Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio Teaser
Posted on
Jul 27, 2022

Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio Teaser

Hi! Another day, another teaser trailer of a film that Cate worked on.

We also have great news! We are able to keep the site open for another year with the donation we have received from kind fans. We would like to send our deepest gratitude to the following people who donated to the website: Jessica, Frauke, Murtada, Kelly, Joseph, Jade, Yutao, Bronte, Erzsébet, Victoria, Irina, Dolores, Marise.

Netflix has released the teaser for Guillermo Del Toro’s stop-motion animated version of Pinocchio. Cate voiced the monkey, Spazzatura. The film will be released in select theatres in the US in November 2022 before it drops on Netflix in December 2022. Check the teaser below.

Source: Variety

TÁR to go to Venice & The School for Good and Evil Release Date
Posted on
Jul 22, 2022

TÁR to go to Venice & The School for Good and Evil Release Date

Happy Friday!

Some great news today, our most anticipated Cate movie this year – TÁR, will have it’s world premiere at the 79th Venice Film Festival. You can also follow the movie’s official social media accounts below. The School for Good and Evil where Cate is the narrator will drop on Netflix on October 21st 2022.

Cate Blanchett Set to Bring New Movies to Venice

Focus Features will be on the Lido with Todd Field’s “Tár,” which teams the “In the Bedroom” director with Cate Blanchett as the fictional Lydia Tár, one of the world’s greatest conductors and the first female conductor of a major German orchestra. Blanchett is a Venice regular who presided over the festival’s main jury in 2020.

Full line up of movies premiering at this year’s festival will be unveiled on July 26th with screening schedule to be released at the middle of August. The festival will run from August 31st to September 10th 2022.

You can followmovie for updates on both instagram and twitter.

Click image to follow

The School for Good and Evil

 

In Aid of UNHCR – STIL Lifestyle Auction
Posted on
Jul 2, 2022

In Aid of UNHCR – STIL Lifestyle Auction

Hi, Cate fans!

Cate Blanchett has donated a custom-made suit by Grayscale in support of Ukraine and UNHCR. According to STIL Lifestyle, where some of her pre-owned items has been sold in 2020 in order to raise funds for UNCHR, the suit that Cate donated will be auctioned this Autumn along with other donated items from “most iconic, inspiring, and stylish women”. All proceeds will go to UNHCR.

The Channel 4 documentary “Ukraine: Life Under Attack” that Cate narrated was also co-executive produced by her. Follow the link below to watch.

Click image to watch

 

 

Continue reading In Aid of UNHCR – STIL Lifestyle Auction

Cate Blanchett on ABC 90th Birthday Celebration and Channel 4 Dispatches
Posted on
Jun 30, 2022

Cate Blanchett on ABC 90th Birthday Celebration and Channel 4 Dispatches

Hi, everyone!

Cate Blanchett appeared on the 90th birthday celebration of ABC Australia where she presented some of the network’s most notable dramas. You can watch the video below. Full celebration can be streamed on ABC iview. Channel 4’s documentary Ukraine: Life Under Attack which Cate narrated is now available to stream on the network’s website for those living in the UK.

Click image to watch the documentary.

More Cate Blanchett Voice Works
Posted on
Jun 22, 2022

More Cate Blanchett Voice Works

Hi, everyone!

Cate has been attached to more voice works recently. She has a voice part in Julian Rosefeldt’s most recent film installation — Euphoria. She voiced a talking and singing tiger in a supermarket. Paul Feig has also said that Cate is the narrator in Netflix’ adaptation of The School for Good and Evil.

EUPHORIA IS THE LONG-AWAITED, NEW, MULTI-DISCIPLINARY, SPATIAL FILM INSTALLATION BY THE VIDEO ARTIST AND FILM-MAKER JULIAN ROSEFELDT, WHO WOWED RUHRTRIENNALE AUDIENCES IN 2016 WITH MANIFESTO.

