Photo courtesy of MomStart
As Cate Blanchett walked into the room I tried to picture the actress and the wicked stepmother character, Lady Tremaine, side by side in my head. It was hard to do. Cate is beautiful, eloquent, and doesn’t seem to have a wicked bone in her body! All I could come up with was what an extremely talented actress she is. I mean, to be able to transform into such a “wicked” character. Wow, just wow!
Question: Did you go after this role..or??
Her very first answer immediately put us all at ease. She began with some sarcasm and we all giggled and relaxed just a little.
Answer: “Yes, like a rabid dog, and I didn’t get the Cinderella role, though I had so many friends who asked me what I was doing in the summer, and I said, oh, I’m, I’m, um, in a live-action version of Cinderella, and there was a big kind of awkward pause. And they didn’t quite know how to ask me, are you a little old to be playing Cinderella? Yeah. A bit Bette Davis, so yes. No, it sort of landed in my lap, actually. I was very lucky, and when I, um, Sandy Powell and Dante, Ferretti were on board, and they’re, you know, two of the greats, that they’ve created such extraordinary visuals, in modern cinema. And then Ken Branagh came on board who’s so fantastic with actors and with language, so it was kind of a perfect, a perfect storm.”
Perfect storm indeed!!!
Question: How much fun was it to play a Disney villain?
The wicked stepmother is one of the most iconic Disney villains to date. And as you’ll soon see, Cate mastered this role with ease.
Answer: “There’s a lot of great Disney villains, and a lot of them are women and they always have, fabulous frocks and fabulous hairdos, and so it was an enormous amount of fun. You know, the, 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, and to play someone who can’t do any of those things, you know, to have that as your avatar during the day was quite fun.”
Green, Green, and some more GREEN! And the gherkin!
Question: Did you have any input on what you wore, and what was your favorite look?
Answer: “Oh, gosh, yes, it’s been a Sophie’s Choice moment isn’t it? Yes, I mean, Sandy’s got very, very strong ideas. I mean, that’s what makes her Sandy Powell. But we talked really early on. We started emailing each other pictures that we found inspiring, you know, lighting references, hat references, drapes, fabrics, and we sort of- we found this pool of images that we were both drawn to and the, the big offers that Sandy began to, to make, which I found really exciting is when she pulled out the color swatches. Okay, we’re going for chartreuse, we’re going for green, we’re going for hot pink, and we’re gonna mix them all together. And so there’s a, that was an enormous offer- that you, you take those offers from, from Sandy.”
Question: And your favorites?
Answer: “My favorite, well, there was a lot of green- my school uniform was green, so I tend not to wear a lot of green in everyday life, and I call that, that dress that I wore at the ball, the gherkin, you know, that was my least favorite, but everyone seems to like that one. I like the blue one. There’s a scene where the stepmother goes to see the archduke, and yeah, the poppy gloves and a blue hat. It was sort of, I think for memory, it had a bird on it. I mean, the detail in Sandy’s costumes are just extraordinary.”
About that laugh….that “dirty” laugh…
Question: Where did you draw the inspiration for that laugh?
Answer: “Well, I was mucking around with a friend of mine on set and we were talking about what makes people ugly. And 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, or someone is amazing and you think, your politics are reprehensible, or you know, there’s something about them will give them away, and I said- and we were talking about dirty laughs. And, and so I just did it, and she laughed, and then there was a scene where we were, we were at the gambling scene, I think, and I, I laughed, and Ken’s face was so revolted. He was really worried. He said, you’re not gonna do that, are you? And I said, oh yes I am. I think his reaction made me wanna keep it. And it was a way, it was a way where, you know, she’s, she’s got exquisite dresses, perfect makeup, and then she opens her mouth and that comes out. And so I thought that that was a bit of a red flag about what was to come.”
Cate ended the interview by gracing us with a group photo. An amazing, unforgettable, personal interview followed by a group photo with Cate Blanchett, the Wicked Stepmother from Cinderella!
Cinderella opens March 13, 2015. Frozen Fever, an adorable short plays right before the movie. Don’t be late!
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Disclosure: I was provided with a trip to L.A. for this event including this makeover, plus airfare, meals, and lodging. No other compensation was provided. All opinions are 100% my own.