llavved heroine A she makes a lot of mistakes. She‘s driven by

both a higher goal to do something brave and noble ottt of

moral certitude to act well in the war. But she's also driven by

personal and incredibly sellish motivations to somehovv repair

her ovvn childhood. to lind Peter (iregory. to lind herself. The impttrity ot’ her motivation fascinated me.‘

Blanchett is in London’s Dorchester Hotel. perched on the edge ol' a couch. lt‘s November last year and she is around seven months pregnant. She's sitting upright in front of me vvith her big. bulging. curved belly in front of her. .lttst the three of us. ‘We conceived on Charlotte Gray] she says. That would be vvith screenwriter and httsband :\ndrevv l'pton. Blanchett subsequently gave birth in December to Dashiell .lohn l'pton. a smartIy—monikered boy named after hard—boiled crime fiction vvriter Dashiell llatntnett.

The press didn't vvaste any time inventing rumours that since becoming a mother Blanehett is going to give tip acting.

'That‘s just a sexist notion that of course a \voman‘s career

ends once her body changes and she gives birth to a child.‘ she has since said. '.»\ndre\v and l have to bring a child into this vvorld. vvhich is pretty major. But I‘m not abottt to abandon my career.’

In fact. Blanchett has been in Dublin talking to .-\mcrican lilmmaker .loel Schumacher about her next lilm. ('liusi/ig The Dragon. in vvhich she‘ll play murdered lrish reporter Veronica (iuerin. a part recently tilled by .loan .-\llen in When The Sky Iii/ls. ('liur/om' (iruv is ottt this month. and next ntonth Blanchett undergoes one ol her famous chameleon turns to appear as the tittl'aithl'ttl wife of an

‘unrelentingly obnoxious’ (her words) E! tOQEg a

Kevin Spacey in The Shipping News.

Then you can see Blanchett vvith shaved breath head in hip (ierman lilmmaker Tom Run thoughfijm

l.n/u lv’im 'l‘ykvver‘s ll('(l\'(’ll. \vhieh

premieres .u the Berlin l-‘ilm t-‘csm-ztt this 5m have m . . . . . 7:914 In?“ L:; . queen in the second instalment ol l/u' 1.1m! fiEkQ, gully J”: Si momg‘ig

month. And. of course. come December. Blanchett vvill be back as (ialadriel. the ell'

(MT/iv Rings. Hard to argue that Blanchett isn‘t one of the hardest-vvorking actors in the business.

last year vvas very intense.' she says. Blanchett has a vvay of making simple. clear statements. 'I did The (ii/i and I did The 1.1m! (HM/TIP Rings and l vvasn't sure what l was going to do next. And then. all of a sudden. these films that I had been involved vvith for some time all got tip and running. So it vvas a matter of slotting them all in. I took a deep breath and thought: “OK. I‘m going to have to rttn for the next nine months." So then I went and did Heaven and then Bum/its and then ('liur/um' (imv and linished ol'l' vvith a bit of a tttrn in The .S'lii/i/u'ng Xenis.‘

The Bum/[Is to ('lmr/ullt' (fruv transition was the one vvith barely 24 hours betvveen the tvvo t‘iltns. Barry l.evinson's crime caper comedy overran its shooting schedule. When it \vrapped. Blanchett itnmediately llevv to Scotland. vvhere she visited the places ('harlotte \vas from and picked tip some of her home city's character. You might ltave been sitting at the next table to a heavily-disguised Blanchctt in. for example. lidinburgh‘s lilephant llottse tea room. She returned to London. started rehearsals and ten days later vvas in Prague shooting with At'ttistt‘ong and co—stars Billy ('rudup and Michael (iambon.

14 THE LIST '7- . is:

‘lt’s been exhausting.’ says Blanehett. ‘.v\nd hard on a personal level. Andrevv and I try to travel together as much as possible [they came to thc lidinbttrgh International liilm l‘estival tvvo years back for the premiere of l'pton’s short lilm. [hinge/is]. but vve knevv it was going to be a problem last year. (ioing into it. vve said: “This will be month on/month oil." We had some great reunions though.‘

lispecially on (‘IIUI'Iu/Ie (fray. eh'.’

Ahem. and moving on. Professionally. Blanchctt helped herself through this intense vvork period with some canny casting choices. ‘What helped tttc \vas that the projects were all dit‘t'erent.‘ she sat)‘s. 'The transition from one to the other was aided by the dill‘erent characters. l’or example. with 'I'lit' Shipping News. The character I really liked vvas l’etal Bear. because I thought she vvas so sell-centred and avvlttl. It's rare that you lind a film with a protagonist [hats that bad a seed. lt's dil‘t‘icult to vvatch someone lot‘ that long who is so