His new work is a tour de force that runs through the history of economic theory. The project consists of original texts from famous economists, writers, philosophers and poets, and traces the 2,000-year history of human greed. He translates the complex history of the development of our neoliberal market economy into an accessible visual language through the combination of historical texts with familiar scenic representations, in which actors like Giancarlo Esposito and Virginia Newcomb appear as contemporary characters and Cate Blanchett provides the voice for a talking, singing tiger. The project pursues the question of why capitalism appears, until now, to have no alternative and why it remains irresistible, even to people who are aware of its destructive nature, as a filmic re-enactment of both pro-capitalist and capitalist-critical positions.

Euphoria is part of Ruhrtriannale Festival (Germany) running from August 26th – September 10th 2022. More info on tickets here. It will also be shown at Park Avenue Armory in New York from November 29th 2022 until January 8th 2023 (tickets here.)

Cate Blanchett Cast as Narrator in The School for Good and Evil

 Cate Blanchett has joined the cast of Netflix’s fantasy film “The School for Good and Evil,” alongside stars Kerry Washington, Charlize Theron and Michelle Yeoh, filmmaker Paul Feig said during a conversation at the 6th Annual Women in Entertainment Summit in Los Angeles.

And actually, we just got Cate Blanchett as now the narrator, so we’re very excited about that,” Feig let slip during the fireside chat, as he listed out the star-studded female-led ensemble. “It hasn’t actually been announced yet — it’s out there.”

The Netflix Original, based on Soman Chainani’s bestselling book series, follows the relationship between two best friends, Sophie (Sophia Anne Caruso) and Agatha (Sofia Wylie) as they are swept into a fairy tale-like world. However, the girls are soon separated, as Sophie is placed under Lady Lesso’s (Theron) tutelage in the School for Evil, while Agatha is taken in by Professor Dovey (Kerry Washington) in the School for Good. The plot centers on their fight to return to each other and adventures in mystical environments.

Sources: Broadway World, Ruhrtriannale, Park Avenue Armory, The Wrap

 

Cate Blanchett on ABC 90 Celebrate
Posted on
Jun 16, 2022

Cate Blanchett on ABC 90 Celebrate

Good day, Blanchett fans!

Cate Blanchett is set to be featured in the live two-hour entertainment TV event, ABC 90 Celebrate! She has appeared in a few of ABC programmes: Police Rescue, G.P., Heartland, Rake, and most recently in #StatelessTV which she co-created and co-produced.

A first look footage for Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio was shown at Annecy Film Festival and VR project, Evolver is still showing at Tribeca Film Festival. Read a review on Evolver from Independent below.

ABC 90 Celebrate!

ABC has announced a stellar lineup of famous faces set to feature in the live two-hour entertainment television event, ABC 90 Celebrate! Airing Thursday, 30 June at 8.00 pm on ABC TV and ABC iview.

Hosted by Zan Rowe, Tony Armstrong and Craig Reucassel, the broadcast will feature an exciting list of performers and presenters who are set to celebrate the value and role the ABC has held in connecting Australians for 90 years.

Throughout the evening, audiences can expect live crosses to different locations, studios and community events across the country.

Taking audiences through a nostalgic journey of the programmes and people that have made an impact across the 90 years will be an abundance of Australian entertainment legends.

The list includes Adam Liaw, Amy Shark, Annabel Crabb, Bjorn Ulaveus, Bryce Mills, Cate Blanchett, Christine Anu, Daniel Browning, Hunter Page-Lochard, Ebony Boadu, Kev Carmody, Leah Purcell, Leigh Sales, Magda Szubanski, Michael Hing, Molly Meldrum, Namilla Benson, Richard Roxburgh, Roy & HG, Ross Wilson, Steph Tisdell, Wil Anderson, and many more.

Pinocchio

Guillermo Del Toro world premiered eight minutes of footage, finished and unfinished, from his stop-motion fable about a wooden boy with a borrowed soul.

