Cate Blanchett talks Nightmare Alley and A Manual for Cleaning Women
Posted on
Jan 23, 2022

Cate Blanchett talks Nightmare Alley and A Manual for Cleaning Women

Happy Sunday!

El Pais published a new interview they did with Cate ahead of the release of Nightmare Alley in Spain on January 28th. Here’s a google translated interview.

The actress premieres ‘Nightmare Alley’, by Guillermo del Toro, while leading the pre-production of ‘A Manual for Cleaning Women’, by Almodóvar. “I want to enjoy Pedro’s passion,” she says.

The deep, unique voice of Cate Blanchett (Melbourne, 52 years old), resounds on the other end of the phone: “What if I am Pedro Almodóvar’s new boss? Noooo [laughter]. We are fellow adventurers, I don’t believe in hierarchical structures”. The actress is promoting Nightmare Alley, by Guillermo del Toro, but A Manual for Cleaning Women appears on the horizon , the 43 stories of Lucia Berlin, who died in 2004, which Almodóvar has written script. For four years, the Spaniard has been working on the project. But before the doubt of whether it would go ahead or not, in his production company, El Deseo, they did not renew the adaptation rights. To the rescue of the film appeared Blanchett, its possible protagonist, who is passionate about the script, and who therefore bought the rights. Now, her production company, Dirty Films, is leading a work that will feature that script and be directed by Almodóvar and will be filmed in 2023. “We are collaborators, something I look for in my films. I had been wanting to work with Pedro for a long time, enjoy his passion”, she says.

About her character, she explains: “It’s fascinating how Berlin explored herself from many different perspectives: love, addictions, the creative process… All the women in the stories are, deep down, herself. And that Pedro has grasped, because he knows what the primary mechanisms of relationships between human beings are like. In his films there is heart and at the same time a profound reflection on aesthetics”.

Blanchett finds a quick connection between Almodóvar and del Toro: “Both are deeply humanistic filmmakers. You can see it in Parallel Mothers, in its final interweaving between History and the deepest human feelings. He loves people.” And she explains that next week they will meet again: “On Wednesday I will present a screening of her film in London and Pedro and Penélope Cruz will be there. There is no plan that I want more”. It is a pass for members of the Hollywood Academy, since until February 1 they can vote for the Oscar nominations, and it coincides with the premiere, on Friday the 28th, of Parallel Mothers in the United Kingdom.

The excuse for the interview, held last Tuesday, is her work in Nightmare Alley, in which she plays a psychiatrist, Lilith Ritter, without any scruples to swindle people and who will find in the protagonist – who is brought to life by Bradley Cooper—, a trickster hardened in local fairs who now acts for rich people, his best possible ally. A femme fatale manual. “Well, it is that usually in film noir there are. And her wardrobe and her office provide many common elements of these women. But I also think that part of that type of character is made up of their body, and here that beautiful body is provided by Bradley. Guillermo has shunned the traditional image and planted elements of corruption and perdition for all the characters.” Is it a movie without monsters, unlike almost all of Del Toro’s previous films? “Ugh, the no monster thing is indeed moot, because some of the characters are demeaned in ways that you might think they are. The promises of power and money push them into an amorality that is as frightening as the monsters. Those behaviors are also terrifying.”

Production on Nightmare Alley was halted for six months during the lockdown, time Blanchett spent gardening. “It was frustrating for all of us, because we had very little left to finish, but at the same time it helped us reflect on what we had filmed.” For the actress, there is no one comparable to the Mexican director. “It’s unique. Not only is he a great lover of film history, as is obvious, but he is also fascinated by acting, production design, photography. He is constantly creating and is an artist who drives those of us who work to be better.” And that is why she will also be with him in Pinocchio, an animation project that will finally be released in September, produced by Netflix. An hour after this interview, Del Toro himself explained to EL PAÍS: “I know that I always say that the monsters that scare me the most are human beings. But Cate, no [laughs]. Our relationship has been explosive and joyful. It has been like discovering a friend who was already a friend before I met him. Years ago we developed a television series that was never shot and I was captivated by its humor and depth. Now my challenge is how to write roles for Cate in my future films.”

