Cate Blanchett On Being a Disruptive Influence and Why She Hasn't Directed a Movie Yet

In this Screen Test interview, Ocean's 8 star Cate Blanchett opens up about her transformation into becoming Bob Dylan, what makes a good director, why it's important for actors to not be afraid to be disliked and how she trained her cat to be behave a dog.

Released on 9/5/2018

Transcript

00:00
I was playing a version of, Bob Dylan.
00:02
I think after day one
00:04
a friend of my who was doing hair and makeup
00:07
came up to me and said,
00:08
I think you need to put a sock down the front of your pants.
00:11
I went, what?
00:12
You think so?
00:13
That's a bit obvious isn't it?
00:17
Two of us were just killing ourselves laughing
00:20
working on how to position it
00:21
because when I was at drama school
00:23
the boys got taught in movement class
00:25
when they're wearing tights how to pack their lunch,
00:28
and whether they're gonna pack their, you know.
00:30
And so I had to work at how I was gonna pack my lunch
00:33
and it did affect the way I walked.
00:35
It's really hard having the plumbing on the outside
00:37
of your body.
00:38
When you're not used to it.
00:40
Should I have missed the sock that I was pretending
00:42
to be my penis when it was taken out of my pants
00:45
at the end of the day?
00:46
You said you weren't gonna get deeply psychological.
00:48
It was a sock, it wasn't a penis.
00:51
That's how I knew I was acting.
00:53
(laughter)
00:58
The media is very, rightly so, fixated on
01:02
and focusing on what's going on with women
01:05
in my industry and I think that's absolutely right.
01:08
About bloody time.
01:09
But I think in a way they can keep the conversation
01:13
quite circular and small.
01:15
Why would women want to spend all this time and energy
01:18
calling people to account if we're not gonna remake
01:22
the industry in a new and fresh way?
01:24
We're just gonna do what's been done before.
01:27
It's gonna create the same patterns.
01:29
Why haven't I directed a movie?
01:30
'Cause I have worked with some extraordinary directors.
01:33
When you've worked with Jim Jarmusch
01:35
and David Fincher and Steven Soderbergh
01:38
and Gillian Armstrong.
01:40
The list goes on, and on, and on, and on, Scorsese
01:42
you think, I know what good directing is.
01:45
I wanna be pretty bloody sure of what I'm at least
01:49
I don't mind failing.
01:50
[Interviewer] I think you'd make a great director.
01:51
You do?
01:51
'Cause I'm bossy?
01:53
I have a vision?
01:54
That's the thing that I really
01:58
marvel at good directors is that
02:01
they're not afraid to say, I don't know.
02:03
They create an atmosphere where people who work
02:06
in such different ways
02:07
in such different rhythms
02:08
and come at material at such different angles.
02:11
I suppose it's like a great dinner party.
02:12
But you've got to be able to do it.
02:13
You can't just talk about it.
02:16
And I think that's the wonderful thing about actors and
02:19
I think that's something we really have to think about.
02:21
We are a disruptive influence and that's part of our job.
02:26
We have to not be frightened of going into
02:29
dangerous impolite places and people not liking what we do
02:32
or not liking what we say.
02:34
It's the, fuck you I'm gonna talk about
02:37
the elephant in the room sense of circus
02:39
that we have, you know and not worrying
02:42
about the career consequences so much.
02:45
Easy for me to say 'cause I'm 125 (laughs).
02:48
'Cause no one likes me so I'm fine.
02:50
I'm fine about that, totally, whatever.
02:54
(laughter)
02:57
what constitutes a red carpet?
02:59
People taking your picture?
03:00
You taking your own picture?
03:01
I'd seen this dress, one that John Galliano
03:05
had made and it was in white and it had all this
03:07
incredible embroidery on it and the very first time
03:10
I went to the Oscars he offered to make a dress for me.
03:12
I said, can we do a version of this?
03:13
And then he made it with a beautiful embroidered back.
03:17
The white one that I'd seen on the runway
03:19
didn't get through customs in Australia.
03:21
[Interviewer] You Look Like You Had A Tattoo
03:22
on your lower back.
03:24
Yes, but it's not there.
03:25
(laughter)
03:28
Breaking news, all my three fans will be, woo hoo!
03:32
(laughter)
03:33
I actually shot something once
03:35
where they forgot to put the film in the camera.
03:36
It was a really, really intense scene.
03:38
It was Billy Crudup and I and he had to push me
03:41
against a wall and we were fighting,
03:42
we were in the French resistance
03:43
but we're speaking English for some reason.
03:46
He pushed me up against the wall and then there's a silence
03:51
after take when they have to reload
03:53
or the director's thinking about something.
03:56
You don't want someone to come and say,
03:57
that was incredible but there was
03:58
this kind of weird silence.
04:01
I went, okay so are we gonna go again?
04:03
We gonna go again?
04:05
And nothing, nothing.
04:07
It was like everyone had left the building.
04:09
And I thought, wow that must've been really awful.
04:12
And it turned out that the camera hadn't actually
04:16
loaded the mag so there was actually no film in the camera.
04:20
What am I good at?
04:21
I'm not good at anything else.
04:22
[Interviewer] Yes, you're good at everything.
04:23
I can't knit, I can't sew.
04:25
That's just things other actresses do on set
04:27
to intimidate other actresses.
04:29
[Interviewer] They do needle point. They sew?
04:30
It's like they sew and do needlepoint.
04:32
And I can do this.
04:37
I've taught my cat to be like a dog.
04:39
I think I can change animals, my familiars
04:42
into other forms.
04:44
I treated it like a dog.
04:45
I just thought, I'm not really a cat person.
04:47
I think I just put that out there to Warwick, our cat
04:50
and he started behaving like a dog.
04:52
So he walks the kids to school,
04:53
which is a slight problem
04:54
'cause it's a 20 minute drive away.
04:56
So once I get in the car we go for a walk
04:58
around the garden or down the street,
05:00
down the lane and he will walk with us.
05:02
He thinks he's a Labrador.
05:05
No, he's a cat.
05:05
Shh, don't tell him.
05:07
(laughter)