Even without the full title “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” the film’s artistic voice would be unmistakable. In the first excerpt screened we find Geppetto encountering the newly living Pinocchio for the first time. The characters are unlike any versions we’ve seen prior. The inventor, for one, seems thoroughly soused (or at least terribly hung-over), picking himself off the floor and stumbling across his creaky workshop with bloodshot eyes.

Only something is stirring, something is upstairs, and that something announces itself with a fright. As the wooden puppet moves out of the shadows, it does so not with the upright footing of a boy but with the spindly movements of a bug. Newly brought to life, Pinocchio moves at first like a spider, using his arms as two extra legs before (presumably) learning that in order to be a real boy one should aim to be bipedal.

Cate Blanchett takes us inside the human body in an epic VR experience

Stepping through a blacked-out revolving door in Manhattan’s Financial District and into Evolver, a virtual reality exhibit about human breath, the audience is confronted by a dark concrete room. There’s an eerie, amplified natural soundscape of babbling brooks and passing storms and enormous backlit pictures that feel familiar, but with closer scrutiny prove ineffable. An indistinct image could be a Hubble telescope capture of the stars or maybe a tree’s underground roots, or even a network of human capillaries, magnified to a scale that renders the mundane fact of circulation alarming. This is, of course, the point.

Created by the London-based art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast, luxuriously narrated by Cate Blanchett, and co-executive produced by Terrence Malick, Evolver drops its audience inside the human body on the journey of an inhale. Here we follow the flow of oxygen from the outside world, through our lungs, and eventually to our distant cells. But the impression of the exhibit – which had its world premiere last week at the Tribeca Film Festival – is far less sterile than its brief. Though based on biologically accurate renderings, the result is closer to painterly mimesis than precise simulation. There’s no way the inside of my body looks this spectral and astonishing.

The exhibit acknowledges that’s a trippy question to ask, and so our first ten minutes are spent in deliciously enveloping zero gravity chair sacs, functioning like a palate cleanser. Instead of bulky VR headsets, attendees are outfitted with pillowy headphones and invited to close their eyes. Cate Blanchett then huskily murmurs in your ear about the relationship between your body and the world beyond it.

Transitions are always messy in big, interactive exhibits, but being roused from Cate Blanchett’s seductive whisper to be tightly fitted with futuristic goggles was particularly unwelcome but quickly forgotten. In the main presentation, Blanchett’s voice is replaced by a moody, natured-inflected soundtrack by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, avant-garde artist Meredith Monk, late Icelandic composer Jo?hann Jo?hannsson and experimentalist Howard Skempton. It starts aloof and electronic and grows triumphantly grandiose. Visually, human breath streams and swirls around you like the Milky Way; blood vents as explosively as lava. The path of the molecules that appear to surround you can be modestly altered by swooping your hand across your body.

Virtual reality on this scale is disorienting; a watchful exhibition assistant had to save me from walking into a wall and later, another participant. It’s also stupefying – I struggled for words in the minutes immediately after and I’m told some visitors even cried. But Steel’s impossible question occasionally revisited me. Are you breathing the air, or is the wild world remaking itself in miniature inside you? Is circulation anything less beautiful than a brook that babbles within us?

Evolver won’t improve your anatomical understanding. Instead, it elevates the simple and involuntary fact of human respiration into something as extraordinary to look at as the world outside us. It accomplished something more startling than making me think about my own breath. It made me gasp.

Sources: MediaWeek; Variety; Independent

First Look at Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
Posted on
Jun 14, 2022

First Look at Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Hello! Vanity Fair has released the first look at Guillermo Del Toro’s stop-motion animated version of Pinocchio. Cate is voicing a monkey named Spazzatura, the lead puppeteer of one of the main villains in the movie, Count Volpe.

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio tells this truth about its otherworldly title character: he can be a little unsettling, or even scary, before you get to know him. In the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s upcoming stop-motion animated movie from Netflix, even Geppetto gets the willies when he first encounters the cheerful wooden boy clamoring around his workshop. A hallmark of del Toro’s storytelling, from Pan’s Labyrinth to Hellboy to his best-picture-winning The Shape of Water, is that beings who are initially seen as freakish, or frightening or unnatural, are often even more humane and sympathetic than the seemingly normal people who fear or scorn them.

