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September 27th, 2018 / No Comments

With its mix of magic and mystery, The House with a Clock in its Walls – the first in the series of books by John Bellairs – has been compared to another master of magic, Harry Potter. Is it all an illusion?

“Doing this film was the happiest I’ve ever been on set,” says Cate Blanchett, flashing her familiar cat-got-the-cream smile, as she animatedly chats about her bewitching role as Florence Zimmerman, in the kids’ fantasy The House With a Clock in Its Walls.

It’s a surprising admission, given Blanchett’s penchant for dramatic, weighty film roles, beguiling theatre performances and her triumphant, Oscar-winning portrayals in The Aviator and Blue Jasmine.

“I loved playing a witch and loved doing this film because magic makes me scream,” she reveals, her eyes widening with unbridled excitement. “I have a cousin, who’s ten years older than me, and he’s also obsessed with magic. When I was a kid, we used to go to his family’s farm and we’d lock him in a room and make him perform magic for us. It was just stupid things, like pretending to take your nose off or cutting a lemon and out comes the card that you’ve picked, but I adored it.

“So, I was thrilled by the prospect of working on a film full of magic, based on a book that I’d known – and loved – from my childhood,” continues Blanchett, passionately. “I found the whole experience enthralling.”

“It was the same for me,” adds Jack Black, who co-stars with Blanchett as her madcap, mystical Warlock neighbour, Jonathan Barnavelt. “I like to do films that I have an opportunity to flex my muscles in, so getting the chance to play someone with magical powers and create an invisible energy ball, right in my hand, was a fun first. It was a great experience, one of the funniest films I’ve ever done.”

That’s apparent during Black and Blanchett’s paired interview, with the two of them continuing their on-screen banter off-screen, as they playfully tease each other and joyfully swap anecdotes. It’s clear their fantasy pairing on camera has blossomed into a real-life friendship.

In fact, watching Blanchett as she jests with and jibes Black is a revelation – and far removed from the demure, Hollywood superstar she’s often depicted as. But it mirrors her playful performance alongside him in The House with a Clock in its Walls, especially a key, magical scene where the two tease and taunt each other mercilessly with mock insults, sparring like long-suffering real-life partners.

“That scene was so funny. It was such a hoot to do,” says Blanchett, unconsciously whooping with glee. “Some of those exchanges were straight from the book, some were scripted, but we also threw in a few of the lewd ones ourselves. That made it even more spontaneous and fun.”

Accordingly, The House With a Clock in its Walls is full of spellbinding fun, frivolity, magic, mayhem, and mysticism. But there’s also a darker underbelly of death, deceit and doomsday underpinning it, with harrowing horror scenes ensuring it’s far more sinister and scary than most kids’ flicks. [Source]

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Current Projects


Ocean's Eight (2018)
Cate as Lou
Debbie Ocean gathers a crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City's yearly Met Gala.
Genre: Crime
More Info | Photos | IMDb

Mowgli (2018)
Cate as Kaa
An orphaned boy is raised in the wild.
Genre: Drama
More Info | Photos | IMDb


Where'd You Go, Bernadette (2018)
Cate as Bernadette Fox
After her anxiety-ridden mother disappears, 15-year-old Bee does everything she can to track her down, discovering her troubled past in the process.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
More Info | Photos | IMDb


The House with a Clock in its Walls (2018)
Cate as Unknown
A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world.
Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
More Info | Photos | IMDb
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