Blanchett has launched numerous messages in favor of movie theaters in recent years. When in September 2020 she attended the Venice festival, as president of its jury, he pointed out: “We have to go back to the theaters. We are coming out of a streaming monoculture that has lasted six months. This is the opportunity to re-examine how this technology changes the way of seeing and making cinema”. Now she explains, after being part of the success of Netflix Don’t Look Up: “I am passionate about getting involved in fascinating stories that force me to take risks. And in this case, I loved joining the world of Adam McKay, I’ve been in that project for years, before Netflix came on. Adam’s way of telling it in a documentary style is shocking… Because we actually live in a world where populism rules, where arguments are not listened to.” Due to these interests, she jumped from the cinema to the theater and although she has directed on stage, she does not think he will soon do it for the big screen: “I have always been interested, but you need a lot of patience and time. I have a couple of ideas, and at the same time four children. Too much hassle for now.”

On the element that unites both films, Don’t Look Up and Nightmare Alley, which reflect on what is true or false and the triumph of fake news, she points out: “The global level of distrust and fear is incredible. I am still amazed at the widespread corruption that we have accepted. We should reflect more on it and that is why it is pertinent to make these types of films, to debate about it”. Do those who best manipulate the rest of human beings win? “It infuriates me to see where the world is going because of this constructed fear, created by some.”

Source: El Pais

Cate Blanchett Interviews
Posted on
Jan 18, 2022

Cate Blanchett Interviews

Hi, blanchetters!

Check out these new interviews with Cate ahead of the release of Nightmare Alley outside the US.

Cate Blanchett: I dressed up as my daughter’s teacher in lockdown

Cate Blanchett is one of a select group of Hollywood stars to have won two acting Oscars. This year marks three decades since her first ever role, on stage in Sydney, opposite Geoffrey Rush in Oleanna. The Lord of the Rings, Elizabeth, The Aviator – it has been a glittering career.

However, in 2020 she took on a very special part; one which none of us will ever get to see.

It came about because her seven-year-old daughter Edith had serious demands for home schooling during lockdown.

She wouldn’t allow me at all to teach maths or do phonics, unless I dressed up as her teacher and put on her teacher’s voice,” the 52-year old laughs. “I had an array of stuffed animals who also had to be taught. I wasn’t an offer I made. It was a request she made.”

An appeal to hear a little bit of her in teacher mode is quickly rebuffed. “Mrs Venables Kyrke? No. I was so traumatic for me I’ve actually put my Mrs Venables Kyrke to bed. She was her teacher then. She’s a saint.

Blanchett says her attempts to home school all four of her children led to her greatest Lockdown learning. “One thing that really came home to me was just how incredible teachers are. That is an inherently dramatic situation where you have to stand up in front of a class of 30 often disinterested pupils and try and get the engaged in medieval history.”

In the end, almost a year was spent during Lockdown at their family home in East Sussex, “with the pigs and the chickens and watching The Sopranos. I was happy with the ending, except that it ended.” The English countryside is where she has lived with her writer husband Andrew Upton since 2016.

Playing Mrs Venables Kyrke to an audience of one, was not the only acting role Blanchett took on in 2020. When lockdown started in March of that year, she had just completed filming her section of Nightmare Ally, Guillermo del Torro’s first film since The Shape of Water won best picture four years ago. It is released in the UK this week.

Based on a 1946 novel, which was adapted into a film the following year, Nightmare Alley is a neo-noir thriller, in which Blanchett plays a psychoanalyst whose life becomes entangled with a circus mind-reader, in the shape of Bradley Cooper.

The Hollywood Reporter described it as luminous and finely faceted, and one of del Torro’s most fluent features.”

However, its running time of 2hr 30 has not appealed to all, with the New Yorker commenting: “The overdone décor and the overcooked acting serve merely as glitzy distractions from the tale’s lugubrious sprawl.”

