Thursday, April 18, 2024
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Cate Blanchett discusses her latest Oscar-worthy cinematic opus

Academy Award winning actress Cate Blanchett along with director Todd Field, and co-stars Nina Hoss and Sophie Kauer, sat down with IMDb to talk about their new film, Tár

Two-time Oscar winning acting legend Cate Blanchett has been on our queer radar since Carol, and now her latest film, Tár, delivers an even more compelling, nuanced, and powerful portrayal of a queer woman—or as her character Lydia Tár declares, “A U-Haul lesbian.” Playing a world famous conductor, Blanchett stuns with her muscular orchestral maneuvers, her fluent German, and her conflation of power and desire. This Oscar-worthy performance packs a punch and depicts a woman at the height of her artistic powers whose personal life, however, is a dark undertow that threatens to sweep all her achievements away.

The filmmakers and co-stars agree that no living actress other than Blanchett could have embodied this character. In an exclusive interview with IMDb co-stars Nina Hoss and Sophie Kauer said, “It really is Cate conducting the orchestra, there’s no click track, it’s not done in post, it’s the orchestra responding and playing with her. And that is no easy thing… She produced a sound that some conductors dream of producing.” 

In the interview Blanchett talked about her experience conducting the orchestra in the film saying “…when you give the downbeat and that sound comes back at you, it is really, really something else. I’ve been shifted off my axis because of that experience.” 

Finally, Blanchett and Field laughed about unexpected elements in the film, talking about an scene with car stunts saying, “we went out to a racing track at like 400 kilometers an hour in this silent Porsche…I mean, you’re playing a conductor and then it’s like ‘well this weekend we’re going out to the Formula One Racetrack…’ there’s so many unexpected textures in the film.” 

Here is a section of their conversation, courtesy of IMDb:

IMDb: Your director Todd Field said that there would be no Tár without you, Cate. Did you know that going in and were you able to use it to your advantage at all?

Cate Blanchett: Was I able to manipulate Todd into a corner where he did exactly what I wanted him to do?

Todd Field: I want a bigger trailer!!

Blanchett: Haha I did not put a bigger trailer! No, I did not know that and I’m really pleased I did not know that. I was daunted enough by the role and the demands of the role but actually rising to the big questions that Todd has placed into the screenplay.

Nina Hoss: There is just no one, no one else that could be Lydia, I find. So Todd is completely right. There’s nothing to add!

Sophie Kauer: Yeah, I completely agree. I mean she plays a conductor that’s at the top of her game. It really is Cate conducting the orchestra, there’s no click track, it’s not done in post, it’s the orchestra responding and playing with her. And that is no easy thing, she just did amazing, amazingly. She produced a sound that some conductors dream of producing.

Blanchett: The gift that I think we all had was that the orchestra had not played together, hadn’t played big works together because of the pandemic so they were coming back to the big works at the same time I was stepping onto the podium. And the first thing I said to them was that they weren’t actors and I wasn’t a conductor and that we had to find our way together and they were so generous. And when you give the downbeat and that sound comes back at you, it is really, really something else. I’ve been shifted off my axis because of that experience.

IMDb: You also had to play the piano, play the accordion, conduct the orchestra, even driving stunts as well! Can you talk us through that process?

Blanchett: That was fun!

Field: That was fun!!

Blanchett: I can’t remember that intersection in Berlin, but…

Field: Alexanderplatz, it’s the most famous intersection in all of Berlin.

Blanchett: We went out to a racing track at like 400 kilometers an hour in this silent Porsche. It was…I mean, you’re playing a conductor and then it’s like “well this weekend we’re going out to the Formula One Racetrack…” there’s so many unexpected textures in the film.

Tár is in cinemas now.

Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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