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Blanchett’s transition from Academy Awards-winning actor to producer

Blanchett’s transition from Academy Awards-winning actor to producer

Posted May. 03, 2021 07:22,   

Updated May. 03, 2021 07:22


Cate Blanchett was nominated seven times for Academy Awards for Best Actor and won the Best Leading Actor and Best Supporting Actor Academy Awards for “Blue Jasmine” and “The Aviator,” respectively. She is also known for playing multiple roles in a single movie, including playing two roles in “Coffee and Cigarettes” and 12 roles in “Manifesto.” She is a genius who is able to flawlessly play a male role. Her appearances as a male character include a movie about Bob Dylan’s life “I'm Not There” and a play titled “Richard II.” She also played one of the two leading roles and participated as a producer in “Carol,” which had not been produced for over a decade due to having two female leading characters and dealing with homosexuality. Her name alone exudes charisma.

Blanchett who debuted with “Paradise Road” in 1997 became an unrivaled actor with her 24 years of career in movies and plays. However, not many people know that she is also a movie producer. She founded a production company named Dirty Films with her husband and movie director Andrew Upton and produced “Carol.” Her choice for the second movie production is “Apples” directed by Greek director Christos Nikou. The Dong-A Ilbo talked to her via email about the movie to premiere in May in South Korea.

The background of “Apples” is a world struck with a pandemic that causes sudden amnesia. The protagonist of the movie, Aris, lost his name and home address. A hospital staff suggests “Learning How to Live,” a program that creates memories from new experiences. Aris begins accumulating universal experiences of humans, such as watching a movie, riding a bicycle, and even having sex with a woman, and creating his own identity. Blanchett was captured by the unique mood of the movie after watching it at the Venice Film Festival last year as the head of the judging panel.

“I was so fortunate to watch ‘Apples’ at the film festival. Its story is unique and has a strange allure but completely believable in real life. It seemed to be floating in the air and was unforgettable in my head. I later had a meeting with Christos and constantly talked and laughed with him as soon as we met each other.”

Blanchett participated in the movie as an executive producer and was in charge of its distribution. She supported the movie’s overseas sales in the film market where movies are traded.

“There are many ways to participate in the movie production depending on what a director needs. It was very clear that I wanted to work with Christos so my answer was, of course, “yes” when he asked me to help his movie enter various markets after the Venice Film Festival. In particular, I thought the movie needed a little room to breathe as many movies struggled with overseas sales this year (due to the pandemic).”

“As the movie took six years for production, the concept of a pandemic was in Christos’ head far before the infectious virus hit the world. As people are going through difficult times due to COVID-19, the audience will be bound to watch the movie from the lens of the pandemic. It is only a coincidence, however. The movie is about identity, solitude, and the loss of what was once familiar. Such a story will resonate regardless of time.”

Jae-Hee Kim jetti@donga.com