Posted on
Feb 11, 2015

Cate Blanchett on ‘How to Train Your Dragon 3? and the Fear of Oscar Speeches

For Cate Blanchett, all roads these days lead to Oscar.

Last year’s best actress winner (“Blue Jasmine”) will be a presenter on Feb. 22. She will also be represented in the feature animation race, thanks to her voice work in “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”

And she landed that job at an Oscar ceremony.

When the 2010 “Dragon” was nominated, director Dean DeBlois approached her at the ceremony about doing a role in the sequel. As she told Variety, “He just walked up to me and said, ‘I’ve written a part for you.’ I thought, ‘Yeah, that is such a line…!’ But he had. He said she was a Jane Goodall-type of character who had spent her life with dragons. I loved the first film and had watched it about nine times with my boys. So my curiosity was piqued, and I thought, ‘How will they top that?’”

She’d done voiceover narration and “bits and pieces” in animation (e.g., two episodes of “Family Guy”), but this was new to her: It turned into a three-year job. “We met every six months or so. You go in and chip away at it for three years, as the animation evolves, and there were little shifts and changes in the story.

She’s proud of the character and the film (“What an entrance! It was fabulous”) and is happy that the risks taken by DeBlois and his team have paid off creatively and at the box office ($619 million worldwide).

Her character will appear in “Dragon 3,” which is scheduled for 2017. “I am really excited. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but Dean has such an extraordinary imagination. And he directed in such a detailed, engaged way — he holds a firm grip on the universe.”

Before last year’s win as best actress, Blanchett had won the supporting prize for 2004’s “The Aviator” as Katharine Hepburn — the first performer to win an Oscar for playing an Oscar winner.

Daniel Day-Lewis presented the award last year, and Blanchett laughed when asked what went through her mind as he started reading the nominees. “It’s like being in a tennis court and watching the ball in the air: There is no thought going through your head; everything is just kind of blank.”

She said it was “an extraordinary bunch of nominees, and I was just pleased to be at the party.

It’s not a horse race, but it becomes that, because everyone likes to talk and speculate,” she added.

Alongside the honor, there is apprehension and horror of making an acceptance speech in front of this group of people. There is no going back and doing a second take, no looping, no finessing. It’s what happens. It is like standup: It works or it doesn’t. It was scary, but I was excited by it.

She said she’s too superstitious to have prepared a speech in advance; as for nerves, “I have an ability to tell myself, ‘No one’s going to see this,’” she laughed. Though she gave a terrific speech, she has no recollection of it. Asked if she will someday look at video of her speech, she gasped in mock horror, “No! Never!

But she has only positive feelings about the Oscar experience. “Something like this doesn’t come along every day, and it’s great to be caught up in excitement. It was quite some ride.

via Variety

Posted on
Jan 27, 2015

Cate Blanchett shares her six beauty secrets

Whether smudging her mascara just so or leaving her forehead slightly shiny, Cate Blanchett uses cosmetic signals to help craft her on-screen personae: “We really fine-tune those details,” Blanchett says. “The audience takes a cue from the visual before the characters even open their mouths.” Here, the two-time Oscar winner (and longtime ambassador for SK-II skin care) gives us a master class on the art of transformation.

How much does a character’s hair and makeup affect the psychology behind your performance?

It matters greatly. Personally, I prefer to play against the look: If a character appears particularly unhinged, with makeup running down her face, I like to play her as if she has it together. I think that juxtaposition makes it so much more interesting.

Have you ever played a character whose beauty habits made you uncomfortable with your own reflection?

I just completed this movie, Carol, in which I had to pluck my eyebrows nearly every day to achieve that very stern look. I just hated it. I much prefer a natural approach to beauty. You know, Coco Chanel always said to take one thing off before you leave the house, and I think that also applies to makeup.

Do you ever do your own makeup?

