Cate Blanchett defends right to choose roles

Actress Cate Blanchett at the screening of The House With A Clock In Its Walls at the Rome Film Festival last Friday.
Actress Cate Blanchett at the screening of The House With A Clock In Its Walls at the Rome Film Festival last Friday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

ROME • Cate Blanchett is defending her right to showcase her abilities on the big screen.

The Australian, 49, who is attending the Rome Film Festival, opened up about the contentious issue during a talk with the festival's artistic director, Antonio Monda.

Recently, some industry folk have slammed non-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) actors for taking on roles which they felt should be reserved for LGBT actors.

However, Blanchett said: "I will fight to the death for the right to suspend disbelief and play roles beyond my experience."

She acknowledged that "in the United States, I think, we expect people to make a profound connection to a character only when it's close to their experience".

The two-time Oscar winner stars in The House With A Clock In Its Walls, which screened as part of the Official Selection in the Rome event last Friday.

She described how she prepared to play the character, who survived Nazi death camps in World War II and lost a child.

"I looked at a lot of old photographs just to see what kind of energy people gave off," Xinhua cited her as saying.

"As an actor, I don't think about myself and my own experiences when I'm creating a role. I am totally bored with myself.

"The whole process of acting, for me, is an empathetic one, where you try and understand someone else's reality."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2018, with the headline 'Cate Blanchett defends right to choose roles'. Print Edition | Subscribe