CATE Blanchett has triumphed again, taking home her fourth Helpmann Award for best actress in a play, it was announced at a lavish ceremony in Sydney tonight.
The star of stage and screen won the prestigious prize for her leading role in the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Maids. She has previously won best actress awards for three other STC shows: Gross Und Klein (2012), Uncle Vanya (2011) and Hedda Gabler (2005).
Blanchett’s award was one of 44 presented at the Capitol Theatre during a star-studded night of entertainment recognising Australia’s best live performance.
Opera Australia was the most awarded company with nine awards, of which six were for last year’s epic Melbourne Ring Cycle and three were for its co-production with John Frost, The King and I, which was named best musical.
Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin were overlooked for best director and best costume designer gongs respectively for Strictly Ballroom, which was nominated for six awards but picked up only one.
Instead, Dean Bryant was named best director of a musical for Sweet Charity and Roger Kirk won the award for best costume designer for The King and I.
It was a glorious night for the creators of Sweet Charity, new outfit Hayes Theatre Co, which also picked up awards for best female actor in a musical (Verity Hunt-Ballard) and best choreographer (Andrew Hallsworth).
Other highlights include Richard Roxburgh winning best male actor in a play for Waiting for Godot (Sydney Theatre Company), and Craig McLachlan winning best male actor in a musical for Rocky Horror Show.
Sam Simmons won the award for best comedian, Sarah Ward won best cabaret performer, Bruce Springsteen was named best international concert, and Hunters and Collectors won best Australian concert.
Best play went to Angels in America (Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre), best opera was Melbourne Ring Cycle (Opera Australia), and best ballet or dance work was Chroma (The Australian Ballet).
The 14th annual awards, presented by Live Performance Australia, have grown in stature every year and are fiercely contested among performers and producers.
“There’s no question they are the pinnacle awards for live performance in this country and we know because people get really upset every year when they’re not nominated,” LPA chief executive Evelyn Richardson said.
“It’s very competitive and people really value their Helpmanns highly. Like all awards shows you court controversy and we live with that, just like the Tonys and the Oliviers do, but I think the main test is the number of entries that we have and the number of producers and performers who really want to be on that list.”
Here’s an interview with Cate talking about The Maids, which is currently showing in New York:
Here’s the first trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, the final part of the trilogy. (And yes, we see Galadriel for about 2 seconds in it!). The movie will open in theaters in December
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town.
Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo’s frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain.
As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.
Cate Blanchett was at the Warner Bros/The Hobbit panel today! Here are pictures:
- Events & Appearances > 2014 > Comic-Con International – July 26th, 2014
Cate attended an event in Shangai, China, to promote SK-II. Here are pictures:
- Events & Appearances > 2014 > SK-II Promotional Event in Shanghai, China – July 22nd, 2014
Sydney Theatre Company is bringing The Maids to New York in August.
Here’s the info from Lincoln Center Festival website:
By Jean Genet
With Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth Debicki, Isabelle Huppert
New English translation by Benedict Andrews and Andrew Upton
Director Benedict Andrews
Set and costume designer Alice Babidge
Lighting designer Nick Schlieper
Music Oren Ambarchi
Video designer Sean Bacon
Sound designer Luke Smiles
Sydney Theatre Company returns to Lincoln Center Festival with Cate Blanchett, Isabelle Huppert, and Elizabeth Debicki in Jean Genet’s The Maids. Inspired by the story of the infamous Papin sisters who brutally killed their employer and her daughter, Genet’s play delves into the rituals of siblings Claire and Solange—played by Blanchett and Huppert—as they take turns playing both sides of the power divide and plot the demise of the domineering Mistress (Debicki). The production is directed by one of Australia’s most regarded theatrical talents, Benedict Andrews.
