Interviews, Magazine Scans, and other project updates
Posted on
Sep 15, 2022

Interviews, Magazine Scans, and other project updates

Good day, Blanchett fans!

We have compiled updates on other Cate Blanchett-related projects and causes she supports, ranging from interviews, magazine scans, and recent or upcoming event appearances. You can check them below.

 

— UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Cate Blanchett has penned an piece for Politico urging global leaders to do more for the Rohingya refugees.

It’s more important than ever that we don’t look away, despite other emerging humanitarian and refugee crises in the world.

Gul Zahar, a young Rohingya woman, was forced to flee her home in western Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Escaping brutality and widespread abuse, she and around 200,000 fellow Rohingya refugees sought safety in Bangladesh. That was in 1978.

After returning home, another wave of violence against the Rohingya forced her to seek safety in Bangladesh once more. That was in 1992.

Many years later, Gul and her four-generation family were among the 720,000 Rohingya who made that same desperate journey to safety, yet again forced from their homes by violence. Trekking through jungles and mountains and crossing the river, it was one of the largest and fastest refugee influxes the world had seen for decades.

That was five years ago, in 2017.

Today, over 925,000 Rohingya refugees live in the densely populated camps near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Over 75 percent are women and children.

The Rohingya are the largest stateless community in the world.

Although they have lived in Myanmar for generations, they aren’t recognized as citizens. And they face a host of discriminatory practices limiting their daily lives, in addition to the violence and persecution carried out against them.

When I visited Bangladesh in 2018 in my role as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR), I was not prepared for the depth of suffering that I saw.

I witnessed mothers enduring the unending pain of seeing their children live through these experiences. I sat with countless refugee children who had endured brutality and uncertainty, as I pictured my own children safe at home, joyful and carefree.

Following the influx in 2017, the emergency response to the refugee crisis, led by the government and people of Bangladesh, was exemplary. With the help of the international community, they provided medical assistance, food and relief items, and built makeshift shelters. Rohingya refugees were registered and issued with identity documentation — the first many had received in their lives.

Over time, however, the camps have developed their own fragile ecosystem, with their health care, water and sanitation facilities becoming severely challenged.

Rohingya refugees themselves play a vital role as the first responders in their community, including in the areas of emergency preparedness and disaster response, health, education, as well as community response and mobilization. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for instance, refugee volunteers took the lead in informing their community about health and hygiene, monitored signs of illness and connected refugees with critical health services. Their ingenious efforts saved countless lives.

Five years since that latest mass influx from Myanmar to Bangladesh, the collective effort in responding to the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis — and the role undertaken by Rohingya refugees themselves — should be commended.

But despite this acknowledgment, we mustn’t be allowed to forget that the Rohingya shouldn’t be refugees at all — not the women, men and children who fled in 2017, nor those who fled in the successive waves of violence in previous decades.

The protracted exile of the Rohingya is simply unacceptable and unsustainable.

Diminishing hopes of returning home are pushing increasing numbers of Rohingya refugees, including children, to undertake perilous boat journeys in search of a future. Placing themselves at the mercy of smugglers and the treacherous waters of the Bay of Bengal, they are at risk of dehydration, starvation, physical and sexual abuse, and death. They do so, as many feel that they have little choice.

Today, it is more important than ever that we don’t look away from Rohingya, despite other emerging humanitarian and refugee crises in the world.

We must continue to support Bangladesh and other host communities in enabling Rohingya refugees to live full and dignified lives in exile. This includes providing them with greater access to education, skills training and opportunities for earning livelihoods.

Rohingya refugees, in particular the large proportion of youth among them, are resilient and resourceful. They want to rebuild their lives and ensure they are prepared for the future — including a return to their homes.

It is vital the international community continues to press for the rights of Rohingya in Myanmar.

They long for their homeland. They want to return but cannot do so unless conditions are safe, unless they can exercise their fundamental human rights — the right to move freely within their own country, the right to services such as education, livelihood and health care, and a clear pathway to citizenship — the rights so many of us take for granted.

In a conversation she had with the UNHCR in 2018, Gul had made clear what her wishes were: “I want to die on my soil,” she said.

Heartbreakingly, Gul passed away last year at the age of 94 in Bangladesh, her deepest yearning unrealized.

