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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