Cate Blanchett talks about addressing the climate crisis in a new podcast
Posted on
Apr 17, 2022

Cate Blanchett talks about addressing the climate crisis in a new podcast

Happy Sunday, everyone!

There is a new interview from The Observer with Cate and Danny Kennedy for their Audible original podcast, Climate of Change. Check out the magazine scan and you can read a part of it below.

Cate Blanchett talks about addressing the climate crisis in a new podcast

Cate Blanchett is Australian. I mention this fact because I’d forgotten it, somehow, so her manner of speaking — upbeat, front-footed, Aussie-accented — comes as a surprise. And I’ve spent quite some time hearing her talk over the past couple of days, as she has a new podcast, Climate of Change, which she hosts with her friend Danny Kennedy, another Australian. Kennedy is a CEO of an environmental non-profit, New Energy Nexus, and runs the California Clean Energy Fund. Their podcast, as you may have guessed from the title, is about the climate emergency. But before you come over all world-weary and what’s-the-point, before you get tetchy about preachy celebrities telling us stuff we already know, you might as well stop. Blanchett is already there.

“You can recycle up the wazoo, Miranda,” she says (told you she was Australian), “but it can just make you feel more cross and isolated and panicky… I get that. What we’re trying to do with the podcast is to turn the magnet towards optimism in these incredibly pessimistic times.:

We’re talking via video link, but Blanchett has her camera turned off. Kennedy, who’s in his office in Oakland, California, hasn’t and he wanders around, showing us the view from the window (just some more offices really). Blanchett’s location is a secret, due to heavy-handed PRs and her natural privacy, though I’d guess she’s in the UK (she lives in Sussex).

The location doesn’t really matter, of course, as they’re talking about a worldwide problem. The climate crisis is very real — we need to halve the world’s carbon emissions by 2030 —and becoming ever more so for those living in Europe, with our reliance on Russian gas. If you think about it all too hard, you can panic.

And Blanchett does, she says. In the first episode, she chats into the mic as she drives her electric car towards London and discusses how overwhelmed she can feel by the “tide of bad news”. She describes herself as a “mother of four” (the oldest is 20, the youngest seven) and an “optimistic pessimist”, and confesses to range anxiety as she forgot to plug in her car to charge last night. Her role in the show is to represent the listener, which is weird as she’s globally famous. But Blanchett’s approach is relatable: she wonders aloud if making an effort is worth it. Why bother recycling, up the wazoo or no, if the tipping point to the end of the worlds is so close and the people in power are still locked into fossil fuels?

She and Kennedy made Climate of Change earlier this year, mostly in a studio in east London. They have some strong guests: Adam McKay, the director of Don’t Look Up, makes an appearance, as does Prince William, to talk about his Earthshot prize. (He explains it very well, actually; it sounds much more interesting than I’d realized.) Still, at the start of the series, in common with many climate emergency podcasts, the discussion can feel rather broad, with smudgy chat about tech and innovation and the “disruptive decade”. At one point, someone says” “We are the stories we tell ourselves,” which might be true but doesn’t help that much with the gas bill. By episode two, however, the show is focusing on real-life solutions and these are undoubtedly encouraging. We meet a Filipino woman who’s designed a clean energy lamp that local fishermen can use; and the Londoner who’s brought gardening to train station. One California company, OhmConnect, has such a good idea about reducing at-home electricity that I try to sign up. But it’s not yet available in the UK.

What they’re trying to do with the podcast, say Kennedy, is to appeal to people like me. To show us tired recyclers that the answers to environmental catastrophe are already out there. “The choir has heard the doom and gloom song for a long time,” he says, “and sung it from the song sheet, like a good choir would. What they haven’t been taught is the song about solutions and the fact we’ve got them.”

“A lot of people are feeling fatigued,” says Blanchett. “I think we need a sense of, ‘No don’t worry, these changes are happening.’ Because they are.”

Blanchett and Kennedy met in Sydney in the early 1990s. They were part of the same social circle – Kennedy wrote a play with Andrew Upton, now Blanchett’s husband. Later, in 2008, Blanchett and Upton were appointed co-artistic directors of Sydney Theatre Company and decided to try to make the building, an old timber-and-glass warehouse, as ecologically sound as possible. They enlisted Kennedy to help. He brought in consultants – “one guy called Gavin Gilchrist: Cate, if you recall, the fellow who did the toilet flushes” – and helped redo the insulation to make the building “tighter and better, even though it was a pretty old, leaky, wooden construction”.

The biggest proposal was the installation of solar energy panels, which proved difficult to get past heritage rules and the general cynicism of Sydney’s county council. “We were met by a lot of internal skepticism and external opposition,” remembers Blanchett. “You know: ‘What has this to do with a cultural institution, what does it have to do with making theatre, why are we bothering?’ So we thought: ‘OK, we’ll be at the theatre company for 10 years and we have a whole suite of ambitions. And the solar panels will probably be the last one we achieve, if we do.’ And it was the first one we achieved.”

It took two years. There are now 1,906 solar panels powering lights, ventilation and air con across the building. Kennedy thinks that Blanchett and Upton’s theatre project was “a catalystic moment” that kickstarted a sense in Australia that solar power was viable and cost-effective; the country is now, he says, the biggest solar market in the developed world. Blanchett thinks of it as a “symbolic gesture” that, when added to an industry shift, “all adds up”.

So she and Kennedy have known each other for ages (Blanchett recently found some old photos of his daughters when they were little) and then, last summer, Kennedy came to stay with Blanchett and her family in Cornwall. They took him to the Eden Project, which he loved, and the podcast project was started there. They visited “these old mines that are engaged in modern, clean-energy transition minerals and materials production – I’m a geek, I love that,” he says. For Blanchett, the show was “a much more primal urge. We sort of had to. I had so many questions.”

I ask her about using celebrity to get attention on important issues. “Look,” she says, “if you have your two minutes in the sun, you can highlight solar technology or you can highlight an underwear line. But I’m genuine when I say that there were a lot of questions, embarrassingly ignorant questions, that I’ve been asking Danny over the decades. And I thought, ‘Well, I can’t be alone.’ When you ask a question, however ignorant or ill-informed it may be, you’re asking to open a door to a deeper understanding.”

Climate of Change podcast is out now on Audible.

The rest of the interview is on the magazine scan.

The New Review – April 17th 2022

Climate of Change Interview and Promos
Posted on
Apr 15, 2022

Climate of Change Interview and Promos

Hello, everyone!

You can now watch the interview with Imogen Heap, who is a guest on episode 6 of Climate of Change podcast. The podcast is now available on Audible. Check out two promotional videos below.

Promotional Videos

 

Cate Blanchett on Climate of Change Podcast
Posted on
Apr 14, 2022

Cate Blanchett on Climate of Change Podcast

Good day, everyone!

The Climate of Change with Cate Blanchett and Danny Kennedy, which was co-created, co-produced, and co-hosted by Cate, is now available on Audible UK. An outtake from the podcast interview with Prince William was also released. Check them below.

Click image for higher resolution

The six-part series, Climate of Change with Cate Blanchett and Danny Kennedy, will see the Oscar winner explore eco-anxiety and optimism with environmental activist Kennedy, as the pair raise awareness of the emerging technological revolution with the help of some special guests.