The director always brings a slight chill before warming the heart, so his take on the living puppet comes from a gothic direction. “I’ve always been very intrigued by the links between Pinocchio and Frankenstein,” del Toro tells Vanity Fair for this exclusive first look. “They are both about a child that is thrown into the world. They are both created by a father who then expects them to figure out what’s good, what’s bad, the ethics, the morals, love, life, and essentials, on their own. I think that was, for me, childhood. You had to figure it out with your very limited experience.”

Despite that monstrous inspiration, Del Toro’s movie was crafted to be family friendly. He knows it will be challenging, but hopes his Pinocchio connects across generations and brings out a sense of compassion. “These are times that demand from kids a complexity that is tremendous. Far more daunting, I think, than when I was a child. Kids need answers and reassurances.… For me, this is for both children and adults that talk to each other. It tackles very deep ideas about what makes us human.”

His approach to this story is a significant departure from what audiences have seen previously in movies about the puppet who yearns to be a real boy.  In this version, “real” is a given. “To me, it’s essential to counter the idea that you have to change into a flesh-and-blood child to be a real human,” del Toro says. “All you need to be human is to really behave like one, you know? I have never believed that transformation [should] be demanded to gain love.”

The formally titled Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio aims to stand apart. For one thing, the production quality of his film is self-evident in the ornate detail of the sets and textures of the characters. And he has reinterpreted Collodi’s tale in a way that distances it from the formidable Disney adaptations. “I have been very vocal about my admiration and my great, great love for Disney all my life, but that is an impulse that actually makes me move away from that version,” del Toro says. “I think it is a pinnacle of Disney animation. It’s done in the most beautiful, hand-drawn 2D animation.”

By contrast, he notes that his own film is “a story about a puppet, with puppets—trying to seek acting from the animators in a different medium completely. We couldn’t be more different than any other version of Pinocchio in our spiritual or philosophical goals, or even the setting.”

Del Toro’s Pinocchio takes place not in a fairy-tale world, but in Italy between World War I and World War II, during the rise of fascism and authoritarian rule in the country. The wooden boy happens to come to life “in an environment in which citizens behave with obedient, almost puppet-like faithfulness,” del Toro says.

Pinocchio (voiced by newcomer Gregory Mann) is a silly, sunny personality, eager to learn about the world and meet the people who inhabit it. But his roots, quite literally, are in sadness. In del Toro’s retelling, he is carved from a tree that grew over the grave of Geppetto’s son, Carlo, whose life was cut agonizingly short years before. (In the shot at the top in which del Toro is peeking through the window, you can see the lost child’s photo in a frame on the woodcarver’s workbench.)

The heartbroken Geppetto (voiced by David Bradley of Game of Thrones and the Harry Potter movies) is still too blinded by grief to realize that his wish has come true. “He begs for another chance at being a father, but he doesn’t recognize that the essence of his own child comes back in the form of this indomitable boy,” the filmmaker says. “The main conflict within Geppetto and Pinocchio is that Geppetto wanted Carlo, who was a very well-behaved, very docile kid, and he doesn’t quite get Pinocchio, who is rowdy and wild and exuberant.”

A creature who does understand Pinocchio’s heart is Sebastian J. Cricket (voiced by Ewan McGregor), the eloquent purple insect who built a home in his trunk and continues to reside there when he comes to life. In the image below, you see not just the erudite insect, but also the tree still standing over the lost child’s resting place. “That’s the arrival of the cricket, who has been crisscrossing the world, and this is where he discovers the perfect home,” del Toro says.

Once the tree becomes a living puppet, Sebastian aspires to be a conscience for the boy (just like his alter ego in the Disney version, Jiminy Cricket) But in del Toro’s adaptation he more or less…bugs the kid. “In the beginning of the story, the cricket is full of self-importance,” the director says. “And towards the end, he’s movingly humbled and he understands that it’s not about teaching Pinocchio how to behave, but about himself learning how to behave.”