In 2012, Sydney Theatre Company’s “glorious” (New York Times) production of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya was a break-out hit of Lincoln Center Festival, and with this North American premiere of The Maids, the company brings yet another acclaimed new staging to New York. Critics raved that the ravishing glass-box set is “the perfect high-octane setting for the sisters’ fantasies of death and desire to unfold” (Time Out Sydney) and a “temple to narcissism, excess, and paranoia” (Huffington Post).
“This is an opportunity to see two of the world’s best actresses playing opposite one another in a confronting but absorbing play, and to witness the debut stage role of a young actress who is billed by many to be the next Cate Blanchett. Don’t miss it.”
“A radiant production!”
“Isabelle Huppert delivers a strong, textured and playful performance.”
—The Guardian (London)
“Debicki, who appeared as Jordan Baker in [Baz Luhrmann’s film of] The Great Gatsby, is a towering figure, in all senses. She commands attention as she crushes her mature maids with the cruel power of her youth and beauty.”
“Benedict Andrews’s fine direction guides us beautifully through.”
This performance is approximately one hour and 45 minutes, with no intermission.
Presented in association with New York City Center.
Sydney People! Don’t miss this chance! Plus a couple of pictures from that beautiful photoshoot:
A unique and engaging evening with renowned actor Cate Blanchett.
Come and hear Blanchett engage in a wide-ranging and unscripted conversation about her experiences and her multiple roles – from being co-Artistic Director of the Sydney Theatre Company to managing an international career while based in Sydney and raising a young family.
She will talk candidly about her life, her acting accomplishments and her views on everything from raising sons as a feminist in today’s world, to her fears about climate change, to why it is that women are – still – not treated equally.
Cate Blanchett’s accomplishments are extraordinary: two Academy Awards, three Golden Globes, three BAFTAs, three SAG Awards and four AFI Awards for her film work and many other honours for her stage work.
Now we will have the opportunity to see and hear Cate Blanchett on the very stage where she created some of her greatest roles.
One night only: Thursday 26 June 6.30pm
Here’s the article from the STC Magazine:
For one night only at Sydney Theatre, Walsh Bay, Anne Summers will be hosting a unique and engaging evening with Cate Blanchett. Cate and Anne will talk candidly about being the former Co-Artistic Director of STC, managing an international career while based in Sydney and raising a young family.
Ahead of this event, we’ve provided a short extract from a previous interview with Cate, from the Anne Summers Reports magazine (number 8, June 2014 edition).
The turning point in Cate Blanchett’s career was her remarkable performance in Elizabeth in 1998. But after that role, all the scripts that were sent to her “were basically different costumes, same dilemma”, she said. “And I thought, gosh, you get typecast quickly.”
But “there was a small part playing a Long Island housewife in a film with John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton so I took that”. That film was Pushing Tin (1999) by the English director Mike Newell who, before he directed Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
in 2005, was best known for Four Weddings and a Funeral. Blanchett took this small role, not so much to confound expectations, but “because I didn’t necessarily know that I could do it. I thought, I haven’t done that before”.
So much of what she has done in film has been to do things she has not done before. Playing Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There (2007), for one thing. Or her most recent role Carol, another Haynes film based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt, in which Blanchett plays an older married woman who in 1950s New York has a relationship with a young woman sales clerk. (It was Blanchett’s performance in The Talented Mr Ripley, another Highsmith adaptation, that supposedly caught Allen’s eye and led him to cast her in Blue Jasmine.)
But it was the call from Martin Scorsese that really threw her.
“My knees were sweating when I was talking to Scorsese,” she tells me. “I was devastated when I got off the phone, and Andrew said ‘What did he say?’ and I was so down in the mouth, I said, ‘He’s asked me to play Katharine Hepburn and I am going to have to say yes because of course you can’t say no to Scorsese’ but I thought, this is it, this is over, this is career suicide to play Katharine Hepburn in the medium in which she was so iconically known and loved. It’s suicide.”