“Throughout the series, Cate and Danny speak directly to visionaries and trendsetters who are making innovative strides to turn the tide on climate change, from the Navajo Nation in Arizona to the Australian Outback,” Audible teases.

The guests on the podcast ranges from different backgrounds: former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, social historian Rutger Bregman, Prince William, 2021 Earthshot Finalists and Winners, economic thought leader and author Tony Seba and Agamemnon Otero, Katy Milkman, author and inventor Saul Griffith, director Adam McKay (Don’t Look Up), artist Luke Jerram (Gaia), fashion activist Livia Firth and musician Imogen Heap.

Click the image to be redirected to Audible UK where you can listen to clips or full episodes.

Climate of Change

Climate of Change Promotional

Promotional Screencaptures

Source: Radio Times, Audible UK

Cate Blanchett on Course Correction Podcast
Posted on
Apr 12, 2022

Cate Blanchett on Course Correction Podcast

Hi, everyone!

Cate is a guest on Course Correction podcast season 3 episode 4. The third season of the podcast is in partnership with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) “to illuminate all aspects of the refugee experience”. Cate talked about her work with the agency and refugees as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. You can listen on links below. There’s also the interview on the recent magazine scan from Palace Scope that we posted previously.

We’d like to thank Rebecca for her donation to the site!

Course Correction Podcast

Nelufar Hedayat speaks with Academy Award-winning actor Cate Blanchett about her experiences as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador advocating for refugees. Blanchett explains that educating refugee children and young adults provides opportunities to be leaders in rebuilding their homelands while also benefiting their host countries.

This is a Google translated article

Cate Blanchett: “What I like above all is going against the grain”

An honorary Caesar for Cate Blanchett! That’s what warmed our hearts. As if the mere presence of this great lady of the cinema, with her intelligence above the fray, her fascinating magnetism, was already a promise of happiness. As if a close-up on her was enough to make us happy. Her feline smile, the magical sparkle of her aquamarine gaze, full of stars, the glamorous blonde and her pink complexion… “A special effect in itself,” a journalist once said of this luminous wonder of a woman, who, at 52, seems to be constantly getting younger. And this elegance, worthy of the greatest Hollywood goddesses! When host Jimmy Fallon asked her about the honorary trophy awarded to her by the French Académie des César, she exclaimed happily: “French cinema has influenced me so much!”

And what a career! From her beginnings as a “messy young girl terrified of sophisticated women”, as she says, the journey is dizzying. “I was born in Melbourne, my father was Texan and my mother Australian. Just before entering university to study fine arts, I traveled for a year. In Italy, I slept in convents, I was fascinated by the nuns.” In Egypt, she did some extras in a film about boxing! When she returned to Australia, she discovered her vocation: the theatre. While rising the wave of Australian stars, Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe, she graduated from the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney. The movie theater? “Frankly, I could stop cinema. I would also be happy staying at home knitting,” says the divine, who, against all odds, readily shows herself to be schoolboy, full of playfulness, and very rock’n’roll. Let’s not forget that she played the role of Bob Dylan! “But the desire to transcend is always stronger. Becoming an actress stabilized me. The mystery and unpredictability of this job suits me well. Being an actress consists above all in not being interested in oneself, but in taking the point of view of a gallery of characters that I carry around with me. What I like above all is to go against the current.”

When does an actor’s roles merge with her life? Two Oscars (best supporting role in 2005 for The Aviator, best actress in 2014 for Blue Jasmine), four children (three sons now teenagers and a daughter), a husband she describes as a “legend”: the friendly screenwriter and director Andrew Upton, with whom she ran the Sydney Theater Company. Conquering Hollywood and staying away from it – half in the picturesque suburbs of Sydney, half in England – is only given to the greatest. And all these crazy and impossible bets of a chameleon actress, starting with that, sumptuous, of Queen Elizabeth, a role that would crown her on the international scene at 29 years old. And propelling her to Todd Haynes, Jim Jarmusch, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Terrence Malick… which in no way prevented her from conquering mainstream cinema! The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogy, of course, but also Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Thor: Ragnarok (role of evil creature acclaimed by her sons), Ocean’s 8, Cinderella, several animated films…

Last year, Cate Blanchett fiercely defended a feature film, Apples, to help its director. This year, she has already blown us away in two shocking roles: overly tanned TV host and ultra-bright teeth in Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up. And a femme fatale, limping and bamboozling Bradley Cooper, in Nightmare Alley, by Guillermo del Toro . Two films nominated for the Oscars. We will also see her again soon in Borderlands, a science fiction by Eli Roth, who had already directed her in the children’s film The House with Clocks in Its Walls . And in Tár from Todd Field, where she plays an orchestra conductor. “I don’t choose my roles, they choose me. Of course I really wanted to act with Bradley Cooper! But, at the end of the day, it’s always the director first. When someone like Guillermo, for whom I also did a voice in Pinocchio, calls me, I go for it! It is the directors who provoke the momentum, the desire for an encounter, the desire to immerse themselves in their world and to come back from it larger.”

Among her dreams as filmmakers, two are coming true. Cate Blanchett will be the heroine of the first film in English by Pedro Almodóvar: A Manual for Cleaning Women based on the novel by Lucia Berlin: the story of a woman who has known a thousand lives. And, after having worked with the other two amigos, Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel) and del Toro, she will turn under the direction of Alfonso Cuarón in the Disclaimer series: there she will be a journalist, threatened when her own secrets are revealed by a novelist played by Kevin Kline. Cate Blanchett is co-producing both projects through her own production company, Dirty Films.

It is also under this banner that she produced and adapted, two years ago, two series reflecting her humanitarian commitment: Mrs. America and Stateless . The first deals head-on with feminism. Cate Blanchett, it should be remembered, is one of the great figures of #Mee Too in Hollywood. The other series, based on a true story, denouncing Australia’s immigration policy. “The more the world regresses, the more I have to get involved,” says the one who was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in 2016. “We must keep hope, especially for the younger generation, but , and it’s the same for the climate, I am appalled by the fight to be led. When we were filming Don’t Look Up, we hadn’t realized how much our satire was becoming a realistic documentary!” And if Cate Blanchett, when she presided over Venice, had chosen to wear only “recycled” outfits, it was not to lecture. “To encourage each of us,” she insists, “when we can, to do our part.” Feet in reality, head in the stars! Latest news is that Ms. Blanchett set to add a private art gallery to her Victorian mansion in Sussex. A wing to replace an old shed, with preservation of the bats that lived there… This new building, dedicated to the actress’ contemporary art collection will also include a meditation space and a studio for her rehearsals. When we tell you that Cate Blanchett is a bit of a rock star!

Source: Course Correction, Palace Scope

Stateless wins at Screen Producers Australia Award; & New Magazine Scan
Posted on
Mar 30, 2022

Stateless wins at Screen Producers Australia Award; & New Magazine Scan

Hi, everyone!

Slow news day on Cate but Stateless won at this year’s (SPA) Screen Producers Australia’s Award. Stateless is based on the idea by Cate, she is a co-creator and co-executive producer on the series. The series is available to stream on Netflix (outside Australia). There’s also a new magazine scan from Palace Scope.

