Cate Blanchett: Male directors want to be attracted to characters


“They can’t see that there are other ways – and not even sexual ones – to seduce.”

Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is a chameleon of epic proportions: From portraying Phyllis Schlafly in ‘Miss America’ to Bob Dylan in ‘I’m Not There’ and Katharine Hepburn in ‘The Aviator’, Blanchett does not hesitate to be completely unrecognizable on the big screen.

It’s one of his many gifts, in fact, and one that was on full display for the 2015 “Manifesto,” for which Blanchett became a homeless man, a scientist, a funeral speaker, a tattooed punk, a journalist and a teacher, plus seven other characters ranging from masculine to feminine, polished to grunge.

“I realized over the years that my relationship with the costume designer and the hair and makeup artists was really deep,” Blanchett said. The New York Times in a joint interview with feminist photographer Cindy Sherman. “It’s profound to see what the character looks like, and therefore how a character can move or project.”

Still, Blanchett noted that male directors don’t always fully understand just how integral these respective teams below the line are to filmmaking.

“These departments — the so-called ‘female guilds’ — are often things that male directors pretend they don’t know about,” Blanchett added, explaining that directors will often say dismissively, “‘I’m just going to leave that to you. “”

Blanchett’s Oscar-nominated turn as Queen Elizabeth I for 1998’s “Elizabeth” and its 2007 follow-up, “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” proved prime examples of not agreeing with the inherent masculine gaze of a director.

“I played Elizabeth I years ago, and the director [Shekhar Kapur], which I love and respect, has always been, “I just want the hair to be loose, blowing in the wind,” Blanchett recalls. “I said, have you seen the pictures of Elizabeth I? There weren’t that many. »

She continued: “But that’s because [some male directors] need to feel attracted. They can’t see that there are other ways – not even sexual ones – to be attractive. You can draw an audience into a character’s experience in a number of ways.

Blanchett recently made history as the second-youngest recipient of Lincoln Center’s coveted 47th Chaplin Prize on April 26. for housekeepers.

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