Whether smudging her mascara just so or leaving her forehead slightly shiny, Cate Blanchett uses cosmetic signals to help craft her on-screen personae: “We really fine-tune those details,” Blanchett says. “The audience takes a cue from the visual before the characters even open their mouths.” Here, the two-time Oscar winner (and longtime ambassador for SK-II skin care) gives us a master class on the art of transformation.
How much does a character’s hair and makeup affect the psychology behind your performance?
It matters greatly. Personally, I prefer to play against the look: If a character appears particularly unhinged, with makeup running down her face, I like to play her as if she has it together. I think that juxtaposition makes it so much more interesting.
Have you ever played a character whose beauty habits made you uncomfortable with your own reflection?
I just completed this movie, Carol, in which I had to pluck my eyebrows nearly every day to achieve that very stern look. I just hated it. I much prefer a natural approach to beauty. You know, Coco Chanel always said to take one thing off before you leave the house, and I think that also applies to makeup.