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Cate Blanchett Discusses Scripts and Future Projects


Cate Blanchett photo from The Good German

Cate Blanchett in "The Good German."

© Warner Bros Pictures

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Cate Blanchett on Selecting Scripts and Choosing Film Projects: “It’s generally the character is the last port of call with me. Even from Elizabeth all those years ago, I thought, ‘Glenda Jackson’s done it. What am I going to bring that’s any different?’ But when I spoke to Shekhar [Kapur] who directed it, I thought, ‘Oh, I really want to work with you.’ So it’s usually that conversation that clinches it for me. I would have shot this anywhere for Steven Soderbergh.”

Speaking of Elizabeth, there’s been talk of a sequel. Blanchett said, “Well, Shekhar and I all during the first one were talking abut trying to find something else to do together. We’re good friends and we’ve stayed in contact. He’s a man of 1,000 ideas. We’re developing this other film together but that hasn’t come together yet.

I just said no to Elizabeth because I thought, ‘I’ve done it. I don’t need to do it again.’ But we had one great conversation, he and Geoffrey [Rush] and I when I suddenly saw it as being something about part of the aging process and taking her to a different level. He wanted to make a film about immortality. So when he talks about it in those broad sweeps, and also a film about holy war, which I thought was very timely. So when he talked about it from that perspective, and then he said Clive Owen’s going to do it and Geoffrey’s going to do it again, I just went, ‘Oh, I’m just churlish if I say no to it.’ I couldn’t refuse.”

Future Projects – I’m Not There: Blanchett’s one of six actors who played the role of Bob Dylan in the Todd Haynes film I’m Not There (currently in post-production). Blanchett admits she’s both excited and terrified about the project because of the expectations for the film. “I was terrified doing it because he and I had no interest in imitating Dylan. But yet Todd was really specific that I wore a suit that he wore in 1965, like the exact suit that he wore in Manchester. And the hair... He wants those iconic references but yet he doesn’t want an imitation. It was a really difficult tightrope to walk, which I hope I walked without falling off too often. But also, it’s just that expectation because even though the film’s aim is not to be a biopic, people will automatically want to receive it as that.”

Asked which ‘Bob’ she plays, Blanchett responded with, “Isn’t that the $24 question? Which Bob is Bob? There’s six different Bobs. I think that’s the greatness of the idea is that he’s splitting Dylan’s persona into so many different ways. To a Woodie Guthrie type figure, a TV evangelist. I play him when he went electric. Into an actor, into an 18the century poet, a 17the century poet. I think when you juxtapose all those different personas, then you get a sense of his spirit or his shape-shifting.”

Blanchett furthered explained that all the Bobs have their own sections in the film. “Mine’s in black and white and I think some of them are hypercolored. Todd is a genre defying film director to begin with. If you look back to his film school thing about Karen Carpenter, if you’ve seen it, with the Barbie dolls, it’s amazing. He thinks so laterally, in such a Todd Haynes way. I don’t think anyone else could have conceived of the idea. It’s great because the fact that I’m a woman, automatically you have that Brechtian distance between the persona of Dylan. The form of the film liberates it from being a biopic.”

The Status of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Blanchett confirmed filming is underway and that she’ll be joining the production in January. “Brad plays, Mr. Pitt plays a man who basically ages backwards and it’s a star-crossed lover story. I play a woman he meets when he’s about 10 so he’s really about 85 and I’m six. Then there’s a point in their lives when they can be together. I play a dancer who has an accident.”

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