unrelentingly horrihle. The only way I‘m eycr going to get to play someone like that is to play her in this quantity [Blanchett appears only in the first twenty minutes ol‘ the lilml.‘ (‘atherine lilise Blanchett was horn in Melbourne in ION). She graduated from Australia‘s National Institute ol' Dramatic .-\rts in 1992 and within a year had picked up two major stage awards. She did sortie teley‘ision work and then scored her

first lilm role in l‘)‘)7's /’(II‘(I(/i.\(' lx’mul. Within a year she was propelled into international stardom for her portrayal ol‘ lingland’s queen in li/ini/u'I/i. a part for which she won numerous awards and was nominated hit an ()scar; (iwyneth l’altrow took the golden statuette l'or .S‘liu/u's/n'un' In Inn: llad Blanchett won she would probably hay c giy en a modest

acceptance speech rather than broken down in liloods ol‘

weepy tears.

Since lz'liruln'I/i. Blanchett has secured an impressiyely \‘aried selection ol screen roles: the morally upright l.ady (iertrude (‘hiltern in .'\n /(/('(l/ Hus/mud. the hallsy |.ong Island housewilc in I’m/ting 'lin. the cat'clree high society girl in '/'/It' 'lii/wim/ .llr Ripley. the Rttssian show girl in ’l’lit' .l/uii ll'hu ('rin/ and the white trash psychic in The (ii/i. But Blanchett’s career might not haye de\eloped so well. .-\l‘ter li/im/u'I/I. she was in danger ol' heing typecast.

‘l was heing sent scripts which were hasically the same character dressed tip with dil'l'erent names and dillerent time lramesf she say s. 'I thought: “he just done this. I don‘t want to do it again." .\like New ell ot‘l‘ered me a role in I’m/ring 'l'i/I to play a |.ong Island lltlllsc‘fillt‘. I thought: “llow lantastic. l'll lall Hat on my lace: I don't know how to do that." [just went l‘or it. And it set a time tor me where I thought: “'l‘hat‘s all right. It‘s quite puhlic. htit ill tail. 1 lail.” ()l‘ course. when you don't succeed in something. particularly in the puhlic arena. it‘s excruciating. You hayc to risk that. hut it's also absolutely the right thing to do..

Here, there and everywhere: (clockwise from top left) Oscar And Lucinda; with Billy Crudup in Charlotte Gray; Bandits; with Joseph Fiennes in Elizabeth; The Man Who Cried; with Elijah Wood in The Lord Of The Rings; with John Cusack in Pushing Tin.

The upside ol taking those chances is that Blanchett is now in the eny‘iahle position of heing highly sought—alter and thus able to Pick and choose her roles. .'\.s it turns out l’aulks and Rae needn’t haye tried so hard with the birthday lunch wooing ol' Blanchett. llay'ing read the copy ol' ('lmrlom' (imy' l‘aulks lel’t l‘or ter at the :\lmeida. and L‘l'tlss-l'L‘lCl'CIlL‘CLl the wartitne experiences of ('harlotte and Susan 'I‘raherne (the ex-spy in Henry"). Blanchett was pretty much sold on the lilm.

‘\\'hat is hrilliant ahout the adaptation is it works as a lilm in its own right.’ says Blanchett. "l‘he two things co—e.\ist. hut haye independent liy'es. Perhaps the hrayery olleremy lBt'ock. also screenwriter ol licosse‘s ()scar—winner .llrs ls’imriil in doing the adaptation with (iill is that there are so many heautilul things in ('liui‘lollt' (inn that haye to he jettisoned in order to condense and streamline the narratiy'e. But what is great is that those things that are jettisoned those little golden hauhles are what I‘d pick up and run with. In the noyel there's an intense and deep internal monologue that (‘harlotte has. which is tantastic in the noy‘el l‘orm hut which

isn‘t particularly cinematic. One thing that

‘To really stood ottt tor the in the noy‘el was the

way l’eter (it‘egory descrihes ('harlotte. the

IS neryous intensity ol her passion. liy'en th lllL‘ll that mrti 'ular, "n‘ i. n‘t in th lilm. truthful; you ~ ' L L L

part ol' the challenge for me is to lind a

don’t moment wherethat quality can he rey‘ealed.’ " l‘m ya‘king iii the note )ad and discovered ~ ' I

Dictaphone and thanking ('ate tor her time

and congratulating her on the imminent

I arriyal ol~ l)ashiell. when I realise what‘s so untruthful

striking ttlttttll lltis LtL‘ltit'. Sllc‘ sc‘c‘ms so \‘L‘I'_\

honest. Blanchett has a wide—open lace and

eyes that look at you without any sense of there heing secret judgements going on hehind them. Yet she tells lies lot a liying. ’l‘hat‘s what acting is. right'.’ Playing at heing someone you‘re not'.’

Not so. sa) \ Blanchett. "l‘o he an actor is to he tt‘uthl‘ul. You don‘t like to he discoy'ered heing untruthl‘ul. You can see it in peole eyes. It's like gamhling: you know gamhlers haye “tells”? l [ltittk LlL‘ltll'\ lt;t\ c tells.‘

lcatfl tell what Blanchett‘s is.

Charlotte Gray, general release from Fri 22 Feb, see review; The Shipping News, general release from Fri 8 Mar.

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Next issue: be sure to pick up a copy of The List, out on Thursday 28 February, for your two- for—one voucher which can be used at Glasgow and Edinburgh Odeon cinemas to see The Shipping News and Charlotte Gray.