A life lived in limbo.

 

— Cate is also a council member of Earthshot Prize, which is “a global prize for the environment, designed to incentivise change and help to repair our planet over the next ten years”. There is going to be a summit in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies where Cate is confirmed as a speaker. It will be held on September 21st from 8:00am-12:30pm ET at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.

The Earthshot Prize Innovation Summit

The Earthshot Prize and Bloomberg Philanthropies previewed confirmed speakers and programming for The Earthshot Innovation Summit, which will take place on the morning of September 21, 2022 at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. The Summit, hosted by Michael R. Bloomberg, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions, will bring together heads of state, government and civil society leaders, philanthropists, business executives, and grassroots climate activists from around the world to spotlight emerging, systems-changing solutions and showcase the critical need to turbocharge ground-breaking climate innovations to address the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.

Global Australian Awards 2022

Cate alongside her friend and co-host of Climate of Change podcast, Danny Kennedy, were presenters at this year’s Global Australian Award. You can watch them present at around 43:19.

Global Goals Yearbook 2022

Vanity Fair European Edition

Click images for higher resolution

Click the images to open the scans.

Vanity Fair France – September 2022

Vanity Fair Italy – September 2022

Vanity Fair Spain – September 2022

Film Updates

— Another movie with Cate that will be released this year is the stop-motion version of Pinocchio directed by Guillermo Del Toro and Mark Gustafson. Three episodes of Documentary Now premiered at Toronto International Film Festival last weekend.

On a sadder news, Pedro Almodóvar has pulled out of directing job in A Manual for Cleaning Women but Cate is still attached to star and produce under Dirty Films.

Meanwhile, TÁR continues to be part of film festival lineups. It will have it’s Australian premiere at Adelaide Film Festival, US West Coast premiere at Mill Valley Film Festival, it is also part of Orcas Island Film Festival lineup. There is a concept album to be released in October 2022 where Cate can be seen and heard conducting a rehearsal of Dresden Orchestra. Cate also did an interview with Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter while she was in Venice at the beginning of this month, the movie will be released on October 23rd in Sweden.

Pinocchio

Cate voiced the monkey, Spazzatura. The movie will have it’s world premiere at London Film Festival on October 15th. You can buy tickets here.

Documentary Now

Over the weekend, three episodes from the new season of IFC’s iconic mockumentary series Documentary Now! premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).  And during a post-screening Q&A, it was revealed that we have Australia’s own Cate Blanchett to thank for its long awaited return.

In front of a sold out audience at the Scotiabank Cinemas, directors Alex Buono, Rhys Thomas, and co-creator and series regular Fred Armisen – all of whom met in the writer’s room on Saturday Night Live – talked about how Cate, who also appeared in the third series of the mockumentary, reached out expressing her interest in parodying an obscure British TV documentary.

Cate had taken a shining to the 1994 BBC documentary, Three Salons at the Seaside, which she discovered with her hair & makeup team while filming her FX series Mrs. America in Toronto, Canada.

The Cate Blanchett episode in question – “Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport”, which screened at TIFF – was filmed over four days at the original location of the documentary in Blackpool – redressed to match its original time period.

Having seen the episode, which unfolds like a beautifully written stage play, I can safely say that the persistence of Blanchett paid off – it’s one of the finest of the series to date. And, simultaneously, may be the most obscure documentary they’ve lovingly parodied.

Pedro Almodóvar departs A Manual for Cleaning Women

Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar will not be making his first English-language feature directorial debut with A Manual for Cleaning Women, which has Cate Blanchett set to star and produce under her Dirty Films, Deadline has learned.

The filmmaker finally had all the elements to realize the magnitude of this future production. However, he came to the decision that he’s not ready to tackle such a monumental project in English. A search for another director is underway.

The feature project was first announced back in January based on Lucia Berlin’s 43-part collection of short stories, examining the lives of women working a wide variety of demanding jobs.

“It has been a very painful decision for me,” Almodóvar tells Deadline. “I have dreamt of working with Cate for such a long time. Dirty Films has been so generous with me this whole time and I was blinded by excitement, but unfortunately, I no longer feel able to fully realize this film.”

