If Cate Blanchett had a “gun to [her] head,” she would choose her recent turn in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine, as her favorite movie role.
Blanchett plays a fallen socialite at the brink of her sanity. The Australian actress called it the “culmination of my work on the theater and my work in the film,” when asked by an audience member at the New York Film Festival tribute for her last night.
That’s quite an admission considering the actress, 44, has played eclectic, shape-shifting roles such as Bob Dylan (I’m Not There), an elf (The Lord of The Rings), herself versus herself (Coffee and Cigarettes), Katharine Hepburn (The Aviator), a chilly queen (Elizabeth), and Richard II on stage.
Woody Allen sent in a congratulatory video message explaining he couldn’t be present because, “I find it impossible to sit through, you know, two hours of relentless adulation, especially for somebody else.”
“I hope we can do it again,” Allen said on Blue Jasmine, “It was a great experience for me.”
Blanchett was in good spirits during the Q&A, which screened a retrospective of her films. She joked about how her kids want her to make a blockbuster, relayed how she first got into acting as an extra in exchange for falafel and five Egyptian pounds, and shared her experiences working with such acclaimed directors.
One such director is Terrence Malick, whom she worked with filming Knight of Cups. “It was a cross between cinema, philosophy, poetry and a quasi religious experience,” she said of the film’s little-known plot.
“It’s almost like he’s inventing a new form. And I don’t know what my ultimate role in that will be, but it was certainly an extraordinary experience,” she said. “He kept saying he wanted ‘to catch life on the wing,” she added. “You weren’t so much playing characters as you were playing states of being or moments in time.”
Blanchett is currently filming the live-action Cinderella, directed by Kenneth Branagh, which is set for a 2015 release.