Exclusive Interview With Cate Blanchett- The Wicked Stepmother “Lady Tremaine” #CinderellaEvent

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”15277″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]I remember many, many years ago sitting in a movie theater watching “The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” and this gorgeous, I mean amazingly gorgeous elf popped up on the screen. I couldn’t believe how stunningly gorgeous she was and that is when my fascination with Cate Blanchett started. That totally made me look like a stalker, didn’t it?[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”About Cate Blanchett” title_align=”separator_align_center” align=”align_center” color=”grey” border_width=”2″][vc_single_image image=”15278″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]Cate Blanchett has starred in many roles, including all of the Lord of the Rings movies, as well as The Hobbit movies. One of my other favorites with her in it is “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, also starring Brad Pitt. Cate was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on May 14th 1969. Her mother was a teacher and her father was an ad exec. She also has an older brother and a younger sister.

She graduated from the Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art in 1992 and went on to star in many roles, including a few TV Series. She has won two Oscar’s and 3 Golden Globes.

In 1997 she married Andrew Upton and they have 4 children together. Just recently they adopted a baby girl.[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”Cate Blanchett- The Wicked Stepmother “Lady Tremaine“” title_align=”separator_align_center” align=”align_center” color=”grey”][vc_single_image image=”15281″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”full”][vc_column_text]We had watched Cinderella before our interviews and I have to say that Cate Blanchett played a great Wicked Stepmother. But to be honest, maybe because I am older, I didn’t know whether to hate her or feel sorry for her. Sometimes life can make you a very bitter person and that can make you mean.

Without giving too much away I can say that she played the role well and while I may not have known how to feel, I do know there were a couple of times I wanted to slap her.

I was amazed at how a demeanor and costumes can truly transform someone. In Lord of the Rings Cate was stunningly gorgeous. Full of light, beauty, and purity. In Cinderella she looked bitter, hard, and well, evil. In parts I had to remind myself this was the same person. She played the role well and after meeting her, I couldn’t believe this was the same person I just saw on screen. She was definitely a far cry from the older, graying evil stepmother in the original Cinderella animation.

Cinderella has been redone a thousand ways but I believe Cate Blanchett was the best Wicked Stepmother yet. I think when you see the movie you will agree.

[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”Interview With Cate Blanchett” title_align=”separator_align_center” align=”align_center” color=”grey” border_width=”2″][vc_column_text]When Cate walked into the room it was like the sun had come in. I know that sounds super cheesy but it was true. Her smile lit the room up and she was so laid back. She smiled, carried in her cup of tea, and looked fashionably put together in a casual way. If I could put my clothes together that well and still look approachable I would say my life was complete. She immediately made us laugh and put us at ease with a couple of funny good morning’s. It is always so awesome when a talent does that because that means the interview is going to flow pretty smoothly because we are comfortable and so are they.

Did you go after this role?

Yes, like a rabid dog, and I didn’t get the Cinderella role, though I had so many friends who- they asked me what I was doing in the summer, and I said, oh, I’m in a live-action version of Cinderella, and there was a big kind of awkward pause.  And they didn’t quite know how to ask me, are you a little old to be playing Cinderella?  Yeah.  A bit Bette Davis, so yes.  It sort of landed in my lap, actually.

I was very lucky, and when Sandy Powell and Dante Ferretti were on board, and they’re, you know, two of the greats. They’ve created such extraordinary visuals in modern cinema. Then Ken Branagh came on board who’s so fantastic with actors and with language, so it was kind of a perfect, a perfect storm.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center” style=”dotted” border_width=”2″][vc_column_text]What’s your favorite scene?

Cate BlanchettOoh, well, I think the chemistry between Lily and Richard is palpable, and I wept like a baby, completely inappropriately and out of character when they waltzed for the first time.  The, the music is beautiful, but also it was a real- it was really big feat because Lily was cinched in so tightly, and that dress was like an armored tank, and he was in seven hundred layers of wool, and the dance was really athletic, and they acted like a dream.  And the chemistry was, palpable, and I just, I wept because it was beautiful to watch.

I think maybe being the, the mother of sons, I found it very, very moving, and every time I see it, I do- I’m a bit of a- I do cry a lot.  I love the scene between, Derek Jacobi as  the king, and Richard Madden as the prince.  You know, because that’s the wonderful thing about the film, I think is that, you know, we try and shield our, our children from moments of grief and, and I know it from, having lost a parent at the age of, of ten. (side note- Cate’s father died when she was 10 years old.)

I thought, for him as a man to be curled up like a young boy, you know, and I’ve had a lot of friends recently lose a parent, and whether you’re eighty or eight and you lose a parent, you- you’re always the child, and so I find that scene very moving.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center” style=”dotted” border_width=”2″][vc_column_text]How much fun was it to play a Disney villain?

There’s a lot of great Disney villains, and a lot of them are women and they always have fabulous frocks and fabulous hairdos, and so it was an enormous amount of fun.  You know, the wonderful message in the film, of course, is to have courage and to be kind.  You know, kindness is a super power, and we try to teach our children, you know, you share, you be respectful, you be generous, you be thoughtful, put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and to play someone who can’t play someone who can’t do any of those things, you know, to have that as your avatar during the day was quite fun.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center” style=”dotted” border_width=”2″][vc_column_text]How did you prepare for your role?  