Dirty Films producers Blanchett, Andrew Upton, and Coco Francini tell us, “We have the utmost respect for Pedro and his extraordinary body of work, and while the stars may not have aligned this time, we hope to collaborate with Pedro and El Deseo on another project in the future. Dirty Films’ passion for A Manual for Cleaning Women and Lucia Berlin’s unique and searing voice – full of danger, joyousness and loss – has not dimmed, and we are excited to continue this project with our partners at New Republic.”

TÁR at Film Festivals

Mill Valley Film Festival World Cinema Lineup. Showings on October 7th and 8th, tickets can be booked here.

Australian premiere on October 21st as part of Adelaide Film Festival Special Presentation lineup. Tickets here.

Orcas Island Film Festival runs from October 6th-10th, festival passes are now on sale but no scheduled showing yet for TÁR.

TÁR (Music from and inspired by the motion picture)

TÁR concept album is set to be released on October 21st, an LP version will be released on January 20th 2023. You can pre-order at Deutsche Grammophon, JPC, Roan Records or Amazon.

Deutsche Grammophon presents Hildur Guðnadóttir’s exciting new film project – a groundbreaking concept album for Todd Field’s new movie TÁR, starring Cate Blanchett in the title role.

The multi-faceted concept album features music from and inspired by the movie, including a series of stunning new tracks by Guðnadóttir, as well as extracts from major works by Elgar and Mahler. It complements the film by presenting completed, real-life versions of the music on which we see the fictional protagonist Lydia Tár working. One of the aims of the album is to reveal something of the complex process that goes on behind orchestral rehearsals and recordings.

“The tracks, like the film, are meant to invite the listener to experience the messiness involved in the making of music.” Todd Field

Written and directed by three-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Field, TÁR tells the story of high-powered composer-conductor Lydia Tár, played by Cate Blanchett. The two-time Oscar winner immersed herself in every aspect of her character’s life and can be seen – and heard on the DG album – conducting rehearsals of a Mahler symphony with extraordinary skill. Her fellow cast members include talented young British-German cellist Sophie Kauer, whose playing also features on the concept album.

This is a Google translated interview from Swedish to English.

Cate Blanchett: “There’s a lot of unresolved anger in the wake of MeToo”

Almost 25 years ago, Cate Blanchett came to Venice for the first time with “Elizabeth”, where she made an unforgettable portrait of the 16th-century regent who “married England”. Now the Australian Hollywood star is back at the Lido with another majestic full-length portrait of a woman with enormous power in her world.

In Todd Field’s magnetic “Tár”, Blanchett plays a fictional star conductor who has mentor Leonard Bernstein at her back, stands at the peak of her career as a celebrated composer and is the first female chief conductor of the prestigious Berlin Symphony Orchestra. A demanding recording of Mahler’s Fifth Symphony is at hand. Lydia Tár is certainly married to the orchestra’s female concertmaster (played by the German Nina Hoss) but is much more loyal to her position of power – which she exploits wildly in private – than her wife.

Learning to conduct believably was the least of the challenges with “Tár”, says Blanchett.

– For me, “Tár” is not really so much about the conducting itself. For Lydia, it’s like breathing. It was simply about finding the right way to breathe. But it’s clear that I studied many conductors that I became quite obsessed with, from Carlos Kleiber who had such a tormented and ambivalent approach to his work – to women like Antonia Brica, Marian Alsop and my compatriot Simone Young, says Cate Blanchett at a hotel room with sea view on the festival island Lido.

She is dressed in a white summer suit that elegantly mirrors the expensive tailored suits her character wears in the film. Speaks enthusiastically in a voice that is slightly higher than Lydia’s deep voice.

– The most important thing was to understand the structures of the classical world and how orchestras work. It was so interesting to follow the development, from the autocratic times when the conductor’s word was law and then over the fall of the Berlin Wall when more democratic tendencies began to seep into this world as well. It’s clear that the classical music world is still very much about canon and hierarchies, but the dynamic has clearly changed.

Her character Lydia Tár stands in the middle of that process, and not unexpectedly ends up in a storm when she not only manipulates younger women for her own needs, but also suppresses students who question the canon, like Bach, for reasons of identity politics.

Was it time for a reverse method drama?

