Cate Blanchett to Play Donald Trump’s Sister in James Gray’s New Film: ‘It’s a Real Scene-Stealer’

James Gray says Blanchett will only shoot for three days on his star-studded new movie "Armageddon Time."
Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett
Aurore Marechal/Abaca/Sipa USA

Cate Blanchett often gets the attention of awards voters when she sinks her teeth into real-life figures. She won the BAFTA, the Screen Actors Guild Award, and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress with her performance as Katharine Hepburn in “The Aviator,” and she’s most recently been a nominee at the Emmys and the Golden Globes for her work as Phyllis Schlafly in “Mrs. America” (she’ll compete for a SAG Award next month as well). It turns out Blanchett is gearing up to play yet another real-life figure in her next movie, James Gray’s “Armageddon Time.” The filmmaker told Screen Daily that Blanchett is starring in the film as Donald Trump’s sister.”

“Cate Blanchett is going to play Donald Trump’s sister which is the weirdest sentence I have ever said,” Gray said. “She’s only in it for three days, she’s doing me a favor. She has a really long speech to deliver, it’s a real scene-stealer. I’ve tried to recreate the real speech as best I could from memory.”

“Armageddon Time” is an autobiographical drama inspired by Gray’s coming-of-age as a child while attending the Kew-Forest School in Queens, New York. Donald Trump is an alumni of the school in real life, and the former U.S. president’s sister visited the school when Gray was a student to give a speech to the student body. Starring opposite Blanchett in the film is a star-studded ensemble that includes Robert De Niro, Oscar Isaac, Donald Sutherland, and Anne Hathaway.

News broke last year that Focus Features had boarded “Armageddon Time” as a distributor in a deal worth a reported $15 million. The movie is Gray’s follow-up to “Ad Astra,” but he’s been working on the script for years. The project was first announced in 2019, ahead of the release of “Ad Astra.”

“It’s very simply kind of a memoir about when I was twelve and in the fall of 1980 in New York about my best friend and my relationship with him and when I moved from public school to private school,” Gray told Collider last year about the project. “And how my relationship with him was destroyed in the process. So it’s a family story, but in a way, it’s kind of a love story between myself and my good friend, who I never saw again after I changed schools. And the idea is to make a film about how class and racism divides us, because he was Black, my friend.”

Production on “Armageddon Time” is expected to start in the fall, Gray told Screen Daily. Head over to Screen Daily’s website to read more from Gray.

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