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Sunday 31 August 2014

Blanchett blasts 'rubbish' of female stereotypes and red carpet rudeness

Hannah Furness Cannes

Published 17/05/2014 | 02:30

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Cate Blanchett at the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival.
Naomi Watts at the 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival. Photo: Pascal Le Segretain

Women are constantly judged for their parenting skills based on stereotypes that are "complete rubbish", Cate Blanchett has said, as the actress argued that men are never asked how they balance work and fatherhood.

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Blanchett said there was a whole extra "raft of judgment" that came with playing a mother on screen, with an expectation that all women fall into "archetypes".

Blanchett has three sons with her husband Andrew Upton, a playwright and director: Dashiel (12), Roman, (10) and Ignatius (6).

She has won three Bafta awards, three Golden Globes and two Oscars, for her roles in 'The Aviator' and 'Blue Jasmine'.

Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival, where her latest film, 'How to Train Your Dragon 2' was unveiled, she criticised the "complete rubbish" of female stereotypes and hit out at red-carpet rudeness.

In the animated film by DreamWorks, she provides the voice of a mother who is reunited with her heroic son after abandoning him in his early years.

Appearing at a press conference, she disclosed her amusement and frustration at the reaction to the film, which she said frequently involved being asked about her own family life.

"When anyone plays a mother on film, there is a whole raft of judgment in that a mother is a particular archetype or that every mother is the same," she said. "That's complete rubbish.

"We did discuss a lot about that particular issue because, of course, there is a judgment on how women parent. The film actually deals with it really beautifully and deeply and emotionally."

"It's certainly a question that's never asked of men. The question is only ever directed towards of women. 'How do you balance? How do you have it all?'"

When asked if she found the issue "boring", Blanchett admitted she was "surprised" to find motherhood, ageing and looks were still so central to the questions directed at actresses.

"We live in a world where there is still not equal pay for equal work," she said. "I still don't understand in 2014 why that is the case. I'm not just talking about the industry in which we work, it's every industry.

"The things that are being said about women, not just in African countries but in the English-speaking world, I think are absolutely appalling and sometimes I think we're back in the Middle Ages.

Earlier this year, Blanchett took an equally uncompromising stand on the Screen Actors Guild award red carpet, challenging a cameraman who filmed her from head to toe by asking: "Do you do that to the guys?"

When asked about the incident, and whether film premieres were becoming akin to a beauty pageant, she said she found some scrutiny "a little bit rude".

"The wonderful thing about Cannes is that it understands 'event'," she said.

"Part of the event is dressing up, and it's fabulous. "But . . . when you feel like a piece of merchandise, then that's slightly different." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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