– There is a lot of unresolved anger to explore in the wake of MeToo, and it is something we are far from done with. The system still needs to be fundamentally changed. The cancel culture is part of this process. But for me it is still only one aspect of “Tár”. Todd, who also wrote the screenplay, did a huge amount of research for the film and I think he has found mined ground that is very exciting.

To the now classic question of whether you can separate the author from the work, Blanchett answers with an anecdote from the early nineties when she had just graduated from acting school in Australia.

– It is in many ways a generational issue. At 22, I was cast in a production of David Mamet’s “Oleanna” and was full of strong opinions about gender and power. The first time I read the play I threw it at the wall. Second and third time too. When we finally played it, it became an incredibly exciting and challenging debate among the audience. And probably a lot of divorces, laughs Blanchett.

– The lesson from that is that if we are to avoid everything that is controversial or disturbing in art, or authors who have behaved questionably, then we miss out on a lot, both experiences and a significant critical debate. God knows what went on in Picasso’s studio, but “Guérnica” is still one of the world’s most important works of art, and so on.

What is “Tár” above all about, for you?

– It’s almost hard to say, there are so many layers to it. Lydia is both perpetrator and victim of a system where men have been kings for so long that she constantly has to prove that she is capable. But I woke up this morning and thought that it is above all a meditation on power, she says and elaborates:

– It is not only about institutional power but also creative power. Conductors often call the orchestra their instrument, but at the same time it’s about many different individuals, says Blanchett, who received praise for her interpretation of the role.

– “Tár” depicts the trend breaking that takes place in a world where the collective has been hierarchically controlled but where the individual and how one identifies oneself has become a new factor of power, she says.

Having long run theater in Sydney with her husband Andrew Upton, she can easily identify with institutional power, but personally she is more interested in creative power and how to convey it to others.

– Often the most creative thing you can say is “I don’t know, yet” when people demand answers. But there’s a funny difference depending on who’s saying it. If a male director says it, people find it exciting. But if it’s a female director, people just get nervous, ha ha.

– That’s one thing I really appreciate about “Tár”. It asks questions, but does not judge.

Cate Blanchett and Nina Hoss

 

Sources: Politico, Bloomberg, The AU Review, Dagens Nyheter

Cate Blanchett on Vanity Fair European Edition
Posted on
Aug 31, 2022

Cate Blanchett on Vanity Fair European Edition

Hi, Cate Blanchett fans!

TÁR’s premiere is upon us but before that Cate Blanchett has appeared on three different covers for Vanity Fair, while this is not the first time she has appeared on multiple covers for the same issue, this is the first time where it is multiple covers for three different countries (France, Italy, and Spain) released at the same time. Vanity Fair France, Italy, and Spain September 2022 issue go on sale today, August 31st. Check out the interview and photos below.

Vanity Fair France — We made this singular choice for the cover of this September Issue, with this portrait of Cate Blanchett photographed by the duo Luigi and Iango. The session took place in London at the beginning of the summer and each edition of Vanity Fair in Europe could choose its image of the Australian star for the front page. We let you imagine the debates within our editorial staff, on the framing, the intensity of the gaze and the chroma. Is black and white the subtraction of life and color? Or the multiplication of contrasts and emotion? We leave you to judge.

Vanity Fair Italy — Three different covers, an international diva and a couple of the most important photographers in the world. To celebrate the Venice Film Festival, Vanity Fair arrives on newsstands with a triple European special edition dedicated to Cate Blanchett, the artist who presents the film Tár in competition at the Venetian festival.

The actress was photographed exclusively by Luigi & Iango, a duo of star photographers with whom the magazine has started a collaboration that will see new and surprising chapters over the next year.

Vanity Fair Spain — The Australian actress returns to the big screen as the protagonist of Tár, the new film by Todd Field. Regarding her presentation at the Venice Film Festival, Antonella Bussi talks via video call with Cate Blanchett about this film in which she gives life to an orchestra conductor and where, among others, topics such as the culture of cancellation and the use of power.

VANITY FAIR European Edition – September 2022
This is a google translated interview from Spanish to English. You can find the link to the original text in Spanish, Italian and French below.

