You want to know who we haven’t talked about in almost two years? Well, lots of people. But specifically speaking, the answer to that question is Cate Blanchett, although ‘Cate Blanchett’ could be the answer to many questions, including things like, “Who’s so ungodly gorgeous it’s pretty much unfair,” and “Who is the best-looking forty-three year-old you know,” and “Who’s going to be in the Lincoln Center Festival this summer,” because ‘Cate Blanchett’ would definitely be the answer to all three of those questions.
Cate recently sat with Gotham magazine with her husband, Andrew, and discussed this year’s Lincoln Center Fest, and their acting troupe:
Cate on what it means to bring the production of Uncle Vanya to the Lincoln Center Festival:
“It’s an absolute privilege, and it’s wonderful to be juxtaposed against all the other extraordinary things that you program for the Lincoln Center Festival. Often when theater is talked about in New York, it is talked about as if it were a sort of homogeneous blob. There are so many different types of audiences in New York, and we are very excited to be there in a festival context because it generates a way of looking for an audience that’s very different than if we were doing a four-month run. There is a special, ‘see it now or you miss it’ feeling that we are all very excited by.”
Andrew and Cate on the extraordinary company they’ve put together in Sydney, Australia:
Andrew: “We are incredibly fortunate to have Jacki Weaver playing Nana and John Bell playing Serebryakov, and it’s definitely been—for us personally as artistic directors—one of our favorite projects. I think [this production of Uncle Vanya] has all the things that separate good theater from a great theater experience. There was just this serendipity around the way that piece of programming happened. It found its own voice, it found its own time, it found its own cast, it found its own director, and now it is finding this lovely extended life.”
Cate: “But I think when more theater companies tour to New York with increasing regularity, you start to get a sense of the breadth and the interesting nature of the work that is going on in Australia, because Australia is not necessarily internationally associated with a strong theatrical culture. As you said, Nigel, film is such an international medium, and our sporting prowess is well understood internationally, but I think, on a diplomatic level it does diversify the perception of what Australia is capable of culturally. That was a big ambition for Andrew and me when we returned to Australia to lead the company. We knew from direct experience the depth of talent in Australia, and it was a big ambition for us to get the work out.”
Andrew on he and Cate’s decision to step down in a year or so from the artistic directorship of the Sydney Theatre Company:
“It is the end of our time. We are in the second year of our second contract. It feels as if in Sydney, and Australia in general, there is a lot of vitality and change going on in the performing arts, certainly in theater. It just feels about the right time to finish, really; it’s definitely right for us. It’s been not great for me as a writer, and that’s just to do with the size of the job. And it’s tied Cate to the company. I just think it is the right time to go; we have done our time.”
So for all you haters out there, this is where Cate’s career has gone. Granted, lots of you might think that theater is a gigantic step up from big-screen acting, and for those of you who do, isn’t this just super? It’s definitely sad that she’s going to be leaving the Sydney Theatre Company, but she’s going to do big things wherever she goes, really.