Often on film, we don’t get a lot of rehearsal time.  We got a little bit time with Ken on the script.  Actors come in at various different times, and so for me, the most creative two parts of the process early on are your costume fittings.

We get to try things out because before you even utter a syllable, um, what you wear- I mean, we do it, we do this on a daily basis.  We form unconscious judgments of people,you know, the way they smell, by the way- what they choose to wear; how you choose to present yourself, you know, it’s a big part of who we are, and particularly on film because it’s so visual, obviously. Once I knew what those silhouettes were, I knew which bits I didn’t have to act because the costume was revealing those things.

 You could play against it. So that was an incredible amount of fun and then obviously, it gives you a sense of how the character might move, and you try those things out because the camera’s not rolling- no one’s looking at you, and the other thing I find very creative is the camera tests.  Because obviously the cinematographer and the director are looking for lighting effects and how will it affect on your skin or the hair- with wig color.  They’re not looking at you, and I always like to see the camera tests because you can try things out.  You can f*ck things up, and think, oh, I won’t do that. So that was a big part of the preparation.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center” style=”dotted” border_width=”2″][vc_column_text]Did you have any input on what you wore, and what was your favorite look of that you wore?

Oh, gosh, yes, it’s been a Sophie’s Choice moment isn’t it? I mean, Sandy’s got very, very strong ideas.  I mean, that’s what makes her Sandy Powell.  But we talked really early on.  We started emailing, each other pictures that we found inspiring, you know, lighting references, hat references, drapes, fabrics, um, and we sort of- we found this pool of images that we were both drawn to and the big offers that Sandy began to make, which I found really exciting is when she pulled out the color swatches.

Okay, we’re going for chartreuse, we’re going for green, we’re going for hot pink, and we’re gonna mix them all together.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Your favorites?

My favorite, well, there was a lot of green- my school uniform was green, so I tend not to wear a lot of green in everyday life, and I call that dress that I wore at the ball, the gherkin, that was my least favorite, but everyone seems to like that one. 

I like the blue one.  There’s a scene where the stepmother goes to see the archduke, and yeah, the poppy gloves and a blue hat.  It was sort of, I think for memory, it had a bird on it.  I mean, the detail in Sandy’s costumes are just extraordinary.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center” style=”dotted” border_width=”2″][vc_column_text]You just spoke about trying things out on the camera test.  How much input did you have- the script or anything?

A lot.  I mean, I think there’s a sense that actors are sort of puppets that get moved around, I’m always interested in input.  My husband’s a writer, you know, and I come from the theater, so I have a great respect for the script, and often times, you know, the line that you want to change is the line that you need to make work, and that once you make that line work, then you’ve actually- you’ve shifted from yourself, the line you find hardest to say.

It’s actually- so without getting too kind of complex, it’s quite a difficult neurolinguisic process to actually make someone else’s words sound like they’re your own.  And so the one I find that you may find most difficult to make your own is often the one that will unlock the character. But it was really important to me, and it wasn’t the case when I first read the script that Cinderella had the final line of the film.  And, I said to Ken, so it’s a really great message.  She comes in and says, well, I’m not gonna be rescued. 

If this relationship is gonna work, he has to accept me for who I am, which I think is wonderful for young girls to say.  I think it’s fantastic.  And then there was a line at the end where he said, shall we go, and she didn’t say anything.  And I thought, it’s not his story- it’s her story.  And so then they- we added in this sense of forgiveness.  I forgive you, and I, I feel, I feel like that’s a wonderful kind of conclusion to her, to her, her super power.  Ella – she has an incredibly generous spirit and she also closes out the film which I think is great.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”grey” align=”align_center” style=”dotted” border_width=”2″][vc_column_text]Your laugh in the movie, I found that very iconic. Where did you draw the inspiration for that laugh?

Cate BlanchettWell, I was mucking around with  a friend of mine on set and, um, we were talking what makes people ugly.  And,I said, it’s interesting, you can go out with somebody and think, oh my gosh, you’re so attractive, and then he or she eats, and you think, oh my god, you’re a pig.  Or, someone is amazing and you think, your politics are reprehensible, or you know, there’s something about them will give them away, and I said- and we were talking about dirty laughs. And, and so I just did it, and she laughed, and then we were at the gambling scene, I think, and I, I laughed, and Ken’s face was so revolted.  He was really worried.  He said, you’re not gonna do that, are you?  And I said, oh yes I am,  so I think his reaction made me wanna keep it.  And it was a way where, you know, she’s, she’s got exquisite dresses, perfect makeup, and then she opens her mouth and that comes out.  And so I thought that that was a bit of a red flag about what was to come.

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Cinderella will be in theaters March 13, 2015

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Bobbie

Bobbie is a handbag addict who has a passion for product reviews, tech, and food. Her first loves are her daughters, Dakotah and Alianna. Her second loves are bacon and coffee. Lots of bacon and coffee.

Author: Bobbie

Bobbie is a handbag addict who has a passion for product reviews, tech, and food. Her first loves are her daughters, Dakotah and Alianna. Her second loves are bacon and coffee. Lots of bacon and coffee.