In Tár, Todd Field’s latest film, actress Cate Blanchett plays an orchestra conductor, a role for which she had to become familiar with a job traditionally attributed to men. It is one of the most anticipated projects among those that will be presented these days at the Venice Film Festival, and it deals with issues such as the fear of the passage of time, the abuse of power or the cancellation policy. Many times we have needed female examples that make us believe that evolution is possible, that male hegemony is a questionable totem. “In principle, the conductor should have been a man, in which case perhaps we would talk about it in another way. But the fact that she is a woman takes us into a space from which we can look at the issue more impartially,” the Australian tells us in our cover interview. Art has to be years ahead of society for us to visualize goals and imagine other possible futures. And for that we need the cinema, we need the stars that inspire us, we need Blanchett, sure of herself and sure of working with Field. There is always something exciting about mythical and unprolific authors. Every time they open their mouths we are sure that they will say important things.

If in September 2020, the first year of the pandemic, Cate Blanchett (Ivanhoe, Australia, 1969) presided over the Venice Film Festival jury with her resilient spirit, now, two years later, the actress returns to the Lido to compete in an edition that promises to be full of great stories and illustrious names. In the long afternoon video call that we share, Blanchett tells us about the topics that Tár addresses, the film in which she is the absolute protagonist. I log in ahead of time and am surprised to see that she’s already there. The black screen is named after Cate Upton. It is the surname of her husband, Andrew, the Australian playwright and filmmaker with whom she has been married for 25 years. She wears her hair up, glasses, a beige linen suit, and no makeup. Her voice sounds powerful: “I was looking at email,” she clarifies with her kitchen as a backdrop.

Tár is the long-awaited film by Todd Field, who returns to directing 15 years after his success with Little Children. Lydia Tár, the character played by Blanchett, is a conductor in full professional swing, but also a woman whose shadows are accentuated by the world in which she moves.

— Tár is a brave film. What was it that convinced you to play the lead?

— Look, first of all, it’s already rare for Todd to make a movie. So I wasted no time when he called me on the phone to tell me “I have a script”. And in general, I tend to be slow. I have a thousand things to think about and it takes me two weeks to read a script, but I devoured this one in 24 hours. It was very visceral. I felt that it was about something that affected my body and my spirit. That, coupled with the desire to work with Todd, was decisive in convincing me.

—How does one prepare to play a conductor?

— I asked a friend who is and I realized that it is a bit like being the center of the stage: if you do not have the perception of space, if you do not occupy it, the public does not follow you, does not know where to look or takes you seriously.

I have to be honest: on the one hand I was terrified like never before in my life. There was the pandemic, I had also lived through it, so the musicians had not played important works for a long time and, as if that were not enough, when I raised my arm to mark the rhythm I did it a little out of time. But then I realized that they needed me and I desperately needed them, and somehow the music would flow. I learned the gestures and I am unable to express how wonderful it is to feel how the music flows. It is an engaging experience!

—Indeed, it must be incredible that so many people depend on your gestures.

— All the conductors I have consulted have told me that you have to dominate the podium, you cannot show weakness. It’s a trick, like those of theater actors. You have to pretend that you know what you’re doing even if that’s not the case, it’s a question of leadership. In Australia, I participated in a leadership program and we wonder what it will be like to lead in 20, 30, 50 years. My suspicion is that being a leader will have to include the ability to say “I don’t know” or “I don’t know yet.” Have doubts and admit them. But nowadays the model is different: if you are a leader you have to say “I know, so follow me”. It’s a problem, but that’s the way things are today.

—Lydia, the protagonist, seems to experience in first person all those great issues that today divide public opinion. The first of them, that of age and the passage of time…

— Lydia is turning 50, a special moment in anyone’s life. At that point, you are aware of everything you have already done and wonder how much time you have left and what to do with it. You are at the peak of your life and your career. But what happens when you start to descend from the mountain? We always talk about success, but the path to get there is, without a doubt, much easier than that of relegation, that of failure. That is the theme of the film.

