One year later, 2013 Best Actress winner Cate Blanchett is ready to hit the Oscar stage again. This year she will be opening the envelope and announcing the name of the Lead Actor winner, the most hotly contested of all acting races. But when I mentioned that as I spoke with her on the phone her home in Australia, Blanchett almost brushed it aside, wanting to talk about instead about a different category: the one she won in last year for Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine. “Well, I don’t know. There are also a lot of great performances, yet again by women, and another five that didn’t make it could easily have been nominated,” she said.
It’s hard to believe that it has been a year since she became a first-time Best Actress winner after winning in 2004 for her Supporting role as Katharine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator. She’s not resting on her laurels, though. “It’s about as big as it gets,” Blanchett said. “It was huge, glorious and wonderful, and you never forget it, but you also in a strange way have to forget it and move on. And that’s why it was so wonderful to go in and do Carol and go back to the theater and think, ‘OK, what’s next?’”
Carol is one of those things that is “next.” She started shooting the film opposite Rooney Mara right after the Oscars for director Todd Haynes, who guided Blanchett to one of her six Oscar noms as the Bob Dylan-like figure in 2007’s I’m Not There. She says she met Mara for the first time when she came to present Blanchett with her Outstanding Performer Of The Year award at the tribute I hosted for her at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival last February. She’s excited about the 1950s-set film about a department store clerk who falls for an older, married woman, and she loved working with Mara. “She is really a good egg,” she said. “That was a really beautiful experience, actually. I mean, coming back to work with Todd, having done the Dylan film with him and then working on such a different endeavor was really fantastic. But Rooney’s great. She takes her work seriously but doesn’t take herself necessarily very seriously. She’s also got a really great non-sentimental radar. So she’s not interested in being liked, but she’s interested in revealing stuff.” Read More