Sebastian will need more than one lesson about getting out of the way—and he gets more than one lesson. Fortunately for him he is a survivor. “One of the things I liked in the book when I read it as a kid is that the cricket keeps getting killed over and over again and crushed and maimed,” del Toro says. “In our story, the cricket gets smushed often, but it’s a journey also for the cricket to find love and humility.”

The cricket is one of the only other mystical beings in the story. “I didn’t want magical creatures other than the wood spirit that gives him life, and Pinocchio himself,” del Toro says. “I didn’t want a talking fox and a talking cat and the magic of transforming him into a donkey. I wanted everything else to feel as close as we can to the real world.”

With that in mind, one of the story’s main villains, Count Volpe (voiced by Christoph Waltz), is not an actual anthropomorphic fox, but a human whose wing-like sideburns flare up like a fox’s ears. Del Toro describes him as “a grand aristocrat that has fallen into misfortune.”

“The three main villains in the original story are the cat, the fox, and the puppeteer, and we wanted to fuse them into one,” the director says. “This is a puppeteer that has regaled the courts of Europe, and now is traveling in a down and dirty little carnival. In Pinocchio, he finds the hope to be a king, again, you know? To recreate his grand, golden years.”

He fashions an ironclad and lengthy contract, then recruits Pinocchio to join his act, performing alongside other marionettes who are controlled by Volpe’s lead puppeteer—a monkey named Spazaturra, voiced by Cate Blanchett, worships Volpe, even though he is awful to her.

Source: Vanity Fair

 

 

 

VR Project ‘Evolver’ narrated by Cate Blanchett
Posted on
Jun 9, 2022

VR Project ‘Evolver’ narrated by Cate Blanchett

Hi, everyone! The trailer for Evolver which is a “VR Journey of Life and Breath” has been released. The VR project is narrated by Cate Blanchett and is showing at Tribeca Film Festival. She is also an executive producer through Dirty Films.

Cate Blanchett (“Carol”) and Terrence Malick (“The Tree of Life”) have reteamed on “Evolver,” a VR free-roaming, music-filled interactive and transcendental experience which is world premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Produced by the artist collective Marshmallow Laser Feast (“We Live in an Ocean of Air”) in the U.K., Atlas V (“Spheres”) in France and Pressman Film (“The Crow”) in the U.S., “Evolver” is a pioneering experience taking audiences inside the landscape of the body, following the flow of oxygen through a branching ecosystem, to a single ‘breathing’ cell. The experience has been conceived to be replicated and sized up in festivals and museums around the world and can host up to 100 people at the same.

Veteran producer Edward R. Pressman is executive producing with his long-time friend Malick as well as Blanchett, Coco Francini and Andrew Upton through their banner Dirty Films. Pressman and Malick’s first creative collaboration dates back to 1973 with Malick’s feature debut “Badlands.”

Blanchett, who previously worked with Malick on “Knight of Cups” and “Voyage of Time,” was approached by the filmmaker to join “Evolver” and has given it a greater spiritual depth. Blanchett narrates the experience, starting meditation phase during which she reads a poem created by Daisy Lafarge and guides audiences as they connect with their own bodies and the natural world through a cycle of respiration.

“Voicing Evolver was not so much building a character but creating an atmosphere or a state of mind,” Blanchett told Variety. “Working with Marshmallow Laser Feast, I responded not only to the arresting visuals but the resonant poetry of Daisy Lafarge’s text,” Blanchett added.

Blanchett said “Evolver” shares similar themes as “Voyage of Time” as it reflects on the meaning of life. “It’s been an extraordinary thing to be in Terry’s orbit. The thrum of his world view is intoxicating and any chance to be in a dialogue with him I leap towards with open arms,” said Blanchett about reuniting with Malick. “Giving voice to ‘Voyage of Time’ was an eye-opening meditation and Evolver is a wonderful extension of that conversation,” said the Oscar-winning actor.