Blanchett, who is nominated at the Screen Actors Guild Awards for her performance, believes that although the film is set in the 1940s its themes of deception are very current.”In today’s world, facing the truth is a very dangerous, almost circus like game,” she suggests. “We’re terrified of the truth. Somehow the notion of the truth has become politicised, and it’s being used to estrange ourselves not only from each other and community from community, but from ourselves.

“I think that Nightmare Alley deals with the terrifying moment when you start believing the lie, rather than living in the actual genuine scientific immutable truth.”

Blanchett is one of the most acclaimed actresses in Hollywood, both with her critics and her peers. Last year, George Clooney said she was “the best actress of her generation”. She has won two Oscars, for her performances in The Aviator and Blue Jasmine, and starred in Carol, Ocean’s 8, Babel and Notes on a Scandal.

This is the not the only current film with a message in which Blanchett appears. Over Christmas, the all-star climate change analogy Don’t Look Up, in which she plays a TV news anchor, broke Netflix records for the most hours a movie had been watched on the service in one week.

Missing cinemas

It has split critics in the same way that the comet in the film threatens to split the earth. Blanchett has enjoyed the way it has polarised people.

“At the time we were making it, it felt like a satire but as the weeks and months have rolled on, it feels increasingly like a documentary.

“At one point, post the filming, I texted Adam Mckay, who wrote and directed the film, to say ‘do you have a crystal ball, because I’ve just heard that there’s a meteorite heading towards the earth’s orbit and there’s talk about the Chinese sending rockets up to intercept it? Isn’t that in the film?'”

While people were able to stream Don’t Look Up at home, Nightmare Alley is being released exclusively in cinemas. In the US, it opened the same week as Spider-Man: No Way Home, struggling to number seven at the box office and failing to pass the $10m (£7.3m) mark, while Spider-Man has become one of the ten biggest films of all time.

Blanchett refutes the idea that this is the way that cinema is heading – with event movies attracting huge audiences and people happy to wait and watch pretty much everything else in the comfort of their living room.

“Personally, I miss sitting in the dark with strangers and I miss that about going to live music, to going to the theatre and to going to the cinema. Maybe I’m wildly optimistic, but I still hope that when things get a little more stable, I think people will crave to see things large and big in a cinema, so what looks like a disastrous situation for cinema at the, could actually be a positive.”

She explains: “Things were dicey for a lot of independent cinemas and smaller films pre pandemic. I think it is a chance for the industry to really assess who their audience is and how they can recapture and reinvigorate that audience. More adult films like Nightmare Alley, it’s pure cinema. I mean Guillermo del Torro is a cinema animal. They are in that delicate place where you really hope that people will realise that the experience is so much richer seeing it on the big screen.”

With the future of cinema, the nature of truth and how difficult it is to be a teacher already covered, there was just time to ask Blanchett what other big issues are annoying her. She did not disappoint.

“I’m trying to be very Zen,” she smiles “which can be very annoying to other people. But otherwise, it’s the usual; leaf blowers, plastic bags, people using the jam jar and putting the same knife into the butter. That’s really annoying, especially when you want to have Vegemite on your toast, you don’t want a big bit of jam in there.”

Time for her to text Adam Mckay and persuade him to start assembling another all-star cast to sort out these most pressing of matters.

“Oh yes,” she laughs. “The really big important things.”

Cate Blanchett on ‘bringing the system down’ as a ‘contemporary’ femme fatale in Nightmare Alley

Click on the image to watch some parts of the interview.

Listen to the podcast below:

The 2022 awards race is heating up in a big way, and two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is poised to be a major contender once again.

Blanchett has roles in not one but two awards hopefuls this year: Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley and Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up. Fresh off scoring a SAG Award nomination for her work in the former, Blanchett sat down with EW’s The Awardist podcast to discuss her experiences working on both projects, her inspiration for her roles, and the directors she still wants to work with.

In Nightmare Alley, Blanchett plays Dr. Lilith Ritter, a psychologist hell-bent on exposing Bradley Cooper’s Stan as a conman. EW’s review of the film describes her as “a purring blond puma in a skirt suit,” but Blanchett is quick to point out the unconventionality of this particular femme fatale.

