Award-winning Australian actress Cate Blanchett turned 46 yesterday - and the fact that she is still taking on top roles in Hollywood surprises even herself.
"When I joined drama school, I thought I'd give it five years when I got out. Because a lot of (older) actresses I admired weren't working then and I didn't think I could bear the rejection," said the A-list star who was dressed in a smart white pantsuit and stilettos.
She worked in theatre and television and, in her late 20s, was cast in the war film Paradise Road in 1997.
"In actress years, that is quite old. I never expected that to happen. And then I found myself working with directors Ron Howard and Martin Scorsese," she said.
She does not feel indifferent about her age, she said, "but I'm old enough to say that I actually have a career".
Blanchett was speaking to Life! after a press conference held at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore. She is SK-II's global ambassador and the brand is Singapore Fashion Week's official skincare partner.
The celebrity was in town on behalf of SK-II to lend glamour to the fashion festival that ends on Sunday and to launch the brand's new Miracle Essences. However, she will not be attending any fashion shows as she is enroute to the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
Blanchett shot to stardom when she played Queen Elizabeth I of England in the 1998 biographical film Elizabeth.
She is also known for her roles in Scorsese's The Aviator (2004) and The Lord Of The Rings series.
In the upcoming romantic drama, Carol, she plays an older woman who falls in love with a younger woman.
On her beauty routine, Blanchett says she is adamant about staying out of the sun and uses a facial treatment mask whenever she is on a plane.
"I used to wait till the lights went off, but now I don't care," she quipped.
For all the care that she puts into pampering her skin, Blanchett said, especially for an actor, beauty is more than skin deep.
"Film is a visual medium, so obviously the externals is something you need to work on. Before you even open your mouth, the way the character looks, walks, dresses, moves, gives the audience a lot of information about his internal life," she said.
"It's not just about looking beautiful on stage, but also revealing something about the human condition."
Blanchett proved her point last year when she put red-carpet sexism in the spotlight after a videographer scanned her dress.
Facing the camera, she asked: "Do you do that to guys?"
She has also famously slammed entertainment news site E!'s Mani Cam, a camera that focuses on the female stars' manicure while they are on the red carpet.
Elaborating, Blanchett said: "When you have all these incredible actresses nominated, of course, like the men, you want to look your best that day as you know you're going to be photographed...
"But when your work is not even mentioned and they would rather know about your manicure than what it was like shooting a particular scene or how you approached a role, you're being professionally sidelined."
And her definition of beauty?
"Working with what you've got. With photoshopping, airbrushing - I'm not against it - but the danger is having this homogenous sense of what is beautiful.
"It affects the inside when you are not changing yourself to subscribe to somebody else's expectations."