“The privilege I’ve had in being an actor is having been able to enter lot of different psyches. Solidity is a dangerous place for the creative mind to exist. It’s about flow, change, and challenge, which is often a very uncomfortable place to be. I suppose I’m just getting more and more used to being uncomfortable.“
-Cate Blanchett, episode 260 of Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso
This week, the legendary Cate Blanchett joins us. To start, we unpack her femme fatale turn in Nightmare Alley (6:06), the way director Guillermo del Toro wrestles with truth and deception in the new neo-noir (9:34), the first time Blanchett understood her gift for shapeshifting (11:18), the lasting presence of her late father (14:46), an early job as a script reader that changed how she approached her craft (19:14), the challenge of getting comfortable with “being seen” (22:40), a prophetic encounter with a psychic while filming The Gift (25:46), and how becoming a parent clarified her purpose (31:58).
On the back-half, we sit her work in I’m Not There (34:52) and Manifesto (38:54), her affinity for the Eastern philosophy of imperfection (42:33), words of wisdom from dancer Martha Graham (48:00), and how she’s beginning to accept the “divine dissatisfaction” of being an artist (51:54).
To submit a question, comment, or reflection for our mailbag episode, write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Stream Nightmare Alley and Don’t Look Up.
- Watch Cate’s performances in I’m Not There (2007) and Manifesto (2015).
- For more conversations with artists, hear our recommended talks with Laura Dern, Matthew McConaughey, Steven Soderbergh, Poorna Jagannathan, Tracy Letts, Holland Taylor, Tessa Thompson, Willem Dafoe, Alana Haim, and Lorde.
- Order your Talk Easy mug in cream and navy or our vinyl record with Fran Lebowitz.
Illustrations by: Krishna Shenoi.