The Film Comment Podcast: In Conversation with Cate Blanchett
Every year, Film at Lincoln Center honors a luminary of the film industry with the Chaplin Award. This year’s recipient, the 47th, is an actress who has essayed some of the most iconic performances of the last quarter-century, and whose nearly superhuman versatility is matched by the consistency of her craft: Cate Blanchett. In an in-depth tribute essay, the scholar Amy Herzog writes that “Blanchett’s almost otherworldly range has generated certain tropes in reviews of her work: she is often described as ‘chameleonic,’ or said to ‘disappear into the character’. But these takes, which suggest an innate and natural ability for imitation, or even an erasure of the self, don’t capture the careful calibrations of Blanchett’s craft.”
A couple of weeks ago, I sat down with Blanchett to dig into those calibrations and the process behind some of the most interesting performances of her career. We discussed her iconic turns in Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes, Todd Haynes’s I’m Not There, Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok, and some deeper cuts, like her early roles in the Australian miniseries Bordertown and Tom Tykwer’s Heaven (which was written by Krzysztof Kieślowski).