Screen Producers Australia Awards 2022 Winners

“Every year, the SPA Awards are an acknowledgement of Australian screen industry excellence, uplifting diverse, locally-made productions with cultural impact and worldwide reach. Alongside the Queensland Government as Principal Partners, Screen Queensland is proud to have brought Screen Forever back to the Gold Coast — a globally renowned screen industry hub and a dazzling setting for tonight’s celebrations,” said Screen Queensland CEO Kylie Munnich.

“SPA members continuously raise the global bar for creativity and skillful producing, and tonight that talent was on full show. The task at hand is storytelling, and the winners of our 2022 Awards take this task seriously. They understand the significance of their work and the contribution it makes to the Australian economy, generating jobs for local creatives, and showcasing Australia and its unique heritage to millions around the world,” said SPA CEO Matthew Deaner.

Telemovie or Mini-Series Production of the Year (Tie)
• A Sunburnt Christmas – Every Cloud Productions
• Alice-Miranda Friends Forever – SLR Productions
• Hungry Ghosts – Matchbox Pictures
• Operation Buffalo – Porchlight Films
Stateless – Matchbox Pictures
• The Gloaming – The Two Jons
• The Secrets She Keeps – Lingo Pictures
• The Unusual Suspects – Aquarius Films

Palace Scope – March 23rd 2022

Source: TVTonight

Cate Blanchett UNHCR video and Apples conversation clip
Posted on
Mar 23, 2022

Cate Blanchett UNHCR video and Apples conversation clip

Hello, blanchetters!

A new UNHCR video has been released for Women’s History Month. Meanwhile, Apples which was directed by Christos Nikou and executive produced by Cate was released in Japan on March 11th with new conversation clip released. Watch them below.

Apples

CATE BLANCHETT Watching “Apples” reminded me of Alfonso Cuarón’s words, “A good director has a solid sense of the” pause “in the movie.” There was a solid “pause” in this movie as well, and I felt that the story unfolded naturally as I got into the experience of memory loss. It was very complete and captivated. I couldn’t believe this was the first feature film. I wanted to meet the director, so I met Christos. I hit it off right away. My wish is to help bring this “Apples” to people.

I was overwhelmed by the acting of the main character, the man. I heard he is a former dancer. That’s why he can manipulate his own body at will. You can tell a lot with a little gesture. I think it has the same kind of lightness as Jacques Tati. It has a strong presence in satirical comedy. But his acting has a lot of weight, and it makes the unreal world convincing. Absurd scenes make me feel very painful. You can be light while having grace and solemnity. I realized that it wasn’t black humor, but humor driven by melancholy.

This work is not only about acting style, but also about directing and the atmosphere of the whole movie. Visually very impressive, clear and unique. Christos is an extraordinary film director. He throws away all the molds and makes a movie. He wants you to see “Apples” on a big screen.

Source: Bitters-Apples

Cate Blanchett on Perfect Magazine
Posted on
Mar 22, 2022

Cate Blanchett on Perfect Magazine

Hi, everyone!

Cate has been featured as one of the covers on Perfect Issue Two. You can read the accompanying interview with the photoshoot below. A few film posters are also made. The magazine is available to purchase here.

Perfect Issue Two


Perfect Issue Two – 2022 (Scans)

Towards the end of a brief, if instructive, telephone exchange with Cate Blanchett, the actress drops in a small life detail which explains a sizeable corner of her story. Blanchett has an unblemished media profile. She is loved by audiences and industry alike for her work, while left alone to her private life without seeming either cautious or guarded. She has spoken up on weighty issues while appearing neither sanctimonious nor overly punctilious. She is allowed both a sense of humour and circumspect seriousness, knowing as if by instinct exactly when to powerfully deploy both.

So our conversation begins with a genial exchange about her loyal, old, incontinent dog, Fletcher, who is starting to develop some other old-man issues.

‘I watched The Father again the other day,’ she says breezily. ‘It’s such a beautiful film and the performances are all so perfect. I’ve started to call our Labrador Anthony because he has dementia. As in Hopkins.’

He doesn’t sound like the easiest pet.

‘I know. But I love him. I adore him. Now that we’ve all turned our Zoom cameras off and resorted to the old-fashioned telephone – which is a relief, frankly – I was having quite a high-powered conversation with someone. It went silent and so I had to ask, “What has happened to you?’”And she had to say, “The cat’s just been sick in my hand.”’

It is the week before Christmas, 2021. Blanchett has just wrapped Todd Field’s Tár, an experimental film about the first German female orchestra conductor, a script she describes as ‘undeniable’. Her latest theatrical release, Don’t Look Up, a talking-point satire on the climate catastrophe with a peerlessly starry cast, is about to drop onto Netflix on Christmas Eve. It has yet to split opinion directly down the middle. Within seven days of talking to her, it turns into the cultural touchstone of this year’s festivities, the film on which everyone must have an opinion. Again, it is the kind of perfect social media storm from which Cate Blanchett has somehow managed to stay eternally, imperviously at arm’s length.

I’d asked the actor if she kept a journal throughout her work, making personal records of her professional experience. Blanchett has been central to some of the most profound cinema of the late movie age, her portfolio taking in both epic blockbusters and arthouse curios with an even hand, bringing something unique and imperceptible to both. Her best performances, in Todd Haynes’ Carol, for which she was Oscar-nominated, and Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, for which she won, mine a tricky vein of human behaviour, lodged somewhere at the sticking point between repression and expression, a point where neither quite triumphs.

She is one of the big screen’s few certainties at a time when cinema’s crown is slipping, as the medium resistantly twists from collective, committed experience to more spurious, dip-in-dip-out home entertainment. Blanchett is primed to have documented this epoch in detail. Her production company moved deftly into television with the startling birth-of-US-feminism story, Mrs America, and she has enjoyed a five-year tenure as an artistic director at the Sydney Theatre Company. Yet she will always be most revered for becoming as trusted a pair of performance hands as Hollywood knows.

Has she kept a diary throughout it all?

She laughs aloud. ‘Hahaha, I wish.’

One of Blanchett’s great professional skills is to give complicated material a strangely relatable twist, to find the human burrowed away in the emblematic. I first noticed her do it in The Talented Mr Ripley, when she played romantic deception and being taken for a fool with skittish ire rather than boo-hoo breakdown. The script could have gone either way.

In Don’t Look Up she plays a daytime TV host with toxic bleached hair and figure-hugging scarlet skirt suit who treats the impending end of the earth as oddly sexual. The film has been criticised for some of its broadsides. Blanchett is categorically not one of them. It is Blanchett’s character who notices the hotness of Leonardo DiCaprio’s space scientist behind the beard, christening him an AILF (‘astronomer I’d like to fuck’). With finely honed, demented determination, she manifests the action speedily, decisively and with some enviable truculence. Again, it feels like a new performance route, underlining the transactional nature of sex among high-flying professionals.

‘I have an actor friend,’ she says, on the subject of keeping a personal record of work. ‘A male friend. He was very studious about that. Back in the days when you put cuttings in scrap books, he was always about recording the things that he had done, probably to make them real for himself. In a way, it was controlling it.’ She doesn’t specify who the actor was. ‘Ultimately, I think he was quite interested in legacy. Whereas I’m more interested in the experience. I don’t know. I think it’s all quite ephemeral and random. It’s not for me to record those things.’

