“Spanish cinema has been an influence for me”

When the Spanish Film Academy called Cate Blanchett to inform you that you would receive the first International Goya of the history of these awards the actress was “speechless”. To a great extent, she says, because “Spanish cinema has been a fundamental influence” for her, but also because of what it means: “It implies that I have been able to reach a different audience and culture in a way that I didn’t expect”, assured the Australian.

During her meeting with the media, hours before the Goya Awards ceremony began at the Palau de Les Arts in Valencia, Blanchett explained that, in general, cinema in Spanish has always seemed “essential” to him; He has cited several Spanish-speaking directors such as Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro or Alejandro Amenábar and, specifically, has dedicated numerous praises to Pedro Almodóvar.

With this filmmaker he is already working on the film Manual for cleaning women, an adaptation of Lucia Berlin’s book produced by the actress’s company, El Deseo and Dirty Films, of which she is also founder and director.

It will soon enter “that very own universe” of Pedro Almodóvar

“I have known Pedro for 20 years and we had been talking about doing together for a long time a project. We have found this, which is a delight that we are both passionate about and, when these two elements intersect, it generates that synergy that is not usual but is wonderful and we must take advantage of it”, said the actress.

What interests him most about this ongoing film is not only being able to work with a filmmaker like Almodóvar, but also working “with a film culture”, the Spanish one, which has always “interested” him. Furthermore, he has claimed that the script proposed by the Manchego director is “unique” both for the quality of the stories by Lucía Berlín and by the perspective of the director from La Mancha, which will allow us to delve into addictive relationships and substance abuse.

“It will allow me to enter that universe so typical of Pedro. Yesterday we started talking and working, today I’m here for the Goyas… I think these are great days”, says Blanchett, to whom she will receive the first International Goya for” being an extraordinary figure of world cinema” and “an actress who has played unforgettable characters that are already part of our memory and our present”.

The truth is that the Australian is one of the most sought-after and respected talents in the industry, and has received all the major awards throughout her career: two oscars – for Best Leading Actress for blue jasmineby Woody Allen, and for Best Supporting Actress for The Aviator, by Martin Scorsese–; three Golden Globes; three BAFTAs; and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.

For me, an award is always a surprise

His vision of film awards and the role of the academies

Asked which of all the awards has been the one that has given her the most joy, Blanchett has assured, between laughs: “Of course, the Goya that they are going to give me today“. Later, he has relativized the importance of the prizes.

“I am old enough to be able to say that I have had a career that has followed different directions. I hope that I can continue to advance and that it will take me down new paths. It is very easy to fall into the belief that a career is a simple line and that it follows a direction clear, but the creative path is full of sometimes very random deviations. If one decides to put the applause as the ceiling of the experience and ignore the work, you are wrong and you are entering dangerous areas. The prizes are wonderful but they are always a surprise, when I finish a project I think about the next one, because the part of how the work you do is received is something that is out of your control”, he explained. In any case, being in Valencia to pick up the International Goya, he has said, “it means a lot”.

The actress has also reflected on the role of academies and film festivals and has claimed the work she does beyond nominations, red carpets and ceremonies. “There are industry support job that the general public does not see but that is there and is fundamental because it advises, helps the process of requesting financing, and they are also mentors in a process of enormous responsibility (…) we now find ourselves with fundamental social and cultural movements that must be understand them and include them in the industry such as ‘Black lives matters’ or the ‘Mee Too’ movement”, he said.

Only one of the questions launched by the journalists has seemed to bother Blanchett and it has been one related to Woody Allen: “Indeed, I worked with him on a movie called ‘Blue Jasmine'”, he said very succinctly.

He believes that the cinema was already “in danger” before the pandemic

In more detail, he has gone into assessing the current panorama of cinema, an art that was already “in danger” before the pandemic. The actress remains hopeful that the public will regain interest in going to movie theaters to see movies on the big screen, but she does not believe that films lose quality just because they are played on a computer or tablet. “When we talk about creativity we talk about great ideas, the size of the screen does not matter if the ideas are great”, she has stressed.

The important thing, he believes, is “to show the projects in the right way, the way they were conceived” and “don’t be a slave to a serialized model in which the value of the characters and the stories is lost”.

Sometimes people think that actors are puppets that reproduce lines

Currently, the actress is immersed in the pre-production of the series Disclaimer, directed by Alfonso Cuarón for Apple Plus, in which she will star and executive produce. Just finished filming ARTby Todd Field –who also produces and stars in– and Guillermo del Toro’s version of Pinocchio, for Netflix and is currently in theaters the alley of lost soulsalso from Del Toro (Searchlights Pictures), as well as Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up, which can be seen on Netflix.

Regarding her facet as a producer, she has said that she is enthusiastic and not only because of the financing but becauser being able to facilitate “creative conversations” and contribute to shaping a project globally.

“Sometimes people think that we actors are puppets who reproduce a few lines and they would be surprised to see that, although we do not carry the title of producer, we have a very active role in shaping the film“, has defended the actress.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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