Waiting in a room to interview someone is always a little exciting and nervewracking at the same time. Sometimes people are exactly like you pictured them to be and other times they are not. So you have to be prepared for it to go either way. Then Cate Blanchett walked in…..and OWNED it. She walked into the room full of elegance and a smile. She was the definition of perfection! Check out the interview below and you’ll see what I mean:
Q: So did you go after this role, or…
CB: Yes, like a rabid dog, [LAUGHS], and I didn’t get the Cinderella role, [AUDIENCE LAUGHS], though I had so many friends who 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. They didn’t quite know how to ask me, [LAUGHS], are you a little old to be playing Cinderella? No, 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 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 storm.
Q: What’s your favorite scene?
CB: 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 really big feat because Lily was cinched in so tightly, and that dress was like an armored tank, and he was in several hundred layers of wool, and the dance was really athletic, and they acted like a dream. The chemistry was palpable, and I just wept because it was beautiful to watch.
I think maybe being the mother of sons, I found it very, very moving, and every time I see it, I do cry a lot. I love the scene between Derek Jacobi as the king, and Richard Madden as the prince. Because that’s the wonderful thing about the film, I think is that, we try and shield our children from moments of grief and I know it from having lost a parent at the age of ten. Children are resilient, and they can, in a way, it’s harder, I think, to lose a parent,the age the way that we are. Well, I mean, I might be a thousand years older than you all, but, I found that really moving. I thought for him as a man to be curled up like a young boy…. I’ve had a lot of friends recently lose a parent, and whether you’re eighty or eight and you lose a parent,you’re always the child, and so I find that scene very moving.
Q: How much fun was it to play a Disney villain?
CB: There’s a lot of great Disney villains, and a lot of them are women and they always have fabulous frocks and fabulous hairdos, 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 share, you be respectful, you be generous, you be thoughtful, put yourself in someone else’s shoes. To play someone who can’t play someone who can’t do any of those things…to have that as your avatar during the day was quite fun
Q: How did you prepare for your role?
CB: Often on film, we don’t get a lot of rehearsal time. We got a little bit 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 and so working with Sandy who I’ve worked with before, but also, Morag Ross who is doing my makeup, and Kay Georgiou who is doing my hair, and the four of us have worked together quite a lot. We get to try things out because before you even utter a syllable. What you wear- I mean, we do this on a daily basis. We form unconscious judgments of people. The way they smell, by 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, was revealing those things.
You could play against it. So that was an incredible amount of fun and 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. 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.
Q: Your laugh in the movie, I found that very iconic. Where did you draw the inspiration for that laugh?
CB: Well, I was mucking around with a friend of mine on set and we were talking about what makes people ugly. 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 we were talking about dirty laughs. So I just did it, and she laughed, and then was a scene where we were at the gambling scene, I think, and I laughed, and Ken’s face was so revolted. He was really worried. He said, you’re not gonna do that, are you? I said, oh yes I am! I think his reaction made me wanna keep it. It was a way where, she’s got exquisite dresses, perfect makeup, and then she opens her mouth and that comes out. I thought that that was a bit of a red flag about what was to come.
So grab the family and head to theaters March 13, 2015 to hear Cate’s fantastic laugh as Lady Tremaine and to see her in action!
***Disclosure: I attended #CinderellaEvent My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***