If her interviews are any indication, Cate Blanchett is my kind of woman; the SWINTON’s younger sister, if you will. Speaking with The Telegraph, she touched on diversity and inequality, and everything from watching M.A.S.H. daily because Alan Alda looked like her late father, to working with Woody Allen, and the “tall order” of finding empathy for Donald Trump. Blanchett reads like a completely frank and open book whose pages you can’t stop turning. I highly recommend the entire piece, but here are a few highlights to get you going.
On being 46 and worrying about her film career:
“And actress years are like dog years. So that makes me about 120.”
How she had a little fun with a Cannes reporter who, at the Carol premiere, provocatively asked whether Blanchett had any relationships with women:
“”I also just played Mary Mapes, who’s a journalist. No one asked me how long I’d been to journalism school. If I played someone who has an affair, I think a reporter would probably think twice before asking, ‘Ooh, how many affairs have you had?’ It would be a slightly delicate area. But there are no holds barred about asking me whether I’ve had relationships with women. And so I facetiously said, ‘Oh yes, I’ve had many relationships with women’ - because frankly, who hasn’t? Of course I said it in inverted commas. But the inverted commas didn’t make the page.”
Of course, that comment was interpreted being about her sexuality, instead of the obvious; Blanchett has a mother, sisters and friends.
On whether same-sex relationships are still unaccepted in mainstream movies, and unequal pay:
“Well, the fact that we’re talking about it means there are still barriers. It’s like the situation with women in film - or, frankly, women in every industry - not being paid the same as men. You have to keep it on the agenda. You have to keep it politicised. But I’m not very interested in agitprop cinema. That’s the realm of the documentary. That’s where investigative journalism belongs. The problem is that when you represent a character in a same-sex relationship, it’s like you have to represent them all. You become a spokesperson, which really isn’t the point. When the time comes that we have a diversity of same-sex couples in film, then the problem is solved, I don’t have to stand for everyone.”
That’s a simple and effective diversity benchmark.
When the actress was ten, her father left for work and suffered a heart attack. She never saw him again, and later became obsessed with watching Alan Alda (who looked exactly like her father) on M.A.S.H..
“…I would watch it five days a week, just to imbibe him and say hello. So when I eventually met him, my God, he must have thought I was some sort of mad person. I ran up to him as though I was seeing my dad.”
I’m not crying, you’re crying!
How flaws, but not necessarily empathy, are what helps Blanchett become the characters she plays:
“…it doesn’t matter if you’re playing Elizabeth I or Bob Dylan or Mary Mapes or Carol. You’ve got to find as many warts as you can.
I think a point of understanding is probably a good thing. I mean, with some people it’s harder than with others. If I was playing Donald Trump, it might be a tall order. I would play Donald Trump in a heartbeat.The comb-over? I’m there. Todd Haynes could make a whole new film. Six different incarnations of Trump.”
(via The Guardian)