I’ve just come off of a three-week run of The Maids, where the backstage makeup is pretty bare-bones. It’s just you and the mirror. While I much prefer when a professional does it, I’m getting better at it—even liquid liner. After a run of several night events, you begin to appreciate the solitude and the quiet backstage. And then, of course, a healthy sweep of jet-black mascara. I’ve also taken to lining my eyes in white pencil to make them look instantly brighter and bigger. That’s something I’ve learned from the pros.

At the Emmys last year, a lot of people were talking about how the age ceiling has been shattered for women in Hollywood. What does that mean to you? Why is that always a topic of conversation?

Look at the women on Orange Is the New Black, American Horror Story, or The Good Wife. People really do want to see women doing dark, complicated, and crazy shit! Those shows have a myriad of male viewers because the writing is simply good. It’s not as if women just stop watching TV after they turn 40. I think what happened is that the women finally started to do something about it; they began writing and producing.

So much of beauty is predicated on what our mothers did. What was something you inherited from yours?

It does, doesn’t it? My mom always used Oil of Olay. She was always very careful not to expose herself to the sun and was always wearing a hat. My sister and I are also rather pale, you know? I think my generation is much more careful about not going into the sun. Some of my friends’ mums were total sun bunnies.

Who’s the most beautiful woman you’ve ever seen up close?

Michelle Williams—she just has this light about her. Jessica Chastain, too, in that same way that she’s sort of lit from within. And Norwegian director Liv Ullmann. Just beautiful.

via Elle Magazine

Posted on
Jan 9, 2015

Cate Blanchett reveals her beauty secrets

Two new interviews for Ms. Blanchett and brand new images from the new SK-II LXP Campaing

Cate Blanchett is a rare breed of actress. She’s a modern woman whose poise and beauty seems tethered to the collective memory audiences share of Hollywood’s classic beauties. She’s a commanding presence, but notably down-to-earth. Those of her ilk are scarce in this day and age. We caught up with the beguiling Aussie, the face SK-II skincare, to find out how she manages to stay looking pitch-perfect with such a topsy-turvy movie-star schedule.

SAKSPOV: You just completed your run with the Sydney Theater’s production of Genet’s ‘The Maids’ this past year in New York City. Eight performances a week must take a toll on anyone’s skin. How did you prep your skin for each performance?
Cate Blanchett: I moisturized with the LXP range before and after and make sure I cleanse well – when I’m on stage I use the SK-II Cleansing Oil. When I had two shows on the same day, I put an SK-II Facial Treatment Mask on between performances.

SAKSPOV: You just completed your run with the Sydney Theater’s production of Genet’s ‘The Maids’ this past year in New York City. Eight performances a week must take a toll on anyone’s skin. How did you prep your skin for each performance?
Cate Blanchett: I moisturized with the LXP range before and after and make sure I cleanse well – when I’m on stage I use the SK-II Cleansing Oil. When I had two shows on the same day, I put an SK-II Facial Treatment Mask on between performances.

How do you plan to spend the rest of your summer? Any big plans now that you’ve wrapped production on your latest stage work?
Cate Blanchett: Well, it’s winter in Sydney and we are about to have a holiday break with the children, so I hope I’m in a canoe, then tucked up by the fire.

via SaksPOV

As Cate Blanchett gets set to star in the upcoming remake of the 1950s Disney fairytale, Cinderella, she is looking younger than ever.
So what’s the secret behind the 45-year-old star’s timeless looks and healthy glow?
The Australian actress has revealed that she swears by the power of emu oil for keeping her skin in check as she opens her make-up bag for FEMAIL.

Speaking about the peculiar lotion, she said: ‘I tend to use really basic creams, and I like to put anoil on, like an emu oil from Australia. It’s from the emu and it’s really nourishing. I prefer an oil to a cream.

‘In indigenous Australian culture, that’s the first oil they put on a baby because it’s so hydrating,’ she said. ‘It’s all pretty basic.’

Cate, who is the ambassador for beauty brand SK-II, shared her day-to-day skincare tips.