Instead, the role gave Blanchett her first Oscar. The woman who says she is “endlessly disappointed in herself “-by which she means in her performances-the actor who agrees with Martha Graham that no artist is ever satisfied, and that it’s “this blessed unrest” that keeps her going, stunned audiences with her portrayal of Hepburn. From then on, she could do anything.
An illuminating evening with Cate Blanchett: In conversation with Anne Summer with audience Q&A
26 June 2014, Sydney Theatre
From The Hollywood Reporter:
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Blanchett at the InterContinental Carlton Cannes Hotel to talk about Cinderella, dragons, fairies and being in a select group of females that are multiple Oscar winners.
67th Annual Cannes Film Festival – How To Train Your Dragon 2 Photocall, Premiere and Press Conference Pictures
Yesterday was the Cannes Premiere, Photocall and Press Conference for “How To Train Your Dragon 2″. The movie is set for release on June 13th.
- Events & Appearances > 2014 > 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival – How To Train Your Dragon 2 Premiere – May 16th 2014
- Events & Appearances > 2014 > 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival – How To Train Your Dragon 2 Photocall – May 16th 2014
- Events & Appearances > 2014 > 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival – How To Train Your Dragon 2 Press Conference – May 16th 2014
Cate Blanchett presented the Chopard Trophy to Logan Lerman and Adele Exarchopoulos this afternoon, at the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival. Here are pictures and the article below. Also pictures from tuesday where Cate attended a dinner where the Duke of Cambridge celebrates the Royal Marsden.
- Events & Appearances > 2014 > 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival – Chopard Trophy – May 15th 2014
- Events & Appearances > 2014 > The Duke Of Cambridge Celebrates The Royal Marsden – May 13th, 2014
Cate Blanchett Reveals Crush on Adele Exarchopoulos at Trophee Chopard
On Thursday night, Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue is the Warmest Color”) and Logan Lerman (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) accepted the Trophee Chopard at a Variety co-sponsored event at the Cannes Film Festival.
Former winners of the annual prize for up-and-coming actors, which was started in 2001 by the luxury accessories brand, include Hayden Christensen, Shailene Woodley and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers.
Cate Blanchett acted as the evening’s guest of honor. “I have an inappropriate crush on both of them,” Blanchett teased in her opening remarks about the two honorees.
“I am happy you have a crush on me,” Exarchopoulos said when she took the stage to accept her prize. “I have a crush on you, too.”
A jury with Harvey Weinstein and director Atom Egoyan, among others, selected the two actors for the award. The evening started with short speeches from Cannes president Gilles Jacob, Chopard’s co-president Caroline Scheufele and Variety managing editor Steven Gaydos.
The after-party was held at the rooftop of the Hotel Martinez with guests Jane Fonda, Lupita Nyong’o and director Pedro Almodovar.
Lerman, who told Variety this was his first time at Cannes, said he was at a point in his career where he was just starting to get recognized. “It’s mainly young girls,” he said. “Not that I’m down about that.”
Here are a couple of pictures of Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara on the set of Carol, done by the photographer Brian Douglas
Cate Blanchett, Kerry Washington, Rose Byrne, Eva Longoria and Frozen director Jennifer Lee have been selected as the five honorees for this year’s Crystal + Lucy Awards, presented by Women in Film, Los Angeles.
The annual benefit gala, set for June 11 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, recognizes creative, groundbreaking women who lead by example and excel in their chosen fields in the entertainment industry.
“The women we are honoring this year represent the best, the brightest and the bravest among us,” WIF LA president Cathy Schulman said in a statement. “We are proud to celebrate their achievements and their contributions.”
Blanchett, who recently won her second Oscar for her role in Blue Jasmine, will receive the Crystal Award for Excellence in Film.
Scandal star Washington will receive the Lucy Award for Excellence in Television.
Byrne, who’s starring in the upcoming comedy Neighbors and December’s Annie remake, will be honored with the Women in Film Max Mara “Face of the Future” award.
Lee, who’s made history with Frozen, will receive the Dorothy Arzner Directors Award.