While Blanchett has voiced several animated features in the past, this marked her first time narrating a VR experiment.

“VR is obviously a much more immersive experience than conventional animation, which the Evolver team has harnessed to a spectacular degree.”

Blanchett described “Evolver” as an “immersive experience on a metaphysical level that” and said she thinks it will “take the participants on a dynamic journey as the work is simultaneously inward and outward facing, encouraging deep introspection and reflection but also inviting people to connect, not only to their own bodies but to the natural world around them.”

Source: Variety

 

 

 

Cate Blanchett greets ABC Australia on their anniversary; & boards VR project Evolver
Posted on
May 21, 2022

Cate Blanchett greets ABC Australia on their anniversary; & boards VR project Evolver

Hi, everyone!

Cate has sent a video message greeting ABC Australia on their 90 years. She has also signed on as executive producer, with her co-exec producers at Dirty Films – Andrew Upton and Coco Francini, for Evolver which will also be narrated by her and set to premiere at Tribeca Film Festival in June 2022.

Thank you to Erzsébet for the donation to the site.

Cate Blanchett boards Tribeca-bound VR project ‘Evolver’ as narrator and executive producer

Cate Blanchett is narrating virtual-reality project Evolver and has signed on as an executive producer alongside Terrence Malick and Edward R. Pressman.

Billed as a free-roaming, immersive journey through the breathing body, Evolver is world premiering in competition at the Tribeca Immersive programme at the 2022 Tribeca Festival where it will be presented at 120 Broadway from June 9-19.

The VR experience drops audiences inside the human body, following the flow of oxygen from first intake of breath.

Dirty Films’ Cate Blanchett, Coco Francini and Andrew Upton have boarded Evolver as executive producers. Fellow executive producers Edward R. Pressman and Terrence Malick first collaborated on the independent classic Badlands nearly 50 years ago.

Click the image for more information on the screening time

Sources: Screendaily; Tribeca

Cate Blanchett in Porter Magazine; & New Nightmare Alley Clips, and Don’t Look Up Still
Posted on
Nov 29, 2021

Cate Blanchett in Porter Magazine; & New Nightmare Alley Clips, and Don’t Look Up Still

Hello, everyone! Feeling ecstatic with this new Cate update!

Cate covers Porter Magazine. We have updated the gallery with the editorials and the outtakes. There are new footage from Nightmare Alley clips, and Vogue published an article on the costumes in the movie. Also, new still from Don’t Look Up has been released.

Leading Light with Cate Blanchett

Few actors have the cachet of CATE BLANCHETT, but what really drives the multi-Oscar-winning star these days? She talks to AJESH PATALAY about choosing projects that provoke, overcoming parenting challenges and why she’s not interested in ‘winning’ the scene

Click image for higher resolution

When Cate Blanchett finds her groove, it’s like a wind catching in her sails – and a wonderful thing to behold. She’s currently in Berlin, where she’s shooting Tàr, a movie written and directed by Todd Field, in which she plays an eminent music conductor. Having just come off a night shoot when we speak, the actor takes a few minutes to revive. Talking about Berlin, a city she adores, instantly warms her up. “There are so many expat Australians living here,” she effuses. “I feel very at home.”

Next, Blanchett moves into enthusiastic discussion about Tàr, in which she gets to conduct (or pretend to) a full orchestra: “It’s been astonishing. Just to be vibrating in that space with that many musicians.” This leads her on to a rhapsody about a National Trust performance that was broadcast live during the first UK lockdown in 2020, for which five musicians in different locations began playing as daylight broke where they were, building from a solo to a quintet. “My husband and I lay there – we’re sort of on a hill…” Blanchett says of the manor estate in East Sussex (which includes an orchard where, naturally, she presses apples in her downtime), where she lives with her playwright/director husband Andrew Upton and their four children. “We just watched the dawn, in russet mantle clad, emerging,” she says, quoting Shakespeare, “knowing there were about 5,000 other people listening to this music. It was the most beautiful gift that came out of the pandemic.”