“I think there’s a richness and a texture to her, in a way that perhaps there’s not in traditional femme fatales,” she tells EW’s Joshua Rothkopf.

“Femme fatales, to me, often are sirens who — and it’s always men — draw men into the rocks, but for destructive reasons. Whereas I think Lilith is interested in bringing the system down. And that feels a very contemporary thing for a woman who’s suffered extreme pain to want to do. And it’s all pouched in the buoyant, strange, and unique humanity in which Guillermo makes his movies.”

Blanchett describes Lilith as “deeply ambiguous and unknowable and mysterious,” so, to get a handle on portraying her, she says her director encouraged her to create a backstory for the character.

“Guillermo is very, very big on backstory,” she explains. “So even though a lot of the characters never explicitly mention who they are, what motivates them, what their history is, he absolutely wants all of those characters to be rich and full the minute they walk in the door, and also for them to have a secret that is only shared with him.”

Her experience working on the neo-noir psychological thriller could not have been more different from filming McKay’s disaster flick, both due to COVID protocols and a significant difference in directing styles. McKay is known for having an improvisatory set, and while Blanchett says she feels that all acting has some improv involved, Don’t Look Up was a unique experience.

Likening the film to “silent movie-making,” Blanchett says, “It was a bit hard because [McKay] was masked and behind his PPE, so you couldn’t always understand him, but he would often throw lines in from the side or let the take run and run and run.”

She adds, “What was great about it is that, after a few takes, you realized you could go really off-piste because you might end up somewhere useful. And particularly because the absurd became increasingly realistic and possible. We were all living it. We’re living the ridiculousness as a species. So with every passing day, it felt like things that were happening out there in the so-called real world could be not necessarily directly referenced but definitely fed into the way we were working.”

Source: BBC

Cate Blanchett interview with BBC 5’s Under the Spotlight
Posted on
Jan 16, 2022

Cate Blanchett interview with BBC 5’s Under the Spotlight

Happy Sunday, everyone!

Cate is a guest on Laura Whitmore’s BBC 5 radio program to promote Nightmare Alley which will be out in the UK on January 21st 2022.

You can listen to the interview here. You can fast forward to 00:00:37 where Cate shared a lyric that she lives for. The full interview begins at 01:04:53.

Cate Blanchett on The Graham Norton Show; & Nightmare Alley Featurettes
Posted on
Jan 14, 2022

Cate Blanchett on The Graham Norton Show; & Nightmare Alley Featurettes

Good day, fellow Cate Blanchett fans!

Clips from The Graham Norton Show where Cate is one of the guests are now online. The full show is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Searchlight Pictures also released some featurettes for Nightmare Alley. Watch below!

The Graham Norton Show

Nightmare Alley Featurettes



Cate Blanchett on W Magazine cover; and Nominations for Nightmare Alley and Don’t Look Up Performance
Posted on
Jan 13, 2022

Cate Blanchett on W Magazine cover; and Nominations for Nightmare Alley and Don’t Look Up Performance

Great day, Blanchetters!

Cate is on one of the covers of W Magazine’s Best Performances this year. She has also received her 16th and 17th nomination from SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards for both Nightmare Alley and Don’t Look Up. BAFTA released their longlist which includes Cate’s performance in Don’t Look Up in the supporting role category. We also added a behind the scene photo, still, and some scans from Nightmare Alley on our gallery. Check them below!

Critics Choice FYC

Behind the scene and still from Nightmare Alley

The Hollywood Reporter – January 12th 2022 (Beware of spoilers!)

Cate Blanchett Keeps on the Sunny Side

The plot of Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley could be boiled down to a game of cat and mouse. Cate Blanchett’s Lilith is hell-bent on exposing Bradley Cooper’s Stan as a quack, and she sure doesn’t mind taking the purported mentalist’s girlfriend, played by Rooney Mara, down with him. (Suffice to say, this is not the Carol reunion we envisioned.) For W’s annual Best Performances issue, Blanchett shares how starring in the film brightened her pandemic experience—along with a bit of gardening on the side.

Production on Nightmare Alley was stopped for six months during lockdown.