She pauses politely, but the point is made. Her career is about getting good work done, not celebrating the fact that good work has been done.

‘Maybe I should?’ she asks, flipping into the conversation the possibility that she might have been getting her attitude to work wrong all this time. To which one can only respond: as if.

For awards season 2022, Cate Blanchett has two steady horses in the race. The first is Don’t Look Up, the first full commercial crossover from the politically minded director, Adam McKay. Its contention has been utterly delightful, suggesting it will be the one film from 2021’s patchy cinema sketchbook that we may still be talking about in 2041. McKay uses some of his collaged, found-material signature style and abstract taste for pricking pomposity to propel an energetic story about a meteorite heading towards earth.

McKay’s move to major-league director has had deep audience repercussions, which may yet come to help or hinder its reception at The Academy. It hardly matters. Whichever side of the Don’t Look Up fence you sit on – for what it’s worth, I loved it – the film’s prominence during a cultural year dominated with the reheated leftovers of the late 20th-century mass market (Abba, West Side Story, The Beatles, Dune, James Bond etc) arrived like a breath of fresh air. As another year trundled to its slow, diseased end, at least someone was talking about something that mattered in the here and now.

Blanchett’s second awards contender is the delightfully prickly Nightmare Alley, a story of one man’s complete moral collapse – already notorious prior to release for a brief first cinematic sighting of leading man Bradley Cooper’s penis in an early bathtub scene. It is the virtuoso cineaste Guillermo del Toro’s follow-up to his atypically sweet-natured fantasia The Shape of Water, the last Oscar-winning Best Picture prior to Covid. Del Toro is back to his noir finest with the picture, letting his visual imagination run wild, this time in the mis-en-scène of a mid-century circus.

Blanchett’s co-stars in both, besides Cooper and DiCaprio, read like a roll-call of modern screen celebrity: Meryl Streep, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lawrence, Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Kid Cudi, Tyler Perry, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Willem Defoe, Ron Perlman, David Strathairn. The actress says she selects work starting with the director.

‘In the end, when people ask “what sort of roles do you want to play?” I have no idea,’ she notes. ‘It’s about the arc and what comes along. If Guillermo asks you to do something, you say “absolutely – what do you want me to do?” It’s about being part of that conversation, you know?’ She felt the same about McKay. ‘I thought that was a story that I wanted to be a part of telling. That was a director I wanted to work with. The cast evolved to be, like Nightmare Alley, extraordinary. But it all starts with the director. It’s a double whammy.’

Del Toro had been attached to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the films which sent Blanchett’s star astral in the early 2000s, before being replaced by Peter Jackson. ‘By the time I came along it was back in the hands of Peter, so I don’t know what happened there,’ she says. ‘But I think that Guillermo had been there for a while, that was the early stages. We’d been talking for a while about working together. There was talk of a television series, one thing and another several years ago, which didn’t come about. It was so wonderful to finally make something together. Without wanting to sound pretentious, I was so excited to be a part of Guillermo’s cinematic vision.’

She describes Nightmare Alley as ‘first and foremost about this self-made monster’. Cooper plays Stanton Carlisle, a hot, shady brute with Indiana Jones headgear and a past, who arrives at a carnival to teach himself the skills of the circus. As he leaves the fair to make his way in the city with his belle on his arm, he encounters Blanchett’s Lilith, a sly, vampish psychoanalyst who spots a phoney. She determines to untangle the immaculately ruthless showman Stan has become; to reveal, like the Wizard in Oz, the charlatan beneath.

‘There are three very different types of women that Stan encounters,’ says Blanchett. ‘He encounters almost a mother figure [Colette], an innocent [Mara] and then an ambiguous, unknowable, world-weary woman [Blanchett] with dark secrets and untold damage. Each of the women and each of those relationships are quite particular. I hope I fulfilled that function.’

She says the moment she stepped on set she was absorbed into the world of Del Toro’s twisted imagination. ‘Oh, totally. I spent all my time, really, with Bradley in one room. That room, when the doors shut, was just us.’ They make spectacular sparring partners, attempting to outsmart one another in a series of balletically choreographed psychosexual set-pieces. ‘There was no need for bits of green-screen. No wondering how the film might come to life. No worrying that you might not feel it. It’s intimate. All of those details are there for you. It’s not like somebody else comes along and inspects the set. Guillermo is over every single detail.’

Even at script-reading stage, the wonderfully dystopian world of Nightmare Alley was alive to her. ‘The thrust of the scenes and their function within the whole narrative is really clear. You get the reader’s script and [are] compelled by the narrative. In terms of the detail of the dialogue, that was finessed on the set.’ She describes working for Del Toro as a surprisingly fluid affair. ‘Really, he’s incredibly open to seeing how the actors might want to move in the space. For Bradley and I, all of our stuff happens in that one office. It was a luxury in a way. We got to work it out. There were a specific number of scenes we had together – how does that feel? How does it move? How does it look?’ Hearing her process is both engaging and informative. ‘We were constantly playing and rehearsing, even when we were shooting.‘

Blanchett is gifted the best line of the film as her exit, while wrapped in a telephone wire. ‘From memory, I think that came up on the day,’ she says. ‘I was being strangled by a cord but not wanting to make it a purely violent scene, to make it complicated. The character of Lilith really pushes Stan to the edge. She wants him to reveal the things that make him who he truly is so that he can see who he truly is. He can’t hide from himself any more. When he starts to really become that weak, that’s the most terrifying part of the journey for him. But she has to push him that far at her own peril.’ Viewers will be routinely forgiven for spotting an allegory for old Hollywood in the story.

The part of Lilith is almost quintessentially Cate Blanchett, feeling at once as if it is lifted from another time and place, a golden age of cinema which she could have quite happily glided through; hair set just so, red lips immaculately applied. She avers at the observation. ‘I don’t know what that is. What does that mean?’

It’s almost super-you.

‘Super-me? I don’t know if that’s an insult or a compliment.’

Rarely does Blanchett sound as in control of a conversation than when she undercuts herself. It’s quite the skill.

Cate Blanchett was one of the earliest voices in cinema to speak up on the disasters of the environment. As her fame escalated, she brought her conscience along for the ride. Her role in Don’t Look Up brings with it a depth and acuity few others could offer in her steely interpretation of the tin-eared newscaster. ‘I think actors are hungry for big stories,’ she says. ‘I think audiences are, too. I don’t mean big stories that are long. I just mean high stakes. Big images where you can dispense with language. In a way, narrative can be suspended, almost.’

Few issues come bigger than the climate, yet so little art is made about it. ‘Yes,’ she says conclusively. ‘I don’t know that there’s been a moment in history that has been this collectively faced, where culturally it hasn’t been addressed.’

The great abandonment of the climate by the arts might be attributable to the idea of the end of the world being such a trope in film already. Every superhero narrative follows an arc of a threat to the world and the superpower who can save it. ‘The end of the world has always been shrouded in notions of the future, whereas the end of the world now feels possible in the near present. It’s very hard to find a laugh or be transported by it. And Adam has somehow been able to.’