She said: ‘I drink hot water with lemon. Everyone says, “Try this” or “Try that”, but they all come back to basic principles. They all come back to hydrating, drinking enough water and making sure you don’t eat over-processed food.
‘The other thing that’s really bad for your gut and skin, and really bad for your mind, is stress levels. Anything you can do to reduce your stress levels – which is hard if you’re under economic pressure or in relationship pressure – those things take a toll on you and your skin.
‘But anything you could do to ease that part of your life will have an impact. How you feel affects how you look.’
The Hollywood stalwart, who has won countless awards, says she’s picked up some vital beauty habits from her years in the industry.
She swears by not overplucking her eyebrows, and when it comes to make-up, finding the right foundation that works with her moisturiser is essential, she says.

‘I’ve gotten very quick and easy about [my beauty regime]. I don’t think about it a lot. I don’t wear a lot of makeup during my everyday life – I would for a character – but it’s all about making sure your skin is clean.

‘For me, the thing I’ll never give up is my skincare. I’ve also learnt how highlighting can change your face. I’m also not faddish about it, so it hasn’t really changed that much to be honest. I use the SK-II LXP Ultimate Perfecting Essence, Serum and Cream and I cleanse, and I get up and do the same thing,’ she said.

The blonde beauty also opened up about ageing gracefully, admitting: ‘Whenever I have those days – and we all have them – and I go “Oh, I don’t like this bit or that bit”, I always have to ask myself what it is and that’s what I have to work on.

‘We’re all getting older, there’s no point panicking about it, you just try to look as good as you can at whatever age you are.’

She continued: ‘I really subscribe to the Asian philosophy that in order for something to be perfect, it needs to contain its grain of imperfection.

‘In Japan for instance, when a plate breaks, they’ll put it back together but they’ll put gold along the cracks – they’ll celebrate the crack. Whereas in the West, I feel like we’re always trying to pretend the crack’s not there or throw it away and get another one.

‘I think we should throw out the notion of trying to attain all that perfection that isn’t possible. We should try to be better but we should celebrate who we are and what we have. I certainly wasn’t born with incredible skin but I worked with what I’d been given.’

Discussing her New Year’s resolutions, she revealed that working out is at the top of her priorities list.

‘I’m so regular with my skincare, so I’d love to get regular with my exercise too because it always goes out the window,’ she said.

‘If I don’t do something in the morning then I don’t get it done because then the day takes over. And often it does take over for one thing or another.

‘I’ve so many friends who have incorporated the idea of meditating at some point during the day, so I would love that. There’re so many apps now and the world can get so noisy; we’re so addicted to being busy. I would really love to find that 15 minutes a day to just be still and quiet.’

via DailyMail

Cate Blanchett on What She Wears to Christmas Breakfast—It Will Surprise You
Posted on
Nov 30, 2014

Cate Blanchett on What She Wears to Christmas Breakfast—It Will Surprise You

This holiday season, SK-II is launching limited edition designs of their cult favorite Facial Treatment Essence, with a floral design painted by Taiwanese artist Po Chih Huang. We recently caught up with the brand’s ambassador, Cate Blanchett, who told us which product is her favorite, what makes a gift meaningful, and what she loves most about the holidays.

Which of the Facial Treatment Essence Limited Edition designs is your personal favorite?
It’s a difficult choice, but the red bottle reminds me of the red of passion and excitement and all that is sensuous. Red is such an energetic, positive color, which seems to me to reflect the potential of the festive season. It makes me recall a combination of action and vision—acting on ones beliefs. Passion is a quality I admire in a woman.

What do you like most about the bottle?
All the special edition FTE festive bottles are so vital—flamboyant, strong, yet delicate. They are stunning ($205 each; nordstrom.com).

What do you like about the holiday season the most?
I look forward to the holiday season every year. Ours are always different, but essentially the ingredients are family, friends, and food. Everyone pitches in and the day itself rolls into the next one.

Where is your favorite place to spend the holiday season?
The place is secondary to the company. Sometimes it’s a last-minute trip away, but it’s usually in the home of a loved one, often at our place. I love it when the house if full of people and noise. So my favorite place would always include close friends and family.