Yes—and that was fine. I love the project. I saw Tod Browning’s Freaks at an impressionable age, and it was so full of humanity. I’ve always been fascinated by the circus or carnival world. I saw the original [1947] Nightmare Alley with Tyrone Power, and I loved that in the film, everything was a game. [In this version], I play the traditional femme fatale—I draw men to their doom. But I saw my character, Lilith, as a beacon of truth in a perverted way. Someone who was able to excavate the truth from a person who did not want the truth revealed.

The film is set in the world of fortune-telling and “carny” workers. Have you ever had your fortune told?

Years ago, I played a psychic in a Sam Raimi film called The Gift. I’d never even had a reading, so I thought I should. She said some very strange things that didn’t make sense at the time, including that I would have four children. Much of what she said came to pass—and here I am with four children! Part of me wanted to rush back and see her again, and part of me never wanted to see her again. [Laughs]

What were your Covid activities during the film’s six-month break?

I gardened for England! Couldn’t stop planting! We had a derelict greenhouse on our property that we brought back to life. I practiced the piano. And I also watched every episode of The Sopranos, which I had never seen. I can’t look at a screen now—I have PTSD about watching anything at home. I want to be out: in a cinema, a concert hall, a theater, experiencing something with strangers. I miss that communal bond.

Do you think Nightmare Alley has a larger message?

Yes. The more one tries to conceal one’s true nature, the more those tendencies will have an impact on your life. It’s one thing to lie—it’s another thing to believe your lies. (And my character reveals the truth.)

2022 EE British Academy Film Awards Longlist

Supporting Actress

15 performances will progress to Round Two of voting, and six will be nominated. To determine this longlist, in Round One the acting chapter voted; the top 12 were automatically longlisted. The remaining three places have been voted on by the Longlisting jury, who have considered the next 10 placed performances from the chapter vote. Round Two is voted on by a jury who will vote for the six nominations. In Round Three, the general voting membership will select the winner in this category. 202 performances were submitted for consideration.

Caitríona Balfe Belfast
Cate Blanchett Don’t Look Up
Jessie Buckley The Lost Daughter
Ana de Armas No Time To Die
Ariana DeBose West Side Story
Ann Dowd Mass
Judi Dench Belfast
Kirsten Dunst The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis King Richard
Kathryn Hunter The Tragedy of Macbeth
Rita Moreno West Side Story
Ruth Negga Passing
Vinette Robinson Boiling Point
Meryl Streep Don’t Look Up
Anya Taylor-Joy Last Night in Soho

SAG Nomination

Cate has been nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Nightmare Alley) and Outstanding Performance by a Cast in Motion Picture (Don’t Look Up). She is now the most nominated actor in the ensemble category with 7 nominations and 1 win — Lord of the Rings Trilogy (won for Return of the King), The Aviator, Babel, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and the latest is Don’t Look Up.

After going virtual last year amid the pandemic, the SAG Awards are returning to an in-person event, though this year’s ceremony will be held in the spacious Santa Monica Barker Hangar and follow COVID safety protocols. The show will simulcast live on Feb. 27 on TNT and TBS on at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.

Meryl Streep & Cate Blanchett Continue Record Streaks For SAG Award Film Nominations

Overall, including TV noms, Meryl Streep counts 19 SAG nominations in her career including noms from such TV series as Big Little Lies (ensemble drama) in 2020 and a 2004 win for female lead actor in a TV movie/miniseries for HBO’s Angels in America.

Cate Blanchett isn’t far behind, taking her SAG nom running total to second place among all feature performers from 14 to 16 today with a supporting female actor nomination for Searchlight’s Nightmare Alley and an ensemble feature cast nomination for Don’t Look Up. In total for her career, including SAG nom recognition from TV roles, Blanchett counts 17 SAG nominations, tying with Allison Janney’s overall count.

Blanchett won three times prior, for Film Best Female Lead Actor (2014 for Blue Jasmine), Supporting Female Actor (2005 for The Aviator) and Ensemble Feature cast (2004 for Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King).