Five minutes later, we’re on to climate change and Blanchett is firing on all cylinders. The subject is her next release, Don’t Look Up, a boisterous satire from writer/director Adam McKay about two astronomers (played by Leonardo DiCaprio, himself a fierce advocate for climate action, and Jennifer Lawrence) who try to warn mankind about an approaching comet that will destroy Earth. Everyone, from clickbait pundits and tech billionaires to inept presidents, is subject to ridicule in a story that becomes an obvious metaphor for global warming. Blanchett plays a TV talk-show host, a model of artificiality with bleached-blonde hair, blinding white teeth and impossibly bronzed skin. “Actually, it’s a revolting moment when you wash that makeup off and see the sludge going [down the drain],” she recalls. “It’s quite confronting.”

On the environmental matters that inform the film, she doesn’t sugar any pills. “Everyone is trying to be positive, talking about 1.5 degrees of global warming,” she says. “But 1.5 would still be disastrous. We need to be fucking scared… and demand change; be collectively courageous enough to face that fear and do something about it.” The movie, for all its doomsday messaging, is actually a laugh a minute. And there’s a particular thrill in seeing so many Hollywood stars onscreen at the same time. One pivotal scene in the White House Situation Room brings together five Oscar winners and one Oscar nominee: Blanchett, DiCaprio, Lawrence, Meryl Streep (who plays a catastrophically useless president), Mark Rylance and Jonah Hill.

What was it like being in that room? “It did feel like a Last Supper,” Blanchett says, but this was less a measure of the star wattage than of the strict Covid protocols that were in place, along with the film’s apocalyptic plot. Still, she concedes, getting to high-five Streep (which is the extent of their interaction onscreen) “was great”.

At the same time, Blanchett stars opposite Bradley Cooper in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, a period noir set in the world of a traveling carnival that follows the “rise and fall of a liar”, according to del Toro. Many will see the film (like Don’t Look Up) as a response to the Trump era. “I definitely think this was something boiling in Guillermo,” says Blanchett. “[The film] is a real dark night of the soul. You watch a man breaking the rules, getting away with it… and refusing to show sympathy or compassion.”

McKay has said Don’t Look Up was inspired by a litany of “disastrous presidents”. And Blanchett points to other populist leaders, remarking on the common thread. “I’m hoping it’s a white-male ghost dance,” she says. “They realize they’re on the edge of extinction and they’re panicking. We’re witnessing them in their death throes, which is why it’s so aggressive and destructive.” I ask if, on the contrary, such leaders could see a resurgence. “That’s why people have to vote,” she fires back. “And exercise their power. I’m sounding like I’m on a soapbox, which I’m not interested in, but it’s important to not give in. I’m not giving up hope. As I say to my kids [on climate change], if we’re going out, how do we choose to go out? It’s a terrible conversation to have with your 13-year-old, isn’t it? But anyway. We do laugh around the dinner table. That’s what’s good about Adam’s film. You have to laugh.”

Understandably, Blanchett prefers discussions about her work and not to be caught soapboxing. “I couldn’t be less interested in agitprop [or] telling people what to think,” she says. But she is drawn to films that “ask provocative questions” and she isn’t afraid to get behind causes she believes in, such as Prince William’s Earthshot Prize, which awards contributions to environmentalism. She also recognizes how fraught being outspoken in public can be. “You have to be judicious,” she says. “I’ve been asked to do things by people and I’ve said, ‘I think I’m going to be a liability’.” Her presence can derail a debate, she acknowledges, as she draws the focus over the issues.