With Don’t Look Up, McKay has fashioned the definition of an iron fist in a velvet glove. It has tapped nerves for all the right reasons. ‘Climate change itself gets addressed in essays and long-form journalism and journals, but artists themselves have not yet addressed it through narrative or fiction or works of cinema.’ Cate Blanchett understands the reasoning. ‘I think it’s because it’s become, unfortunately, a political battleground. So somehow, if you discuss it or imagine a way of setting a story within that landscape, it automatically becomes agit-prop.‘

Protesting war is sexy. Protesting injustice and prejudice is righteous. Protesting the planet is complicated, murky and enormous. ‘Where Adam has come so far is by making a film that’s about climate change that is not about climate change. And it’s funny and it’s witty and it’s really, ultimately incredibly moving.’

It is also prescient. ‘Every two or three weeks I’d text him when something new happened,’ she explains. ‘You know, there was a point where a meteorite was coming close to the earth’s orbit? And I said, “Did you have a crystal ball?” He wrote this and we were meant to film it pre-pandemic. Then it got pushed and pushed and pushed. He imagined all of this. He had this in his mind for quite some time. I find that kind of incredible, actually.’

The reason Cate Blanchett has a blemish-free media slate is mostly because she has a blemish-free belief in the power of storytelling.

What has acting taught her about the extremes of the human condition?

‘That you can’t rule anything out. You know, we often behave in quite unexpected ways in extreme conditions.’

She plucks an example from the air. ‘It’s like when the car’s about to crash. You expect screaming and yelling, but everyone is suddenly quite calm. There’s quiet. Often, we behave in polar opposite ways than we would anticipate. I think that everything’s up for grabs at the moment, because we are in such an unprecedented world. Though we should have seen it coming, of course, the situation of a species that we have all been through, no matter what our socioeconomic standing or our economic loss or our uncertainty. I think we’re all alive to behaving in ways that are surprising to other people, but also to ourselves.’

Perfect Issue Two – Film Posters

Source: Perfect

Cate Blanchett: “I want to spend more time being myself”
Posted on
Mar 13, 2022

Cate Blanchett: “I want to spend more time being myself”

Happy Sunday, everyone!

A new interview with Cate has been released. This is a Google translated interview from Spanish to English.

Cate Blanchett: “I spend most of my time being someone else. I want to spend more time being myself.”

Other than her two Oscars, Cate has added in recent weeks from Europe the first International Goya and a César for her entire career. Actress, producer, and farmer, the versatile Australian performer, also an ambassador for Armani fragrances, she confesses that with age she feels more limitations when it comes to acting. She laments that she is sometimes still the only woman on a shoot and she fears that the platforms will become monopolies.

Cate Blanchett (Melbourne, 52 years old) thinks there are too many awards. And she knows what she’s talking about. Because she has almost all of them: two Oscars, three Baftas, three Golden Globes and three from the Screen Actors Guild. As if they weren’t enough, she has now embarked on the conquest of Europe. She has just received an Honorary César in Paris and a month ago she picked up the International Goya from Pedro Almodóvar, with whom she is going to shoot the first film in English by the Spanish director, A Manual for Cleaning Women. She welcomes us in Valencia, hours before hugging him and thanking him for a recognition that serves to strengthen ties with the Latin film industry. She wears trainers and a metallic pink suit by Giorgio Armani, the firm whose line of fragrances is an ambassador. Under the jacket, the skin, and around her neck, several golden chains with padlocks and snake heads that she plays with as she speaks. After premiering Nightmare Alley last February under the direction of Guillermo del Toro and dazzling the world with her false teeth in Don’t Look Up, she says she wants to spend more time playing herself. Normal: the character is exciting.

In an interview Julia Roberts did for Interview Magazine, you said that as you gets older, you find acting more and more humiliating.

It gets more difficult. Why? I think that when you work in the artistic field — also if you are, for example, a writer—, this field becomes more and more entangled in your life. I spend most of my time being someone else, and I think I want to spend more time being myself. Also, as an actor you are very exposed. I do not know how to explain it. Six years ago [photographer and artist] Cindy Sherman started using digital effects to create her works [in which she often appears]. And people threw their hands in their heads because she had always used prosthetics and had worked her body as if it were a malleable object. She simply explained that she had reached an age where she was less malleable. And that she had to resort to digital technology to maintain the same skill.

Is it the same as an actor?

You feel a bit the same, that your palette is getting smaller and smaller. But the truth is that I am not very interested in digital advances. What I like are magic tricks, I still scream when someone does one in front of me. Because with magic you become an accomplice: you know you are being deceived, but in the digital universe you don’t know what is real and what isn’t. It’s like when you see Gary Oldman without prosthetics or digital treatment, the interpretation of him is something that he builds from the inside and you believe it. He is really inspiring. I’ve worked with digital retouching on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and, yes, it can be liberating, but in the end, as you get older, you face more and more of your limitations, and that’s humbling.

Is the film industry easier for women now than when you started?

If we keep talking about it, the problem still exists. But we have to keep talking and working on it until it is no longer a topic of conversation. Sometimes I keep walking on set and there are 30 men and I’m the only woman, and I think, “This is so out of sync with what’s going on in society. How is it possible for us to connect with the audience like this?” When you’re in a predominantly male or white work environment, it feels old-fashioned and you feel like it’s also starting to be irrelevant. I think there has been a big change. But you have to stand firm and understand that changes are very fragile, as is democracy. So you have to persevere.

You were artistic director of the Sydney Theater Company. Has that experience influenced your way of understanding her work as an actress?

We were not only artistic directors [and her husband, screenwriter and playwright Andrew Upton], but also CEO, so we were responsible for the financial and creative health of the company. And many times these two aspects are conceived as mutually exclusive. But they don’t have to be: throughout my career I’ve worked with producers who are amazing at keeping finances in order while also helping with creative decisions.

Is that producer profile in danger of extinction?

Yes, unfortunately, because it is something I aspire to. It’s not all about being in front of the camera. I don’t feel obligated. No longer. I’ve already done it. I’ve bored the audience enough already. I do not need it. No more.

Throughout your career you have played everything from action characters to femme fatales, through comedic roles or even men, such as Bob Dylan. How do you choose your characters? Is there any kind of woman you would never play?

Many decisions are based on instinct and timing. I have a wonderful and great life, with a lot of commitments and things that interest me, starting with my farm, with my sheep, my pigs, my cows, and with my children, of course. So sometimes not all projects fit into my schedule. But nothing happens. There is no need to bleed for it. You have to let them go. It’s one of the best things the film industry has taught me.

The fact that?

You make a film and you let it go because after your work comes post-production work and finally, if you’re lucky, it reaches the public. And by that time you will have already done one or two other things. And that film happens to become a kind of second cousin. And then, hopefully, you can see it again with fresh eyes and appreciate it.

What do you expect now from A Manual for Cleaning Women, your project with Almodóvar?

We had talked many times about working together, but it was never the right time. He is a man of incredible taste and insight. He is very precise and, like his films, very free. We are very aligned and excited about the project. I love it because he works with his heart and with his hands. And with his head, of course. He is a person very connected with what happens in the world, but at the same time someone who follows his own path. So I think this project will be unique. His work has a clearly Spanish framework, but it has always transcended and has been recognized internationally because it connects very well with American concerns: the family, being outside the majority culture, being an outcast. I think it’s going to be a fascinating journey in search of that hybrid between the American and the Latin experience.

