Cate Blanchett has mastered and made a career out of the art of self-transformation. In her latest film, Tár, she becomes the conductor of a symphony orchestra in Germany. “She wouldn’t rehearse in English,” Blanchett told reporter Seth Doan. “So I have to speak German. So it was one of those things, if I didn’t do it, it would just be invalid.”

“Should we do this interview in German?” Doan asked.

“Sure. We have to do it in German!”

“Do you even talk?”

“No. Das is jah ganze bundesrepublic. That’s what I learned at school!”

The ambitious role is the latest in a long list. The Australian actress won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator and won a Best Actress Oscar for her role as a volatile former socialite in Blue Jasmine. She played a queen, an elf and Bob Dylan.

Cate Blanchett as an orchestra conductor in Tár.

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Doan asked, “You have all these different accents you can do.”

“Eventually, when I try to repeat them later, they all sound like I’m in a call center in New Delhi. They all sound the same.”

“So you study them for the movie and then they just go?”

“Yes. I can’t do something general. It has to be very specific and then I forget about it.”

While the roles change, Blanchett’s approach is consistent, as she makes clear in Tár (released this week to critical acclaim). She portrays the conductor Lydia Tarr with great attention to detail, resulting in yet another character with nuance and complexity.

Although she admits that conducting a real orchestra was difficult: “You know, you have to say, you know, Okay, I’m going to give you some silence and you have to follow me.”

Cate Blanchett as an orchestra conductor in Tar.

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“Learning the language of music and how to conduct, in a way, sounds like it was more difficult than learning the actual language, German?” Doan asked.

“I played the piano when I was a schoolgirl, I had high school German,” Blanchett said. “I had to prepare a lot. But I mean, look, the audience couldn’t be less interested in an actor’s homework because it’s like, See how I worked. You know, it’s like, who cares?”

“But you love homework.”

“I do. I mean, I found the whole thing fascinating.”

“Tara” writer-director Todd Field said he wrote the part for Blanchett and wouldn’t have made the film if she had turned it down. This is his first film in 15 years.

Blanchett asked Field, “Why did you only want Kate?”

Blanchett answered for him: “There was no one else!”

Obviously, Blanchett doesn’t always take herself as seriously as others.

Field said: “I never imagined what she would bring. I mean she…”

“Insufferable, demanding, imperious,” she put in.

“She started working on it a year later. She was already working on conducting. She was already studying German. She was already learning to play the piano – it’s all her, note for note. I have never, ever worked with anyone. , on a play or whatever comes up, and they know it all, everyone’s lines, every single part of the scene description.”

Correspondent Seth Doan with actress Cate Blanchett and writer-director Todd Field.

CBS News

Doan met the actor at Abbey Road Studios, made famous by The Beatles, where the London Symphony Orchestra performed the plot from the film, completing what was conceived in the film. The heroine, Lydia Tarr, was preparing to record Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, which the orchestra did as part of a concept album released as a companion to the film.

Before filming, Blanchett worked with conductor Natalie Murray Beale, who described the role of conductor as “such a mix of skills. Sometimes you’re the leader. You’re the boss, you’re the interpreter. And you have to be aware of 100 people in the room, all working in a system.”

Blanchett learned to use the conductor’s baton (the so-called baton technique) and learned to use the orchestra itself as a kind of instrument.

She said, “You get an amazing electric charge. And in that space, I can understand how some people might think they’re the kings or queens of the world. And it’s really important that you let that space be kind of filled again with humility, and I I think that’s what you see in the character.”

It’s a provocative film that explores hot topics like #MeToo and cancellation culture.

Doan asked, “Your character seems very powerful, but also very vulnerable.”

Cate Blanchett.

CBS News

“Yes, we all have these dualities, don’t we?” – said Blanchett. “And I think we spend half our lives in a confidence trick, pretending we have it all, when in fact, you know, we don’t. The world and being alive is full of nuances and gray areas. And I think that’s where the film is really human and really provocative.”

“Do you have any self-doubt if you…”

“Yeah, I’m full of it now!”

– No.

“Yeah, sure. Sure. I mean, so, you know, I think I’m probably still working, in a way, to try to fix or fix the mistakes and the miscalculations.”

“You made some pretty spectacular performances.”

“Oh, but I’ve done a lot of trash, too. For every thing you think Oh, it was all right, there are five pieces of garbage you throw out into the world. I mean, you never know what’s going to happen. And you also never know what will connect with the audience.”

It is clear that it is connected. But Blanchett, who started working in the theater, claims that being in the spotlight is not something that comes naturally. “It took me a long time to feel comfortable being looked at,” she said. “This very uncomfortable! But even longer to feel comfortable being, quote unquote, famous.”

In her life outside the spotlight, she is married to playwright Andrew Upton and is a working mum.

Doan asked, “What are you like as a father?”

“I great mother Just ask my four children. I’m unusual!” she laughed

“How do you protect this role with celebrity and all the pressure that comes with it?”

“I really try not to bring work home,” she replied.

For Blanchett, work is a form of escape. “I’m not interested in playing myself,” she said. “I mean, I do this in my everyday life, that’s why I go to work, because I’m tough. I don’t want to play with myself.”

An escape that showcases her remarkable ability to transform.

To watch the trailer for Tár, click the video player below

TÁR – Official Trailer [HD] – In selected cinemas on October 7 by
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The plot was prepared by Michael Buffon. Editor: George Pazderets.

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