Source: W Magazine, BAFTA, Variety, Deadline

Cate Blanchett in Pedro Almodóvar’s First English-Language Feature; & Nightmare Alley and Don’t Look Up Updates
Posted on
Jan 8, 2022

Cate Blanchett in Pedro Almodóvar’s First English-Language Feature; & Nightmare Alley and Don’t Look Up Updates

Happy weekend, Blanchetters!

Cate will produce and star in Pedro Almodóvar’s First English-Language Feature — A Manual for Cleaning Women. She also appeared on #FallonTonight last Wednesday to promote Nightmare Alley. We updated the FYC Campaign folder and uploaded the scans from latest issue of Total Film with a short interview with Cate. You can also check a behind the scene footage from the movie. The conversation with cast of Don’t Look Up is also out. Check them below. Beware of spoilers!

We would like to thank Susann for her donation to the site!

Cate Blanchett to Star in Pedro Almodóvar’s First English-Language Feature ‘A Manual for Cleaning Women’

Cate Blanchett has officially signed on to star in Pedro Almodóvar’s first English-language feature film, “A Manual for Cleaning Women.”

The film is an adaptation of Lucia Berlin’s short story collection of the same name, which includes 43 stories about women in multiple types of demanding jobs.

It was confirmed to Variety exclusively that the project is in the early stages of development, with Blanchett’s production company Dirty Films producing the feature for New Republic Pictures, in association with El Deseo. Andrew Upton and Coco Francini are producing alongside Blanchett for Dirty Films. Brian Oliver and Bradley Fischer are producing for New Republic Pictures alongside Almodóvar.

Almodóvar spoke with Variety for our “Up Next” series in December about the project, saying he was writing the script in Spanish before translating it to English.


Total Film – January 2022

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon



Special behind-the-scenes look at powerful casting in Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Nightmare Alley’

Adam McKay + Cast In Conversation for Don’t Look Up

Source: Variety, ABC7

Conversation with the Cast of Nightmare Alley
Posted on
Dec 27, 2021

Conversation with the Cast of Nightmare Alley

Good day, Blanchetters!

An hour conversation with the cast of Nightmare Alley moderated by Laura Dern has been released. Watch below.

Warning: There are spoilers in the conversation

To follow up his Best Picture-winning “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo Del Toro pulled together an enviable ensemble of accomplished A-list actors for the noirish 1930s drama, “Nightmare Alley.” Adapted from the 1946 novel, the film tracks the hubristic rise of drifting con artist Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper, also a producer on the project). Carlisle parlays a show-stopping mentalist act to ascend from itinerant carnival sideshows to Chicago high society. From carnies to the upper-crust, the vibrant characters that move throughout Carlisle’s orbit will test his mettle and his moral compass.

Cooper, in particular, delves into the personal and creative kinship developed with Del Toro, as COVID delays allowed for extended prep work. The movie provided numerous firsts for the actor-producer, including the vulnerability of filming an intimate scene with Toni Collette’s veteran seer character, Zeena. Cate Blanchett, who portrays a frosty psychoanalyst keen to Carlisle’s deceptions, details how she situated a ‘laser-focused’ part within Del Toro’s collective vision. She recalls a crucial one-on-one scene with Carlisle: “You were amazing, Bradley. It was like suddenly the temperature dropped. All I had to do was let it come out of you; I didn’t have to do anything!” The candid chat among peers offers a fascinating glimpse into masterful creative processes—resulting in a film that exceeds the sum of its considerable parts.

In this mega-starry group chat organized by Searchlight, Laura Dern moderates a sprawling discussion with the bulk of the principal cast, including Cooper, Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, David Strathairn, Mary Steenburgen, and Ron Perlman. With evident warmth and mutual respect, each actor shares their experiences collaborating with Del Toro to nail their role in his meticulously realized world

Source: Backstage

Dont’ Look Up out now on Netflix; and interviews
Posted on
Dec 26, 2021

Dont’ Look Up out now on Netflix; and interviews

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Don’t Look Up is now available to stream on Netflix (worldwide). Screencaptures from the movie are now available on our gallery, and a few interviews with Cate has been released. Enjoy!