You have a master’s degree in that Latino perspective. You have worked with Alejandro Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro and now Almodóvar. Is there something that differentiates Latino directors from the rest?

They all have incredible hearts and a certain brutality, but not in the bad sense of the word. I mean they don’t run away from things that others prefer not to name. And they are profoundly plastic artists. His intellectual pursuits are very sumptuous to digest visually. Latino and Australian directors have a very special, unique vision of the world, and that is why they have more and more weight in the US film industry.

I said before that Almodóvar was a very precise director. Is he the kind of director you like to work with, someone who gives a lot of directions and controls every detail?

I think the project is what dictates how you have to work. For me, the perfect thing is to have a clear line of communication with the director based on trust, because there are moments in the shoot when you have to say that something is rubbish, and you have to know that it comes and is said from respect. Rehearsals and filming are not always friendly. They are not disrespectful, but sometimes you have to fight a thing to the bottom and it’s not comfortable.

Woody Allen even told you on the first day of shooting Blue Jasmine that the take was horrible, and so were you.

But in the end I realized that the location was wrong, the camera was wrong… so we changed everything. And then the scene was cut, it was never in the final footage. You can’t take it personally, you have to listen to it and think that it’s teamwork, that sometimes a director can say something challenging but it doesn’t necessarily have to be about you, but about the product.

How do you feel that the film and fiction industry has changed in recent years with the emergence of platforms and the rise of series? Are you interested in that new channel?

Well, I did Mrs. America (Hulu) with a group of fabulous women. And there are a couple of projects in development that look very good. But in the end, what interests me are really lasting experiences, although only time can tell which ones will be. On the one hand, streaming platforms represent a wonderful opportunity for the audience and also for a lot of people in the industry who have stayed afloat for these two years thanks to them. But this model cannot go forward without being examined.

What is the perceived risk?

It is necessary to analyze the potential monopolies that are emerging from this format, and that are not good for anyone. They are not good creatively and neither for the public. And, of course, they have never been good for the industry. We do not want to replicate the old studio system in a more radical and irrevocable way. I am worried about this. Very worried.

Do you think this system of monopolies is accelerating?

Yes, and I think the public can perceive it. Because everything looks alike. The offer is uniform. There is nothing special anymore. However, going to the movies is still an event.

But after the pandemic, due to fear or routine, cinemas continue to lose viewers, at least that is what is happening in Spain.

Yes, and also in the United States there are a lot of small theaters that have been acquired by the platforms to project their content. But there are still places like a small theater in Pittsburgh called Row House and that has only 50 seats where retrospectives of Tarkovsky, of Wes Anderson are shown… I am confident in that differential value that the cinema can continue to offer and that people appreciate you can still be interested.

The pandemic has changed our consumption patterns, but also other industry tools such as awards and red carpets. Do they still make sense?

I think there are too many prizes. They all look the same and people are tired. But this was already happening before the pandemic. So I think we have to be critical. We have a very good opportunity to change things: to ask ourselves what we want to do, what we want it to look like and, above all, if bigger is always synonymous with better. And I’m not just talking about red carpets, but events in general. We don’t want to go back to that old narrative. I personally don’t want to go back to the good old days because I think they weren’t really that good.

But in the end the old physical events have their magic. Even Giorgio Armani, the first designer to suspend a show due to COVID, has returned to the physical catwalk with guests.

It is a live event. That is why the performing arts are so special. When you walk into a room and you can see the fabrics, hear the music, you are there. You remember. But I think the key is the same in fashion as it is in film. Mr. Armani is always aware of every detail. Even at his age, he is a tireless worker and his control over the quality of the products is incredible. He thinks the more you do, the less special he is. And this happens in all industries, including the film industry.

Source: EL PAÍS

Interviews and Magazine Scans
Posted on
Mar 12, 2022

Interviews and Magazine Scans

Hi, Blanchetters!

Cate has shown her support for flood appeal telethon to help those who have been devastated by the flooding in Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. She has also given interviews to Variety and Io Donna plus a podcast interview which can be listened on Amazon Music for free and will be available on Apple and Spotify on March 14th. We’ve also added some magazine scans from the recent releases.

 

Video link

In a rare move, tonight Seven Network, Nine Network and Network 10 will jointly present Australia Unites: Red Cross Flood Appeal to help the people and communities who have suffered from the devastating floods across Queensland and New South Wales.

All of the funds raised during the Telethon will go to people affected by the floods.

Kym Pfitzner, Australian Red Cross CEO, said: “Red Cross is delighted and grateful to join with the major TV networks to raise money for flood-affected areas. We have all seen the enormity of the flood damage across large parts of New South Wales and Queensland, and these communities now face a long and tough road to recovery.

“Everyone coming together during this telethon will help Australian Red Cross provide financial assistance to people at a time when they really need it.

“We can only give out what we raise, so we ask everyone to dig deep and really come together to support the people who have lost so much.”Whenever disaster strikes, Australian Red Cross works side by side with organisations such as the St Vincent de Paul Society, The Salvation Army, Lifeline, and GIVIT to get help to where it’s needed most. They do an incredible job and the Red Cross is grateful to work alongside all of them.”

Donations to the Telethon will help Red Cross teams provide humanitarian support to people and communities smashed by the floods, which may include:

  • Enabling volunteers and staff to help with evacuation and relief centres and outreach services
  • Supporting people and communities to recover and build resilience to disasters

So far, 468 Red Cross emergency response team members and volunteers have provided support in 49 evacuation centres – and donations help to make that support possible.

Apart from the Telethon, Australian Red Cross has already launched a flood appeal. You can donate to it now at redcross.org.au/floodsappeal or by calling 1800 733 276.

Tonight’s Telethon will also be highlighting the great work from organisations such as the Foodbank, Rotary, Good Food 360, Koori Mail Flood Appeal, and Rural Aid.

7:30pm AEDT tonight on Seven, Nine and 10 (7plus, 9Now, 10Play)*
* check local guides.

This is a Google translated interview

Cate Blanchett: “The time has come to banish fears and face reality”

Oscar-winning actress, Cate Blanchett, just made two films about greed and selfishness. But she is preparing to celebrate “what unites us”. She is ironic and a bit philosophical, for the directors she has the energy of “a 12-year-old bad boy”. And here she tells us how she faces life on this complicated planet every day.

Six in the morning in Los Angeles, early afternoon in England: Cate Blanchett calls me from her “manor”, the manor house in East Sussex – once home to Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle – where she lives with her children Dashiell, 20 years old , Roman, 17, Ignatius, 13, little Edith of 7 and husband Andrew Upton. We have had several encounters in recent years, in person, on the phone, during photo shoots or at international festivals, and they have been promptly animated: we discuss cinema, the conditions of immigrants, refugees (she produced the TV series Stateless) and women’s wage equality, with some ironic allusion to our respective roles in Hollywood as well.

In short, each of her films becomes a reason or an excuse to pick up the thread of our discussion: “What’s new in this world of ours? Is it possible to participate, to make it better for us and for future generations?”. I have always spoken with Blanchett as if she were a guru, an enlightened soul: her interests range in the most diverse fields, from art to history, to economics. She is informed and curious, but she is also generous and helpful, she knows how to manage fame and success with completely unusual naturalness and spirit.

