She may have been jet lagged and slightly tipsy from a drink or two at a pre-Tribute dinner at the New York Film Festival evening in her honor, but that did not make Cate Blanchett babble like Jasmine, her character in the latest Woody Allen movie. Quite the contrary, articulate, generous, and funny, Blanchett fielded questions from the Film Society's Kent Jones, speaking about her astounding wide-ranging career and the directors she has worked with at the tribute Q&A at Alice Tully Hall. Of Woody, she spoke of the rigors of getting it right as there's no post-production. Surprise for Cate: Woody Allen taped a congratulatory message to her. Her reply: He must have been thinking of Winslet.
On the differences between working in the mediums of film and theater: right now I know just how many seats are empty, 37, she joked squinting out into the orchestra. She also said her first role was in an Egyptian film. They offered free falafel, she quipped. A man got up claiming not only to have directed it, but to have remembered her in it.
The next day at lunch at le Cirque, flanked by Liz Smith and Marina Abramovic, with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Blue Jasmine co-star Bobby Cannavale nearby, Blanchett said, I've been doing theater for the past 5 years, and it is always wonderful to know there is this other career in film to nurture. As to that Egyptian director, that was nonsense. How could he remember her among 2000 extras? And then, leaving lunch early, she was off to London to film Cinderella. No, not that role, she said anticipating the next question, I'm the evil stepmother. It's far more interesting.
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