Do you have any special holiday traditions?
I have been known to make the Christmas breakfast with an SK-II mask on—any female guest joining the breakfast does the same, and willingly. Last year my husband joked that the Facial Treatment Essence mask is my version of the Christmas cracker hat.

How do you prepare for a holiday party?
Frequently, leading up to Christmas there are a few late nights, so the SK-II eye cream and eye masks are my trusty friends over this period. All year-round I take the mask in my handbag—to the beach, to the mountains, on a plane—wherever we go, as it’s a wonderful pick-me-up for the skin during the day and part of my morning and night skin care routine.

In your opinion, why makes a gift meaningful and memorable?
When a gift is difficult to give away it becomes even more rare and precious; somehow gathering a part of the giver to the gift itself. My mother-in-law gave me her mother’s engagement ring a few years back. I know how much my mother-in-law’s mother meant to her, so to part with this and to watch the joy on her face when I wore it was very special.

Source

An Illuminating Evening with Cate Blanchett – In Conversation with Audience Q&A
Posted on
Jun 21, 2014

An Illuminating Evening with Cate Blanchett – In Conversation with Audience Q&A

Sydney People! Don’t miss this chance! Plus a couple of pictures from that beautiful photoshoot:

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A unique and engaging evening with renowned actor Cate Blanchett.

Come and hear Blanchett engage in a wide-ranging and unscripted conversation about her experiences and her multiple roles – from being co-Artistic Director of the Sydney Theatre Company to managing an international career while based in Sydney and raising a young family.

She will talk candidly about her life, her acting accomplishments and her views on everything from raising sons as a feminist in today’s world, to her fears about climate change, to why it is that women are – still – not treated equally.

Cate Blanchett’s accomplishments are extraordinary: two Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, three BAFTAs, three SAG Awards and four AFI Awards for her film work and many other honours for her stage work.

Now we will have the opportunity to see and hear Cate Blanchett on the very stage where she created some of her greatest roles.

One night only: Thursday 26 June 6.30pm

Here’s the article from the STC Magazine:

For one night only at Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay, Anne Summers will be hosting a unique and engaging evening with Cate Blanchett. Cate and Anne will talk candidly about being the former Co-Artistic Director of STC, managing an international career while based in Sydney and raising a young family.

Ahead of this event, we’ve provided a short extract from a previous interview with Cate, from the Anne Summers Reports magazine (number 8, June 2014 edition).

The turning point in Cate Blanchett’s career was her remarkable performance in Elizabeth in 1998. But after that role, all the scripts that were sent to her “were basically different costumes, same dilemma”, she said. “And I thought, gosh, you get typecast quickly.”

But “there was a small part playing a Long Island housewife in a film with John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton so I took that”. That film was Pushing Tin (1999) by the English director Mike Newell who, before he directed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
in 2005, was best known for Four Weddings and a Funeral. Blanchett took this small role, not so much to confound expectations, but “because I didn’t necessarily know that I could do it. I thought, I haven’t done that before”.

So much of what she has done in film has been to do things she has not done before. Playing Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There (2007), for one thing. Or her most recent role Carol, another Haynes film based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt, in which Blanchett plays an older married woman who in 1950s New York has a relationship with a young woman sales clerk. (It was Blanchett’s performance in The Talented Mr Ripley, another Highsmith adaptation, that supposedly caught Allen’s eye and led him to cast her in Blue Jasmine.)

But it was the call from Martin Scorsese that really threw her.

“My knees were sweating when I was talking to Scorsese,” she tells me. “I was devastated when I got off the phone, and Andrew said ‘What did he say?’ and I was so down in the mouth, I said, ‘He’s asked me to play Katharine Hepburn and I am going to have to say yes because of course you can’t say no to Scorsese’ but I thought, this is it, this is over, this is career suicide to play Katharine Hepburn in the medium in which she was so iconically known and loved. It’s suicide.”

Instead, the role gave Blanchett her first Oscar. The woman who says she is “endlessly disappointed in herself “-by which she means in her performances-the actor who agrees with Martha Graham that no artist is ever satisfied, and that it’s “this blessed unrest” that keeps her going, stunned audiences with her portrayal of Hepburn. From then on, she could do anything.

