Tuesday, March 21

Cate Blanchett: “Cinema in Spanish has been a huge influence on me”

Australian actress Cate Blanchett, who this Saturday night will receive the first International Goya from the Spanish Film Academy at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia, assured at a press conference that cinema in Spanish has been a great influence on her . “When I received the call telling me that they gave me the first International Goya I was speechless, because cinema in Spanish has been a great influence for me, obviously Almodóvar and Amenábar but also Lucrecia Martel, Guillermo del Toro or Alfonso Cuarón with whom I am going to work now,” he said.

The winner of two Hollywood Oscars, for “Blue Jasmine” by Woody Allen and “The Aviator” by Scorsese, has declared herself delighted with the prospect of working with Pedro Almodóvar on the first project in English by the director from La Mancha, the adaptation of the book of stories by Lucía Berlín “Manual for cleaning women”.

“I’ve known Pedro for 20 years and we’ve been wanting to work together for a long time,” Blanchett said. In fact, she has recalled, there was a previous project that did not come to fruition because “it was not the right time”.

“This new project is very delicate but exciting and when these two elements intersect, a synergy is created that must be taken advantage of, Pedro’s universe interests me very much, just yesterday we had the opportunity to sit down and start working,” he added.

Blanchett has highlighted Almodóvar’s facet as a screenwriter and has advanced that the script for “Manual for cleaning women” is “unique”, due to the quality of Lucía Berlin’s stories but also due to the point of view of the Spanish director who makes “go further and delve into concepts such as addictive relationships and substance abuse”.

Tonight the Australian actress will add the first International Goya in history to an exceptional list of winners in which, in addition to the two Oscars, three Golden Globes, three BAFTAs and three Screen Actors Guild Awards stand out.

“Of course the Goya is the most important,” said the protagonist of “Carol” ironically and then tried to play down the importance of awards in general.

“I am old enough to say that I have had a career that has developed in different directions and if there is one thing I have learned it is that putting applause before experience is extremely dangerous,” he said.

“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 (…), being here in Valencia honored by the Spanish Academy means a lot to me”, he added.

The actress, who appeared at the press conference in a pink jacket and sneakers, kindly answered all the questions except for the moment when a journalist asked her about her work with Woody Allen. “Indeed, I worked with him on a movie called ‘Blue Jasmine,'” she has merely pointed out.

More widely, he has referred to the consequences of covid for the cinema, which, he recalled, “was already an endangered species before the pandemic.” He had and still has the hope that this unique experience of seeing cinema in a theater, on a big screen, will be recovered, but he considers that seeing it on a computer or a tablet does not mean that it is not cinema.

The essential thing is “to show the projects in the right way, the way they were conceived” and “not to be slaves to a serialized model in which the value of the characters and stories is lost,” he opined.

He has also highlighted the importance of the role played by festivals and film academies in supporting the industry and has underlined the need for them to adapt to the new times and to social movements such as Black Lives Matters or Me Too.

“The more diversity in front of and behind the camera, the better, that makes it easier for us to have unique and different products”, she specified, and when asked about her facet as a producer, she said that it is a key role to “facilitate creative conversations” and not only for the financing, but it has also vindicated the work of the actors.

“Sometimes people think that we actors are puppets 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,” he claimed.