cate blanchett: strong female roles aren’t ‘breakthroughs’

The Oscar-winner and ‘Carol’ star is pretty tired of strong performances being treated as game-changers.

by Emily Manning
Oct 16 2015, 10:40pm

Patricia Arquette, Carey Mulligan, Kristen Stewart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence are only a few of the actresses who have spoken out about inequality in Hollywood this year. From alarming instances of the gender pay gap to the incredible lack of women's roles behind the camera (Streep literally counted the number of female film critics on Rotten Tomatoes and the results were not good), more and more women are stepping up to change the film industry's culture of sexism. Cate Blanchett wishes we'd "just get on with it really."

"Every time there's interesting, complex roles played by actresses on screen, someone says, 'do you think this is a breakthrough?' and 'does this mean there's going to be more of the same?' We seem to find ourselves in the same conversation and that's somehow remarkable," the Oscar-winning actress told Yahoo UK ahead of the London premiere of her forthcoming film, Carol.

Blanchett's sentiments echo those made recently by Geena Davis, who starred alongside Susan Sarandon in Thelma and Louise. Although the crime film is still considered groundbreaking, its release in 91 was a full-fledged cultural phenomenon -- one that Davis said didn't translate in Hollywood: "[People were saying] 'This changes everything! There's going to be so many female buddy movies!' and nothing changed," she told The Guardian.

"I think there's a swathe of great roles for women and certainly, there's some wonderful female performers," Blanchett told Yahoo, before praising her Carol co-star Rooney Mara's performance as young store clerk Therese Belivet. There's certainly a long way to go before film's playing field is leveled, but Blanchett is right to note that we've gotta let go of this tired discourse. Moving and complex female performances aren't exceptions -- they should be the norm. 


Text Emily Manning
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Cate Blanchett