What an amazing time I had out in Hollywood, Ca for the movie premiere of Cinderella! It was a real special treat for me because I also got a chance to get up and personal with a few cast members from the iconic film! One of my favorite actresses that we had the opportunity to interview was Cate Blanchett! I loved her style and poise as she sashayed into the press room and talked so openly about her character Lady Tremaine and how she brought her character to life on the big screen. From the costumes, to getting the role, she spilled it all! Check out our interview with her inside. Don’t forget Cinderella opens everywhere this Friday, yay!
So did you go after this role?
Cate: “Yes, like a rabid dog,” Cate laughs, “and I didn’t get the Cinderella role, though I had so many friends who asked me what I was doing in the summer, and I said, ‘I’m, in a live-action version of Cinderella,’ and there was a big kind of awkward pause. And they didn’t quite know how to ask me ‘Are you a little old to be playing Cinderella?’ Yeah. A bit Bette Davis. No, it sort of landed in my lap, actually.”
“I was very lucky. When Sandy Powell and Dante Ferretti were on board, and they’re two of the greats that they’ve created such extraordinary visuals in modern cinema. And then Ken Branagh came on board, who’s so fantastic with actors and with language, so it was kind of a perfect storm.”
What’s your favorite scene?
Cate: I think the chemistry between Lily and Richard is palpable, and I wept like a baby, completely inappropriately and out of character when they waltzed for the first time. The music is beautiful, but also it was really big feat because Lily was cinched in so tightly, and that dress was like an armored tank, and he was in 700 layers of wool, and the dance was really athletic, and they acted like a dream. And the chemistry was palpable, and I just I wept because it was beautiful to watch.
I think maybe being the mother of sons I found it very, very moving, and every time I see it, I do cry a lot. I love the scene between Derek Jacobi as the king and Richard Madden as the prince. The wonderful thing about the film, I think, is that, you know, we try and shield our children from moments of grief, and I know it from having lost a parent at the age of 10.
Children are resilient. In a way, it’s harder I think, to lose a parent, you know, the age the way that we are. Well, I mean, I might be a 1,000 years older than you all, but I found that really moving.
I thought, for him as a man to be curled up like a young boy, you know, and I’ve had a lot of friends recently lose a parent, and whether you’re 80 or 8 and you lose a parent, you’re always the child, and so I find that that scene very moving.
Your laugh in the movie, I found that very iconic. Where did you draw the inspiration for that laugh?
Cate: Well, I was mucking around with a friend of mine on set and we were talking about what makes people ugly. I said it’s interesting, you can go out with somebody and think, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re so attractive,’ and then he or she eats, and you think, ‘Oh my god, you’re a pig.’ Or, someone is amazing and you think, ‘Your politics are reprehensible,’ or there’s something about them will give them away, and I said we were talking about dirty laughs.
And so I just did it, and she laughed, and there is the gambling scene, and I laughed, and Ken’s face was so revolted. He was really worried. He said, ‘You’re not gonna do that, are you?’ And I said, ‘Oh yes I am, now.’ I think his reaction made me wanna keep it. [Lady Tremaine’s] got exquisite dresses, perfect makeup, and then she opens her mouth and that comes out. And so I thought that that was a bit of a red flag about what was to come.
How much fun was it to play a Disney villain?
Cate: There are a lot of great Disney Villains, and a lot of them are women and they always have fabulous frocks and fabulous hairdos, and so it was an enormous amount of fun. The wonderful message in the film of course is to have courage and to be kind. You know, kindness is a super power, and we try to teach our children you share, you be respectful, you be generous, you be thoughtful, put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and to play someone who can’t do any of those things, to have that as your avatar during the day was quite fun.
(My Question) Did you have any input on what you wore, and what was your favorite look?
Cate: Oh, gosh, yes, it’s been a Sophie’s Choice moment hasn’t it? Yes, I mean, Sandy’s got very, very strong ideas. I mean, that’s what makes her Sandy Powell. We talked really early on. We started emailing pictures that we found inspiring, lighting references, hat references, drapes, fabrics, and we sort of found this pool of images that we were both drawn to and the big offers that Sandy began to make, which I found really exciting is when she pulled out the color swatches.
Okay, we’re going for chartreuse, we’re going for green, we’re going for hot pink, and we’re gonna mix them all together. Yeah, that was an enormous offer that you take those offers from Sandy.
There was a lot of green—my school uniform was green, so I tend not to wear a lot of green in everyday life—and I call that dress that I wore at the ball, the gherkin, that was my least favorite, but everyone seems to like that one.
I like the blue one. There’s a scene where the stepmother goes to see the archduke, the poppy gloves and a blue hat. It was sort of, I think for memory, it had a bird on it. I mean, the detail in Sandy’s costumes are just extraordinary.
Sidenote: During Cate’s interview, she told me she wearing a two-piece set from Jonathan Saunders Resort 2015 Collection.
CINDERELLA opens in theaters everywhere on March 13th!