If you’ve been wondering where Cate Blanchett has been over the last couple of years you are not alone. She’s been working — hard — running the very prestigious Sydney Theatre Company with her husband writer Andrew Upton.
They have been incredibly successful. The theatre is the largest in Australia has a budget of $30 million dollars (Australian dollars) had 300,00 people attend the 1,000 performances a year.
When they took over in 2008 there was no way to know how successful they would be, but clearly the combination of Blanchett acting and both of them as visionaries has helped put the theatre on the map in a new way. They have taken several of the shows on the road to Europe and the US (I saw her in an amazing version of A Streetcar Named Desire) and she will be in NY this summer in Uncle Vanya and the Lincoln Center Festival. Their latest production is a new translation of the German play Gross Und Klein which they are about to take on the road to Europe.
The Economist’s Intelligent Life Magazine interviewed Blanchett about her theatre work and put her on the cover unphotoshopped. In order to head off the shock to see a person looking real on a magazine the editor Tim de Lisle added a note saying:
She looks like what she is—a woman of 42, spending her days in an office, her evenings on stage and the rest of her time looking after three young children. We can’t be too self-righteous about it, because, like anyone else who puts her on a cover, we are benefiting from her beauty and distinction. But the shot is at least trying to reflect real life. It’s a curious sign of the times that this has become something to shout about.
Seriously- what’s the big deal.
There are some great quotes in the piece (I appreciate that the editors made the piece available) and I’d like to highlight a couple about Blanchett’s film career:
The other sacrifice has been on the film front. “I haven’t really been able to make any films,” she says. Well, I say, she has made some—“I could make ‘Hanna’ [a Euro-thriller] because they could squeeze me into three weeks over the school holidays, and we had some relationships that we wanted to forge and foster in Berlin.” So she was still doing the day job. “Then the volcano erupted in Iceland and I got an extra week. But it’s not really possible. It’s complicated, because I’m committed to acting on stage and have done it at least once a year, and that means on a very prosaic level not putting the children to bed for six weeks, so then I don’t really want to go off and make another film.”
From the age of 38 to 42, her film work has been mostly cameos. Asked if she is sad to let parts go by, Blanchett replies with what sounds like a yes and a no. “You are very acutely aware that you’ve only got one life, but maybe I’m just slow in that realisation.”
It sounds like the Blanchett/Upton family will be running the theatre until at least the end of 2013 (their contract was renewed through that date.) Then who knows. But based on the film career that Blanchett had before she took over at the theatre, we’ll see her again in leading roles.
Cate Blanchett – Theatre Boss (Intelligent Life)