindale (as Bella Abzug), Tracey Ullman (as Betty Friedan), Kayli Carter, Ari Graynor, Melanie Lynskey, John Slattery and Jeanne Tripplehorn.
“I am extremely excited about delving into the material as there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to peel back the layers of this recent period of history, which couldn’t be more relevant today,” Blanchett said in a statement.
Created by Dahvi Waller, the series has a nine-episode arc and the production is set to start this year, with filming from 19th June until November 1st in Toronto, Canada.
Cate will have a busy second semester! She is also going to produce an Australian TV Series.
Stateless is a new TV series about immigration detention in Australia co-created by Cate Blanchett, Tony Ayres and Elise McCredie. Cate will star in the series and, alongside with Andrew Upton, will also act as executive producer of this Australian Broadcasting Corporation limited series.
McCredie and Belinda Chayko are writing the series that will be directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse (The Dressmaker) and Emma Freedman.
Blanchett said while the story was focused on Australia, it explored global themes: “The desire for personal freedom, the need for social stability, an escalating lack of faith in the political process and the deeply unsettling impact this has on individual lives.”
The cast also includes Yvonne Strahovski (The Handmaid’s Tale), Dominic West (The Affair), Rachel House, Jai Courtney, Clarence Ryan, Fayssal Bazzi, Claude Jabbour, Rose Riley, Kate Box, Helana Sawires and Asher Keddie.
Inspired by real events, Stateless tells the story of four strangers in an Australian immigration centre: an airline hostess leaving a cult, an Afghan refugee escaping persecution, a father saddled with a dead-end job, and a bureaucrat steeped in a national scandal.
Stateless is expected to air on the ABC in 2020 , it will be distributed worldwide by NBCUniversal. Production is set to begin in June.
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Two more covers to be added to our 2019 collection! Cate Blanchett is featured in two new magazines. First, we have the latest issue of Mujer Hoy in which there is a promotional interview for Sì Fiori and Armani Beauty. Then the long waited photoshoot by Ellen von Unwerth made last year during Cannes Film Festival that will be featured on the n°2-2 of Ellen von Unwerth’s VON magazine, the cinema issue, available in May. Take a look!
Cate Blanchett: “Este es un momento decisivo y fascinante para todas”
Las mujeres no pueden dejar de mirarla. Lo tenemos comprobado. El famoso vídeo viral en el que la actriz Kathryn Hahn observa embelesada a Rachel Weisz se queda corto ante el efecto Cate Blanchett. La primera vez que observamos el fenómeno en Mujerhoy fue hace casi una década. A las puertas de una fiesta de gala en Ginebra, Cate conversaba con unos amigos, magnífica y etérea. Todas las mujeres que pasaban a su lado la recorrían de arriba abajo con la mirada. No eran celos, era admiración en estado puro. Los hombres, sin embargo, no se sentían impelidos a mirar.
Las pruebas irrefutables nos las ofreció la prensa internacional en Londres hace apenas unas semanas. Fue en la cena de presentación oficial de Sì Fiori, el nuevo perfume de Giorgio Armani del que, por supuesto, es musa. A los postres, la actriz se sentó unos minutos en cada una de las mesas para charlar con los invitados, una mayoría abrumadora de mujeres. A su alrededor se formaba un corro de rostros absortos, miradas de fascinación, algunas bocas abiertas y gestos de asentimiento absoluto. “Todavía tengo dos horas de coche hasta mi casa en el campo. Estoy encantada con mi jardín, está inspirado en el trabajo de Darwin”, era el tipo de cosas mundanas que relataba Cate. Y la audiencia asentía entregada, como si le escucharan recitar Shakespeare solo para ellas.