— Another issue raised by the film is the use of power by those who occupy a dominant position. Lydia, for example, uses her charisma to obtain sexual favors, to not always be correct or honest…

— Certainly. And clearly that is unacceptable. The power system can lead anyone to separate from herself. In principle, the conductor should have been a man, in which case we might talk about the subject in another way. But the fact that she is a woman brings us to a space from which we can analyze the matter more impartially. The world of classical music is one of masters, comparisons to composers of the past, and greatness that raises the question of what is allowed in the pursuit of excellence. The question is simple: “What are we allowed once we occupy a position of power? To what extent might the prodigies you meet have been corrupted by it? The film deliberately avoids giving an answer and perhaps doesn’t want to give one either, because questions are always more powerful than any answer. At this historical moment it is interesting to first understand what is happening, without judging. The power of art lies precisely in that: in helping us understand what is in front of us and only then allowing us to judge it.

—Lydia has a partner and an adopted daughter whom she loves and professes great tenderness. In it there is family intimacy but also an opposite desire, that of escaping.

— She is restless because sometimes, when things are going well for you, you feel the need to break them. For artists, creating something often means making something else die. Of course, that’s not what I do, but I get it.

—The film also addresses the issue of cancel culture, of suppression in the name of political correctness. What do you think about that?

— Making movies, music, theater or art is not a political act. What can become so is the way it is spread, digested and processed, but its production itself is not. In my opinion, the reflection that must be done is another: what do we study? I am in favor of studying how things happen in a historical context and asking questions. For example: how did women think at a certain time? Certain ideas today may seem dangerous, but erasing them and not talking about them can exacerbate the danger, because then we would be condemned to repeat the same mistakes. There must be confrontation and at the same time we must confront the systems that perpetuate abuse and prejudice. Only through these actions can progress be built.

—How much of Cate is there in the character of Lydia?

— Lydia’s character made me think a lot about what is allowed and considered acceptable in the pursuit of excellence. I recently spoke with an actress friend about how important Stella Adler, a great acting teacher, was for her career. However, today Stella would be “cancelled” and her methods would be considered excessively brutal. I think that in art a certain brutality is necessary, because if you want to stand out you must have a judge within you, be hard on yourself, have a strong critical sense of what you do. Who cares what others think, it is to their interior that any writer, actor, musician or painter must be accountable, to the point of always demanding more. But this way of generating excellence that we have used for decades no longer works because kindness is now required.

But then what is the price of excellence?

— I do not know. And I don’t think I’m great. Excellence is my mistress, I court her every day, but she is very elusive!

More than a lover, perhaps a companion.

— I hope so. However, excellence is different from success. I know many artists who have not received the recognition they deserve. That is the cruelty and riskiness of my profession. And then the obsession with legacy comes into play, as it does with my character. We see this in the Elon Musks of the world, capable of doing anything in order to leave a mark. There is a great human cost, as well as personal and artistic, in that. But what we leave to those who come after is totally out of our control and it is arrogant to think otherwise. You can only decide what you will leave to your children.

—Is it so difficult to know how to manage success?

—Someone told me at the beginning of my career that success reveals who you are, and I think it’s true because it exposes you a lot. But failure is an exceptional teacher.

— How do you survive failure?

— You can always be reborn, right? As long as you’re strong enough. T.S. Eliot said: “In my end is my beginning.” And there is always a new chapter, which sometimes requires a fall to exist. But humility is needed, another undervalued virtue. That’s why for me the film has an optimistic ending, despite everything. 

— You’re going to Venice to attend the Venice Film Festival, a big event that we hope will encourage people to return to the cinemas.

— It will be great to go to Venice and, of course, I hope that the festival will help to fill the cinemas. It has been and continues to be a difficult time for everyone. One of little leadership and great economic instability. Women are always the first affected, they lose their rights and control over their bodies. This instability amplifies our desire to get together, listen to music, go out. And to go to the movies, where you find stories that also help to delve into yourself, into the person you are. With the pandemic we have had a great collective experience and we must realize that we are all in this together and we have to be humble.

—You speak of humility, but yours is a truly extraordinary life…

— I’ll tell you one thing: this summer there has been an incredible heat wave in Europe and we Australians are obsessed with water and how to conserve it. Five years ago we wanted to buy several large warehouses for our house in England and people thought we were crazy because it always rains here. But there had already been a drought in Sussex and now we are in this heat. Today I have been watering my raspberries at five in the morning using the water from the tank so as not to waste the main one. If we run out of water, no matter who you are or where you are, we are out of it. We are all connected and we have to be humble.