An illuminating evening with Cate Blanchett: In conversation with Anne Summer with audience Q&A
26 June 2014, Sydney Theatre

Posted on
Jul 28, 2013

ABC News Person of the Week: Cate Blanchett Joins Elite Leading Ladies Club – Video + Caps

An interview where Cate talks about working with Woody Allen and joining the select club of his leading ladies. Video and caps

Posted on
Jul 28, 2013

Cate Blanchett on Blue Jasmine, Working with Andrew Dice Clay, and Her Favorite Woody Allen Character

Cate Blanchett in the LA Premiere for Blue Jasmine

Revered in Hollywood for playing challenging roles like Queen Elizabeth, Katharine Hepburn (which she won an Oscar for), and even Bob Dylan, Cate Blanchett’s dedication to her craft is unparalleled. Which makes you wonder why it took so long for Woody Allen to cast her in one of his films. Thankfully we don’t have to ponder this any longer, as the 77-year-old director hands the Australian beauty one of his most complicated characters he’s ever written.

In Blue Jasmine, which opens in theaters Friday, Blanchett plays Jasmine, a former Manhattan socialite who after her husband (Alec Baldwin) goes to jail for fraud travels to San Francisco to stay with her sister, Ginger (Sally Hawkins). A time bomb ready to explode, Jasmine can’t cope with the simple life Ginger lives—or her choice of blue-collar men (Andrew Dice Clay, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K.)—and aided by vodka and Xanax tries to quiet the voices in her head long enough to find a new suitor.

Blanchett spoke to The Hollywood Blog about adapting to Allen’s notorious hands-off approach to directing, why playing someone like Jasmine can stay inside you forever, and the next marquee director she’s most excited to work with.

The Hollywood Blog: Had you ever met Woody before he offered you the role?

Cate Blanchett: No, I hadn’t met him. I had met friends of his, but no, we had never actually encountered one another. In fact, I had given up hope that he was ever going to ask me to be in one of his films, so I was thrilled when I heard he was interested.

As you mentioned at the premiere of Blue Jasmine, you had very brief conversations with him about taking the role, and then he just said, “See you on set”—

That’s when the terror begins.

Yeah, are you just filled with anxiety because you want to talk about the part with him?

Well, there has to be a dialogue, and the thing with Woody, I think, at least, 97 percent of his direction is in the script already. He gives you so many clues to mull over. I think the really important thing is the actors are all on the same page, and his films are always cast so interestingly, and this is no exception. I mean, Andrew Dice Clay! You talk about eclectic. It was really fabulous, and many of these actors in this film had done standup or theater, so there was a common language quite quickly between all of us. We obviously talked a lot about the subtext. And also, Sally and I were the only ones with the full script.
Continue reading Cate Blanchett on Blue Jasmine, Working with Andrew Dice Clay, and Her Favorite Woody Allen Character

Posted on
Jul 27, 2013

Oscar buzz builds for Cate Blanchett + New Photoshoot

Great interview with Cate, plus a new photoshoot and and video, from USA Today

(The video auto starts so it’s on the bottom of the post after the cut)

Cate Blanchett hadn’t done a movie in at least three years when Woody Allen’s script for Blue Jasmine came her way last year.

“I’d been spending a lot of time in my pajamas,” admits the actress and mother of three sons.

Her first thought? “I ate it alive.”

After all, it’s Woody Allen.

“He’s an extraordinary dramatist, aside from being a great writer. And he’s not too shabby as a filmmaker,” she says with a smile.

Blanchett, 44, has been doing a Manhattan media blitz this week, a last-minute push for Allen’s “summer movie,” as he called it during filming. The Oscar drumbeat has begun for Blanchett’s brittle and wrenching performance as Jasmine, a Ruth Madoff-esque character whose husband (Alec Baldwin) gives her a high-society New York life of riches only to have it crumble around her when he’s hauled off to jail.

“A timely tale,” Blanchett calls it.
Continue reading Oscar buzz builds for Cate Blanchett + New Photoshoot