Only In Hollywood

Cate Blanchett on Woody, motherhood

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PETER Sarsgaard and Cate Blanchett in “Blue Jasmine”

(Conclusion)
Cate Blanchett is yet another fine thespian who does not relish watching her movies. “Obviously, I watch them once, before  post-production—if there’s anything that you can augment or add,” she stressed. “I don’t watch my films beyond once and I do find that it gets less excruciating. But in [“Blue Jasmine” director] Woody Allen’s case, there’s no post-production. If it doesn’t happen on the set, it doesn’t happen at all. Woody doesn’t go back and loop anything. He doesn’t go back and change dialogue or reshoot stuff long after the fact.”

Asked about George Clooney, who directs and co-stars with her in “The Monuments Men,” she cracked, “George is so goddamn ugly. Sexiest man alive whatever he was a decade ago.”

And about another acclaimed filmmaker, Terrence Malick, who directs her in “Knight of Cups” and an untitled project, both also starring Christian Bale and Natalie Portman: “It couldn’t be more different from working with Woody Allen. There is no script to speak of. You’re not even sure of the narrative and of your character. I wonder whether he’s making movies or something else. It felt more akin to poetry in a way. He’s on this big, deep spiritual quest. The contract when you go into it is that he describes it as going fishing. He’s fishing for moments—‘life on the wing,’ he kept saying. I think the contract is that you have to be aware that you may not be the fish that he catches but it was a really fascinating endeavor.”

Family life

On the personal aspects of her life, she candidly talked about her husband of almost 16 years, playwright and screenwriter Andrew Upton, with whom she shares artistic director duties at the Sydney Theatre Company. “When he was offered the job at the Sydney Theatre Company, he asked, ‘Do you want to do it together?’ That has been fantastic. He’s the first person I met who I could talk brutally, honestly and openly with about my work. Because obviously, as an actor, sometimes you don’t want to look too directly at what you do. But I can talk to him about anything without fear of judgment. He’ll tell me to shut up if I’m being ridiculous. He doesn’t tolerate grandeur, either.”

Love and pride

Laughing but talking with obvious love and pride about their three sons, Cate said, “Our first one (Dashiell John) refers to himself as the experiment. Every child is different (the other sons are Roman Robert and Ignatius Martin). You can read as many books as you like [on parenthood]. You just have to be acutely aware of where your children are at and also give them a structure and a sense of compassion and humility, hopefully.”

She added, smiling, “They do [get along]. “They laugh together and they dance. We dance a lot at home.”

And the boys are already interested in acting. “The saddest thing is that I recently missed my son playing the title role in a class play. I helped him rehearse it. We got the costume together.  They love [acting]. I know many actors who pray, please God, let them not be actors but if they really want to do it, [why not?] … My children are hilarious. I love them.”

(Email the columnist at rvnepales_5585@yahoo.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/nepalesruben.)

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