As already reported, Cate is featured in the current issue of L’Uomo Vogue Italy. Although most of the images were already posted here, I just discovered one more photo (left). The photographer is Francesco Carrozzini and Cate is dressed in Armani.
And somehow I missed posting the article that goes along with the photoshoot. Sorry about that! Here it goes:
At this rate, her regal, radiant face will end up on the country’s stamp because Cate Blanchett is the perfect person to represent the beauty, talent and humor of the fascinating, upbeat, vibrant Australia. Having been the ambassador of Australian beauty and culture for years, the forty-four-year-old actress and two-time Oscar winner is the ideal flagship for the new continent. She, in turn, reciprocates with love, speaking of her country on any occasion with true enthusiasm. Her passion for theater follows her love for Australia.
Considered by many to be one of the greatest actresses of today (two Oscars, 75 nominations and 94 awards), Cate Blanchett and her husband, Australian playwright Andrew Upton, co-directed the Sydney Theatre Company for six years. Established in 1979, the Sydney Theatre Company was where actors such as Hugo Weaving, Geoffrey Rush and Toni Collette got their start. Cate and her husband augmented its fame and, with a series of magnificent performances, contributed to the success of many plays that were also taken on tour to London and Broadway.
Seeing is believing: when she made her acceptance speech on March 2 after her Oscar won for the Best Actress category for the film Blue Jasmine, Cate thanked colleagues, relatives and Woody Allen and then, before an audience of 43 million people, she thanked each and every member of the Sydney Theatre Company, calling it “one of the great companies in the world”. In a clear, steady voice, she said, “Working with you has been the greatest privilege of my career and made me a better actress. There is so much talent in Australia and I’m just the tip of the iceberg“. It was not the first time that the actress of Elizabeth and The Aviator spoke about her country on TV. It already happened a few months ago when she was promoting Woody Allen’s film: she used irony and wit to give David Letterman a nice history and geography lesson about Australia, illustrating the situation of the Aborigines and the first white settlements in the country. “A beautiful country: it’s God’s country, if you believe in God”, she solemnly concluded. She returned there after a decade spent in London and Brighton.
In her charming siren’s voice, she tells me about her joy of finally returning home. We’re at Milk Studio, a film studio in Los Angeles. Cate is wearing a robe and terry cloth slippers. Her hair is held in place with hairpins and her makeup is incomplete. Soon she’ll slip into her costume for the shoot and will turn into a chimera. Now she hands me a bottle of water and starts talking as if we’ve always known each other. I ask her if she has always been this straight-forward. “I don’t like to generalize, but the Australian culture isn’t sentimental: at the first sign of posturing and flowery language, there’s an immediate reaction of suspicion and rejection. And you’ll be sorry if you show emotion during the Australian Awards!“, she laughs. Perhaps since she has always been considered an actor’s actor and not a celebrity, Cate Blanchett is still an easy-going woman with a practical, no-nonsense attitude that is immediately recognizable by Australians.
Born and raised in Melbourne, with a Texan father (who passed away when Cate was 10 years old) and Australian mother, Cate Blanchett initially studied economics and art at the university but then went to the National Institute of Dramatic Art and the theater. The dichotomy between a variety of interests (the economic world on one hand and the theater and art on the other) is a sign of her eclecticism and many other choices. If, on one hand, the divine Cate is compelled by a great desire to be committed on a social and cultural level, on the other she successfully affirms her very strong artistic and sophisticated inclinations. For entire months she delves into the world of Cechov, Ibsen and Genet and then she has fun being the face for SK-II products (a beauty line from Japan) and the testimonial for Sì, the Armani Eau de Parfum that pays homage to modern femininity.
Always a fashion icon, Cate Blanchett is also the unchallenged queen of the red carpet. She wears a light fairy dress (with silver sequins like the Armani gown at the Oscars) or a sleek, simple sheath (by McQueen worn at the BAFTA Awards of London) with the same elegance. On her, both become “performance art”. I watch her posing for the photo shoot: the gray smoke of the Hollywood studio creates a Jules Dassin-style noir atmosphere. She’s wearing a dark trench coat with raised collar, trousers and lace-up shoes, and her hair is pulled back from her face. Leaning against a ladder, she has an intense, mysterious air and becomes another creature.
Married for 17 years to Upton, a fellow with a very unruffled demeanor (at Armani’s party in Beverly Hills in honor of Paolo Sorrentino, he calmly followed his wife from one group of celebrities to another), the couple decided in 2006, after a decade abroad, to go back to live in Sydney with their three children: Dashiell, age 12; Roman, age 9; and Ignatius, age 5. “We were basically tourists in England. We were both born in Australia and that’s where our roots are. There we also have responsibilities in the creative sector. I’m not a nationalist, but Australia has so many resources that my husband and I have decided to reinvent ourselves and return to where we are best known. It was important for us to recover our heritage and start out from that to give shape to the future: it’s an extraordinary experience. It’s also important for our children that they’re back with family“.
The temptation to abandon film and Hollywood for good is sometimes strong. Now, however, Cate is preparing for her film director’s debut. She’s thinking of filming The Dinner, a psychological thriller by Dutch author Herman Koch. “It’s a fascinating book because it exposes the angry, hostile side of the Internet. It’s about parents and the secrets we hide. I’ve directed plays on stage but never a film: I’d like to try, but I’ve got three young sons, so we’ll see“. She talks about the desert and the great outdoors of Australia and the white noise you only find there in that immense, sparsely populated land. “That silence is terrifying because we’re no longer used to it, and I want to rediscover it”.
The lights of the photo shoot continue to change position and intensity, and she reveals yet another side of her. I easily imagine seeing that profile – with a crown of acacia flowers, a symbol of Australia, in her hair – on the next Australian stamp and I’m convinced that no other trophy would make her prouder.