As an eclectic and courageous actress perhaps, the most acclaimed and coveted on the current international scene – she has never lost the pleasure of having fun and playing with even the slightest tones : she is there to comment on the color of my socks or the cut of a jacket, to indicate as icons of style Iris Apfel, the famous American interior designer who has passed the century of age, and Fran Lebowitz, the 70-year-old writer to whom Martin Scorsese has dedicated two works. She says: “Please remind me of the name of that extraordinary restaurant in Turin…” and then she cites the latest essay by a sociologist, that of a physicist expert on climate and the talk of an economist who studies mathematical models of productivity and wages.

The tone of the conversation today is calm, thoughtful, reflective. Two years of Covid also leave their mark on an incurable optimist like her. We have just seen the Oscar-winning actress in two films, Nightmare Alley, film noir with Bradley Cooper directed by Guillermo del Toro, and Don’t Look Up, a catastrophic-political-ecological satire directed by Adam McKay. In the coming months we will see her in Tár, the story of the first female German conductor, Pinocchio, the animated film directed by del Toro, and Borderlands, based on the popular video game. A few days ago, the news came that the director Alfonso Cuaròn managed to grab her for his first series for Apple, Disclaimer, with Kevin Kline.

Good morning Cate. The last time we spoke we were at the beginning of the pandemic, singing on the balconies and switching from one zoom to another with friends and family. Today, after two years of forced isolation, we are all a little tired, empty. How can we find ourselves? What to rely on, who to rely on to recover strength, hope and face the world? Art and creativity have been a healthy refuge for many…

I feel exactly this emotions and feelings. But I don’t think we can tell stories, read books, listen to music or walk down the street and walk in a park without thinking about what happened, and it’s still happening in a global sense. Even if you don’t make a film about the pandemic, that’s the thing we talk about or keep quiet about. I believe the time has come to put it out of mind and celebrate what unites us. It is interesting, however, that my last two films, Nightmare Alley and Don’t Look Up, instead tell precisely what separates us from one another.

Meaning what?

Both speak of our spiritual dryness, greed, selfishness, and the need to believe our own lies. In the case of Nightmare Alley, then, there is a very strong desire to ignore the truth. My truth? Let’s focus instead on what unites us, otherwise everything becomes only debilitating, tiring, exhausting. Because life is exhausting.

We generally find relief in movies, in stories.

Yes, many have taken refuge in cinema and books, especially during the first months of the pandemic, but now I want to face reality. I found myself reflecting on what is important and what is not, what is broken and what must be resolved, on a personal and systemic level. We are not only experiencing the reality of the pandemic, there are other relevant movements for which we should move and intervene. Having said that, I am also convinced that films, in a period like the one we are experiencing, offer the possibility of reading and understanding reality better.

Cinema as therapy?

Of course, to recharge and forget our worries for a while, but above all to communicate with each other. If you think of the films of 1945, and after the Second World War, you find great works of art that helped to process terrible catastrophes and crises. A film like Nightmare Alley, it forces you to reflect on what it means to be corrupt: you see a man who does not respect any rules, shows no empathy or compassion of any kind and a weak social system that allows him to get away with it. Just recently I read in The Guardian an article that, to report the growth in wealth of the richest men in the world as a percentage, cited a billionaire whose wealth had increased by 1006 percent in the last 12 months, that is, by 1.3 billion a day. A financial disparity of this kind is impossible to digest, not even the most amazing film can make you forget it.

You are active in various social and environmental organizations. You now collaborate with activist Danny Kennedy on the Climate Change podcast, on Amazon. Is the climate issue the most urgent problem to face and solve today?

Ours is a complicated planet, isn’t it? Everything is connected, but what is striking in the world, everywhere, is the disproportionate number of refugees due to the climate and certain political realities, and this will have a ripple effect. Insisting on protecting borders is pure folly: we need an international strategy that allows us to work together. This is my answer.

Don’t you think that the world, on the other hand, is closing up and not opening up to others?

Violence is perhaps more active, but it is motivated by fear, and fear takes shape and action when the truth has flown away. I think of Bradley Cooper’s character in Nightmare Alley and what happens to those who lose the sense of who he is, to situations without any underlying truth. Lies never got the human race anywhere.

You have three teenage children. How do you deal with these issues with them?

Bits and bits, sometimes with deeper conversations, often with brief hints. Taking it for granted that everything is working well doesn’t lead to substantial changes, but at the same time you can’t get caught up in the mud. You have to give yourself a move and move forward, with attention, respect for others, and never forgetting the sense of humor. Whatever your ideology or religion, what matters is to be human, tolerant and humble.

Immediately after Nightmare Alley you wanted to work with Guillermo del Toro again.

Yes, yes, I’ll be one of the voices in his version of Pinocchio, a monkey actually (laughs). One day on the set I ask him: «When is it that we will work together again, Guillermo?». “I don’t know, now I’m doing Pinocchio” … then he looks at the producer, Miles, and blurts out: “That monkey, for example… You know what, Cate, everyone has this idea of you as a great lady when in reality you are a rascal, a dirty, cheeky 12-year-old bad boy! ” Yes, you see, he is someone who knows me well (laughs). I ended up in his next movie for this reason, probably (winks).

What else can you tell us about Guillermo?

If Guillermo asks me to work with him, I don’t hesitate for a moment: in common we have the same love for horror, and a sort of obsession for the human animal, its unpleasant and sublime complexity. Besides, he has crazy, fantastic ideas, nothing is too much for him and he keeps a flawless sense of history. In short: his is a truly stimulating space in which to work, not counting the actors and the cast that he brings together. But do you know that thanks to him I was able to work twice with Ron Perlman? (legendary American actor, favorite of John Frankenheimer and Joe Dante, ed).

How Cate Blanchett’s Dirty Films Production Company Is Making a Global Impact

Cate Blanchett, who recently appeared front of the camera in “Don’t Look Up” and “Nightmare Alley,” has been busy behind the scenes developing film and TV projects through the Dirty Films banner she co-founded with her husband, Andrew Upton.

Among those in the works: “A Manual for Cleaning Women,” her first collaboration with Pedro Almodóvar in his English-language debut; Indigenous Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton’s “The New Boy”; and the Apple TV Plus series “Disclaimer” from Alfonso Cuarón.

Blanchett will star in each in addition to producing, building on her résumé of dual credits that includes “Carol,” “Stateless” and “Mrs. America.” Similar to how she chooses acting roles, the Dirty Films team (which also includes Coco Francini and Georgie Pym) takes a “filmmaker-driven” approach.

“No matter the budget or the genre, films are born out of interesting conversations, so that’s where we begin,” Blanchett tells Variety over the phone, chalking up the company’s “incredibly eclectic” selections to its principals’ Australian heritage.

“It’s a small country in terms of population, but we individually punch above our cultural weight, because we have such a mix of cultural influences, in a great way — also in a painful way,” she explains, alluding to the country’s birth by colonial invasion. “We have a very interesting perspective on the world.”

For her, the appeal of producing is less about finding a role to perform than about having a creative stake in the project.