Cálida y cercana
Nadie es inmune al hechizo de Blanchett. En las distancias cortas es imposible no dejarte llevar por ese timbre cadencioso, por esa presencia imponente y serena. De sus respuestas educadas se puede inferir que su familia está por encima de todo; que su concepto de la belleza va más allá de aplicarse cremas; que el cuidado del interior es lo que se muestra en el exterior (un mantra que lleva a rajatabla); que, como a los hobbits de la Comarca, un paseo por los alrededores de su casa en la compañía adecuada es una experiencia tan plena como cualquier viaje a un destino lejano. “Es mi idea de un día perfecto: salir al campo con los niños y los perros, y que la jornada termine de una forma inesperada y sorprendente que no habrías imaginado al despertar”, asegura. La normalidad hecha perfección rural.
Cate y su marido, el dramaturgo Andrew Upton, se trasladaron a vivir a la campiña inglesa de Sussex hace un par de años. Con ellos vinieron sus tres hijos adolescentes (Dashiell, 17; Roman, 15; e Ignatius, 11) y su hija adoptada de cuatro años, Edith. Un cambio de registro tras casi una década asentados en Sidney que le ha permitido volver al West End de Londres con obras como When we have sufficiently tortured each other, de Martin Crimp. Un contrapunto crudo y transgresor al extensísimo repertorio de una actriz que, como le dijo una vez su hermana Genevieve, se funde con cada personaje hasta que ella misma desaparece completamente de la escena. Y solo quedan reinas legendarias, elfas mitológicas, diosas escandinavas, amas de casa en crisis moral, sexual y social, damas de alta sociedad venidas a menos…
Mujeres al poder
Ella, que las ha interpretado a todas (y se ha hecho con dos premios Óscar por el camino), entiende que las mujeres están ahora en una encrucijada. “Es un momento decisivo y potencialmente fascinante para todas. Estamos en el proceso de convertirnos en algo. Pero no solo nosotras, creo que tenemos que llevar a los hombres a nuestro lado. Lo realmente apasionante de este preciso momento de la historia es que se ha escuchado a las mujeres. Pero no como individuos concretos, sino como grupo. Lo que estamos aceptando es que somos seres humanos increíbles”. Lo dice con la sabiduría de los 50 años que cumple el 14 de mayo.
Justo ahora, Cate se convierte en la nueva imagen global de Giorgio Armani Beauty. Eso significa que, además de encarnar a la heroína optimista, elegante y todopoderosa de la familia de fragancias Sì, también va a ser embajadora del maquillaje y del tratamiento de la firma que pilota el creador italiano. “El último de los grandes de la moda, ahora que hemos perdido a Karl Lagerfeld”, apunta
Sabe que el cine del que es estrella indiscutible ha ayudado al genio a definir un nuevo tipo de feminidad. “Su estética me influyó mucho antes de conocerlo”. Lo dice porque el diseñador fue la piedra angular de su armario con un traje de chaqueta gris que se compró con su primer sueldo cienematográfico. Todavía lo conserva. “Trabajar con el señor Armani ha sido uno de los grandes privilegios de mi vida”, afirma. “Lo que adoro de cómo ve el mundo es que no pierde jamás la curiosidad. No es una presencia creativa estática”, añade.
En la moda y también en los aromas: “A través del perfume que llevas estás invitando a los demás a descubrir tu particular mundo emocional. Es algo muy privado”, postula. Y esas sensaciones la devuelven a la infancia. “De niña me escondía en el armario de mi madre para pensar a oscuras. Su ropa emanaba esa fragancia tan suya. Era peculiar y muy glamourosa. Porque, por supuesto, cuando somos niñas, nuestras madres son siempre las mujeres más elegantes de nuestra existencia”. Una distinción que siempre ha marcado con unos labios rojos. Hasta ahora. “Es curioso, porque solía ser mi esencial de todos los días. Es un tono que claramente te sitúa en el mundo y que dice: “Aquí estoy yo”. Pero ahora apenas lo uso. Quizá en una alfombra roja. Pero soy mucho más de nudes rosas”, concluye.