Longoria will be recognized with the Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award.
“These five women have distinguished themselves both as artists and as responsible citizens of the world,” WIF LA president emeritus Iris Grossman said in a statement. “They inspire us and we in turn are honored to recognize them for all they have given.”
The fundraising dinner supports WIF LA’s many educational and philanthropic programs and initiatives.
Some footage from Cinderella was shown at CinemaCon, here’s an article about it:
While Kenneth Branagh became best known as a director for his big screen adaptations of William Shakespeare’s greatest works, in the last few years he has done his part to completely shake up his own reputation. He got a taste of fantasy adventure with Thor in 2011, and tried his hand at political intrigue with Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit earlier this year. For his next feature, he’s tackling fairy tales with Cinderella. We still have nearly a full year before we get to see how his adaptation of the classic tale will turn out, but earlier today we got a very special sneak peek of the movie with a special screening of footage shown during the Walt Disney Studios presentation at CinemaCon.
Kicking off with the classic “Once Upon A Time” voice over narration, the footage began with shots of a young girl named Ella living what seems to be a very fairy tale-esque life. She has a father (Ben Chaplin) who clearly loves her and we see shots of the two of them playing in a field as happy as can be.
This all changes, however, with the arrival of Lady Tremaine (Cate Blanchett) – Ella’s new evil stepmother – and her daughters Anastasia (Holliday Grainger) and Drizella (Sophie McShera). Ella’s father goes on a trip, leaving his daughter with her new guardians, but things go from bad to worse when he winds up getting ill while on the road and dies. Ella (played as an adult by Lily James) goes from being a beloved daughter to being basically a slave in her own house, forced to do all of the chores and labor around the house (the amount of soot on her face is what earns her the nickname “Cinderella”).
Things start to look up when Ella goes riding on her horse into the woods and runs into Prince Charming (sharing a bit of tête-à-tête about the dangers of riding in the forest alone), and then learns of a royal ball being held at the palace. Ella takes one of her mother’s dresses and is excited to attend the gala event, but is shut down when Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella rip her dress and tell her that she can’t go.
Devastated by her stepmother and stepsisters’ cruelty, she runs out to the garden crying, but it is here where she meets an old woman (Helena Bonham Carter) who reveals herself as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother. In a sudden flash the old woman goes from appearing decrepit to beautiful, wearing an elegant puffy blue dress and blonde locks that hang to her shoulders.
From there it is time to get to work. The Fairy Godmother starts making requests for various fruits and vegetables, from watermelon to cantaloupe to artichoke (most of which Cinderella doesn’t even recognize the name of), but then the titular heroine reveals that she does have some pumpkins. Using her magic, the Fairy Godmother enchants one of the orange squashes and makes it grow to tremendous size before transforming it into a beautifully ornate gold carriage that Cinderella can take to the ball.
Cinderella arrives at the royal event as fireworks fill the sky and the screen is filled with some stunning production design, as the palace that was built for the movie is really something to behold and all of the characters are clad in elegant suits and dresses. Cinderella immediately catches the eye of the prince (who doesn’t seem to recognize her) and nervously asks her for the party’s first dance.
After a quick montage featuring more footage from Ella’s childhood and even a bit of sword fighting, the footage flashed back to Ella and the Prince dancing together. The young woman says. “Are they looking at you?” and the prince replies, “Believe me, they’re all looking at you.”
While we were told before the footage that some of the special effects had yet to be completed and that the movie is still very much a work in process, I was definitely impressed by what I saw. There is an interesting mix of tones at work, as heavy drama is lightened by some funny dialogue and rapport, and the film looks gorgeously shot. Of course, this is the footage that Disney wanted us to see in order to get us excited for the film, but my interest is definitely piqued.
It may be a while before anything from Cinderella is released into the public sphere, but stay tuned for a trailer in the second half of the year and get ready for the film’s theatrical release on March 13, 2015.