She also sees how polarized – and mired by point-scoring – public discourse has become. “I’m very sad about the loss of genuine debate,” she says, “where leaders, public intellectuals and everyday citizens try to find common ground, try to understand the issue, rather than try to win… Even in acting, people talk about [how] to ‘win’ the scene. No, we have to make the scene come alive. And we might have to lose a bit here, win a bit there.”

iven how social media is sharpening the debate, I wonder how much that comes up in conversations with her teenage children Dashiell, Roman and Ignatius, and her youngest, Edith. “A lot,” she says. “Because so much of our so-called information comes through social media. I’m old enough to have been taught at school what a primary, secondary and tertiary source is. I say to the children when they mention something, ‘Where did you read it? Who has [authenticated] that? You have to learn how to read an image and article. And if you’re going to share something, you’d better make sure you have checked the sources.’ Of course, they roll their eyes. But when you hear them talk to their friends, I think they’re responsible. My son is studying physics and philosophy, so he is really interesting to talk to about [technology]. I don’t want to become a separated generation, because I also feel responsible for the landscape he is about to emerge into as an adult.”

On to lighter topics and there’s still one question of vital, global importance I have yet to ask: what did Blanchett make of Adele holding her up as ‘her style icon’ in a recent interview for Vogue? The actor laughs. “I was absolutely chuffed! I think she is amazing. So down to earth. Our paths crossed when she came to Australia on tour.”

As for her own style icons, Blanchett cites Iris Apfel and Fran Lebowitz. And her regard for fashion can be traced back to her early years playing dress-up with her sister: “My sister would dress me up and I would pretend to be whatever the costume told me to be,” she recalls.

She’s clearly not lost her appetite for childish play because, when asked to name the role she’s most enjoyed playing across her illustrious career, it isn’t the historical dramas, fantasy epics or action blockbusters that first spring to mind. It’s “voicing a monkey” in Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming version of Pinocchio. “That was hilarious,” she says. “I’d listen to a lot of different chimpanzees, then try everything out. You go back to being six years old. I mean, I have a six-year-old, so [I did] a bit of work with [her] too.” That must have been fun for her daughter. “Actually, she got rapidly sick of my noises,” Blanchett smiles. “Hopefully, the audience won’t.” As if we ever could.

‘Don’t Look Up’ is in cinemas from December 10 and on Netflix from December 24. ‘Nightmare Alley’ is in cinemas from December 17 (US) and January 21 (UK)

Porter Magazine

Creating the Costumes for the Charlatans, Hustlers, and Con Artists of Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley

Nightmare Alley is Del Toro’s homage to classic film noir, where a character’s alluring façade can mask ulterior motives. Take Dr. Lilith Ritter, a glamorous psychiatrist who attempts to expose Stanton as a fraud before getting tangled in his web of deception. She’s played by Cate Blanchett in full femme fatale mode, and her collection of stylish gowns and velvet capes reveals more about the character than any verbal description.

“Luis designed a reality with his costumes that reflect personality and help tell the story,” Del Toro says. “Leather, wool, embroidery—they all define character and integrate visually to a color and texture palette, seamlessly.”

Ahead of Nightmare Alley’s December 17 premiere in theaters, Sequeira shared some of his costume sketches with Vogue and spoke about bringing Del Toro’s sinister world to life.

Dr. Ritter represents the world of distinguished old money that Stanton wishes to inhabit. Sequeira cites her as his favorite character to dress in Nightmare Alley, drawing inspiration from Paris fashion sketches from the ’40s for Blanchett’s designs. “It was all about working with Cate’s body frame and making her look as beautiful as possible, which isn’t difficult,” he says. The designer culled materials from various archives across Spain, Italy, and the U.K., pulling different types of velvet for Dr. Ritter’s collection of glamorous eveningwear. “There’s one gown that had little brass stitching throughout, so in the low lighting of the Copa, any kind of movement really made the fabric sing.”

Click image for higher resolution and more concept art photos:

Check these two new clips with some unseen clips from the movie.

 

Vogue

Don’t Look Up

Don’t Look Up offers plenty of comedic knives for Trumpism (the title is the rallying cry of science deniers), but it’s also a brutal send-up of the media. Cate Blanchett’s take on a morning show anchor for a show called The Daily Rip is as close to Mika Brzezinski as one could get without being an impersonation. Even The New York Times comes in for a spanking.

Vanity Fair