Sources: VF France, VF Italy, VF Spain, French Interview, Italian Interview, Spanish Interview

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

Posted on
Feb 27, 2017

Cate Blanchett Doesn’t Need to Be the Star of the Show

Hello everybody! New interview for Vanity Fair!

The Oscar-winner on her Broadway debut in The Present—and which Shakespearean role she yearns to tackle


When she isn’t delighting late-night revelers with surprise performances at drag shows, Cate Blanchett is spending her time in New York on the Broadway stage. Currently one of the stars of The Present—a reworking of an infrequently produced early Anton Chekhov play about a rather disastrous birthday party, adapted by Blanchett’s husband, Andrew Upton—Blanchett took a break from her hectic schedule to talk with us about the play, and how she views her role in such productions. Blanchett says she’s much happier being a member of the ensemble—even if, sure, her specific role in The Present maybe got a little plumping.

“It’s not a great role in the original writing. It’s very peripheral,” Blanchett told us over the phone. “Andrew has set her given circumstances, for want of a better phrase, as the framework for the play, in which everyone combusts and decomposes and hopefully emerges crisp and more phoenix-like. For me, in the end, the role is always secondary, whether it’s working on-stage or on-screen. It’s about the people you’re working with. I was drawn to the possibility of doing this in Sydney, and then ultimately [to] the opportunity of performing it [in New York], as a way of exposing the actors that we work with, the designers that we work with, the creative teams that we work with at the [Sydney Theatre Company] to an international audience.”



Blanchett and Upton ran the Sydney Theatre Company together for five years, staging acclaimed productions in Australia and then touring them around the world. It was a demanding job, one that Blanchett says she misses in some respects—but not in others. “We’re very private people. But [when you’re] running such a public organization, you need to weigh in to the national conversation. There’s a great responsibility as a cultural advocate that means that one has to be very public. And so I don’t miss that.”

Still, Blanchett seems to be enjoying her time treading the boards in New York again, making her Broadway debut after taking other shows to the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Lincoln Center. Blanchett is one of a small handful of movie stars who regularly does theater—Jake Gyllenhaal, currently starring in a swoon-worthy Sunday in the Park with George revival a few blocks north of Blanchett, is another one—but Blanchett doesn’t have any sort of ratio or equation in mind when accepting a film role versus a theater role. “There’s never really a plan,” she told us. “Except to do the work that I feel I can do. Sometimes it’s stuff where you can see an opportunity to do something, or to work with a director. Anthony Minghella on Talented Mr. Ripley. Lasse Hallström in The Shipping News. [Those roles] were very colorful characters, but I was working with two directors that I really wanted to work with, and on material that was the antithesis of the job that I’d just done. I could see an opportunity there. So often it’s been something that other people turned down!”

Are there any specific theater roles that Blanchett would carve out time for? “I wouldn’t mind a crack at Richard III,” Blanchett told us. (Someone please make this happen.) “But it depends on the director. There are plays that I would love to be part of realizing, but in the end, there’s no point playing Hamlet or Medea or Richard III or whatever the role is—or one yet to be written—unless you’re in something that is whole. Hamlet doesn’t make sense if Claudius and Gertrude aren’t present and completely enmeshed in the fabric of the piece, and therefore the production doesn’t work. I’m more interested in productions that have a chance to connect with the audience than how many lines I’ve got or how much stage time I have. I couldn’t be less interested. I don’t want to sound too pretentious about it, but I consider myself, no matter what the role is, an ensemble member.”

Blanchett will be an ensemble member in next year’s Ocean’s 8, a spin-off/continuation of the popular Ocean’s franchise, which she filmed on Mondays when not performing on-stage. But for now, there is just, quite fittingly, The Present, which runs on Broadway through March 19.

via Vanity Fair

Posted on
Mar 25, 2014

Cate Blanchett covers Vanity Fair France April

Cate Blanchett is the cover of the April Issue of French Vanity Fair Magazine. Here’s the cover, I’ll post scans when/if I get them!

Posted on
Jul 28, 2013

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

Cate Blanchett in the LA Premiere for Blue Jasmine

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s when the terror begins.

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

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