Off Cut Thirty Nine

Margaret Pomeranz interviewed Cate Blanchett for the "Movie Show" on SBS. Not surprisingly Cate said a number of interesting things about her process. It seems that Cate doesn't mind what the starting point of the process is for creating an understanding of the character as long as ultimately she builds an internal world from which she can base her intuitive choices.

Cate Blanchett: "I was doing "Plenty" in the West End and I met Sally Potter and … I relished (the opportunity she offered) playing someone who was shallow and who reached a point of depth … after playing Susan Trehearne on stage it just seemed a great antidote. I really love Sally's visual potency and having worked so intensively from the inside out with Susan Trehearne it was great to work from the outside in … to work with a make-up artist like Morag Ross … and Linda Hemming and construct a visual role as Sally does and then find the internal life that exists with in that.

During the interview Margaret also explored the way Cate went about "gaining accents" …

Cate Blanchett: (Breaking into a broad Aussie twang for a moment) … Oh! I don't know who I am (laughs) … yes, umm, its great … I think the great thing about the Australian accent is that it does sit so neutrally within … I mean, it's a frustration as well as a liberation that people don't know how to place the Australian accent or the Australian psyche and as an actor I relish that because it allows you to slip between all the cracks of definition. So it's much easier not to be pigeon-holed as an Australian actor. So I did the Russian accent phonetically and had fun with it and I was fortunate enough to exist within a very theatrical atmosphere. So I had a lot of license with it.

And on the subject of working with other actors.

Cate Blanchett: I never presume I know how to work or that … I guess I have trained my voice and my body, hopefully, and continue to do so and I think that working with different actors … I think you always have to find a way of working between you and that produces the chemistry and that produces the scene. And I don't ever go in and say, "This is how I work. This is what I need. If you say the line like this …? I mean from take to take it depends completely and utterly on what the other actor does. And that's the exciting and dangerous and the unexpected thing that film making and that working on stage is.

Working is very addictive.

The full interview along with many others resides on the SBS website - follow the links to The Movie Show and Interviews.

March 2002


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