“People often assume that when you have a production company, you are simply trying to develop materials for yourself. Sometimes that’s the case, and you do need to be in something,” Blanchett says, pointing to the “Stateless” as an example. The two-time Oscar-winner appeared in all six episodes of the miniseries that ultimately landed at Netflix. “I knew that I had to be in it in some way because of the material. No one wanted to make a project that was ostensibly about refugees and asylum seekers.”

Among other accolades, the drama earned 13 awards from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts. But she’s also found that an actor’s ability to work behind the scenes can be underestimated.

“Oftentimes, people think, as an actor, that you don’t have that perspective on the whole thing — that you don’t understand how a film is put together,” she observes. “After years and years and years of doing this, it’s not just sitting in your trailer, waiting for your hair and makeup call.”

Pointing to her contemporaries who also produce — including her Oscar-nominated “Nightmare Alley” producer and co-star Bradley Cooper, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Reese Witherspoon — she adds, “You get involved in a project because you’re interested in the whole thing.”

“You’re involved from soup to nuts; you’re invested in that experience,” Blanchett explains. “So you get to understand how all of those cogs come together and you can see a way that they might be put together slightly differently, or what didn’t work, because you’re inside the experience. And that is what I find increasingly exciting. Acting, less and less so, frankly.”

As for stepping behind the camera to direct, Blanchett acknowledges she’s been “spoiled by some of the most astonishing directors of all time, so it feels like an act of hubris to think that I could or would.”

But she won’t count out the possibility entirely. “If it was material that took me by the short and curlies, it could happen. But just because you’re opinionated, as I painfully am, doesn’t mean you are a director.”

Last month, Blanchett accepted the 47th annual Honorary Ce?sar award, presented by French film icon Isabelle Huppert, and became the inaugural recipient of Spain’s International Goya award, given by Almodóvar and Penélope Cruz. Both prizes celebrated the actor and producer for her contributions to cinema on a global scale.

“I’ve known Isabelle for a while now; we’re both theater animals who also work in cinema, and she’s such a legend,” Blanchett says, reflecting on the “huge” honor. “Penélope’s work is constantly inspiring and [Cruz and Almodóvar] is a historic partnership. To be in Spain, presented by both of them, you die and go to heaven. I can’t work out why [they awarded me], but I didn’t say no.”

In her acceptance speeches, Blanchett shared how she’d been influenced by the great cinematic artists of those countries, including Spain’s Luis Buñuel and France’s Robert Bresson.

“Watching a Bresson film, when I was in my early teens, it blew the back of my head off. I’d never seen anything like it,” she recalls. “There’s so many Russian filmmakers that have been deeply influential on me, not only working in the cinema, but also as an actor on stage. One of my favorite films this year was Sean Baker’s ‘Red Rocket”; Janicza Bravo’s ‘Zola’ was profound. I consider American filmmakers ‘international.’”

Beyond her own range of influences and collaborations with international filmmakers, the awards represent Dirty Films’ penchant to think globally. The company is in pre-production on “Disclaimer” with Cuaro?n and will then go straight into Thornton’s “The New Boy” and, later, Almodóvar’s “A Manual for Cleaning Women.” Also, following their partnership on the critical-acclaimed “Apples,” which Dirty Films executive produced, they’ll team up with filmmaker Christos Nikou again for “Fingernails.”

According to Blanchett, their greatest strength as producers lies in their understanding of the creative process and “knowing where to cut corners and where that will enhance the ultimate, individual creative flourish of the product itself.”

“We can all find money; but money is more difficult to come by without any creative strings attached,” she says. “To find the right rhythm, the right wave, the right budget ties and the best way to film, it’s not a science, it’s an art.”

Blanchett also credits her and Upton’s time heading the Sydney Theatre Company with helping to hone their skills, particularly in reference to getting a production off the ground quickly instead of languishing in development hell.

“We have a much quicker rhythm. If we committed to an idea, we could get it on,” she says and between 2008-2013, the duo produced between 19 and 20 shows a year. In 2015, they officially awoke Dirty Films from its dormancy with Todd Haynes’ critically acclaimed “Carol” and it’s been full steam ahead ever since.

“We want to be nimble,” she explains. “There’s a lot of stuff being developed that may never see the light of day. We’re not into over-developing or over-committing. You can get the thing up eight years later, but you’ve lost the reason why [that story needed to be told]. That’s something that carried from working at the theater company.”

In recent years, Blanchett has headed the juries at the Cannes and Venice film festivals and relished watching the definition of “cinema” morph as boundaries between the big and small screens — as well as those between streaming and theatrical — blur.

“The streaming platforms have shaken things up,” she comments, regarding the way the distribution and windowing have shifted. “We don’t want them to calcify and reform and imitate the worst sides of studios in terms of monopolies, but it does mean that you don’t have to think of things in terms of length.”

Plus, she says, “Streaming platforms and series have kept us afloat, frankly, mentally and psychologically over the last two years.”

While Blanchett believes that “big ideas happen in a cinematic form,” she notes that, “There’s a lot of options there in the way we think about stories, and the possibility of how we realize those narratives. The idea of making a short film or a long masterwork — those definitions are much more nebulous now. And I think that’s really exciting.”

Additionally, the business itself has become more international and likewise has a wider reach with its themes.

“We’re finding we’re much more amoeba-like in terms of cultural boundaries. That’s where the cinematic arts are a real bridge between this surge of ridiculous, antiquated nationalism that’s happening,” Blanchett says, relating the conversation to the news of the day. “There aren’t closed borders because we are all communicating. So, this rubbish that is going on in the Ukraine — this horrendous, disgusting rubbish — is totally antithetical to the way human beings are actually communicating.”

The actor and producer, who is also a Global Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, adds: “I think cinema can, through the lens of metaphor and allegory, help audiences. Without wanting to sound too pretentious, I think it can help society to comprehend and possibly make some kind of sense of issues that we all have a stake in.”

SmartLess Podcast

We roll up our sleeves and get down to business with none other than Cate Blanchett. She reveals her aspirations to make cheese, Sean fans-out on Lord of the Rings, Will explains his rich history in lowered expectations, and Jason explores his elasticity challenges. Pass the honey butter; it’s SmartLess.

Click the image below to listen to the podcast. This episode will be available on Apple and Spotify on March 14th.

Magazine Scans

Paris Match No. 3798 – February 23rd 2022

Entertainment Weekly – March 2022

Variety -Match 9th 2022

Io Donna – March 12th 2022


Source: IoDonna, Variety, TV Tonight

UHNCR – Humanitarian aid for the displaced and refugees from Ukraine
Posted on
Mar 6, 2022

UHNCR – Humanitarian aid for the displaced and refugees from Ukraine

Hi, everyone!

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett is urging people who can donate to help those who have fled and fleeing Ukraine due to the current situation their country is facing right now.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi has stated that the humanitarian consequences on civilians of this conflict will be devastating.

We urgently need your help to continue providing life-saving protection to families forced to flee their homes.

UNHCR has stepped up our operations and capacity in Ukraine and neighbouring countries. We remain firmly committed to support all affected populations in Ukraine and countries in the region.

Your support can help ensure that Ukrainians forced to flee their homes are sheltered and safe.

You can click HERE to donate.

Source: UNHCR