Cate Blanchett: Playing Lady Tremaine Was An “Enormous Amount of Fun” in Disney’s Cinderella
Cinderella is in theaters nationwide March 13th
“I went after it like a RABID DOG!”, Cate Blanchett laughed as she sipped her tea when asked if she went after her role in Disney’s Cinderella. “Actually, it sort of landed in my lap”.
Known for her Oscar turning roles in The Aviator and Blue Jasmine, Cate now takes on Lady Tremaine in the updated Disney classic Cinderella, in theaters March 13 2015.
She went on about how she mentioned to friends that she was doing a live-action version of the Disney classic:
I had so many friends who- they asked me what I was doing in the summer, and I said, oh, I’m, in a live-action version of Cinderella… and there was a big kind of awkward pause. And they didn’t quite know how to ask me, [LAUGHS], are you a little old to be playing Cinderella?
Cate is 45 years old but you certainly wouldn’t be able to guess that by looking at her. She has flawless skin and a youthful demeanor about her that makes you feel at ease when talking with her. Of course she also has an elegance that can only be described as Hollywood royalty.
Her delicious turn as Lady Tremaine, the wicked stepmother of young Cinderella is nothing short of spectacular. The Oscar winner plays the role flawlessly, right down to the iconic evil laugh:
Well, I was mucking around with a friend of mine on set and, we were talking about what makes people ugly. And I said, it’s interesting, you can, you can go out with somebody and think, oh my gosh, you’re so attractive, and then he or she eats, and you think, oh my god, you’re a pig!And we were talking about dirty laughs.
And, and so I just did a dirty laugh, and she laughed. There was a scene where we were gambling, and I laughed, and Kenneth Branagh’s (director) face was so revolted. He was really worried. He said, you’re not gonna do that, are you? And I said, oh yes I am now. So I think his reaction made me want to keep it. [Lady Tremaine] has exquisite dresses, perfect makeup, and then she opens her mouth and that comes out. And so I thought that that was a bit of a red flag about what was to come.
Of course, Cate is stunning in the role, not at all like the animated version of the grey-haired older woman with the aging face. Cate’s Lady Tremaine is elegant, sophisticated, and downright sinister. Her lavish clothing by the talented costume designer Sandy Powell only emphasizes her opulent style.
Sandy’s got very, very strong ideas. I mean, that’s what makes her Sandy Powell. but we talked really early on. We started emailing, each other pictures that we found inspiring, lighting references, hat references, drapes, fabrics, and we sort of- we found this pool of images that we were both drawn to and, and the big offers that Sandy began to make, which I found really exciting is when she pulled out the color swatches. Okay, we’re going for chartreuse, we’re going for green, we’re going for hot pink, and we’re gonna mix them all together. The detail in Sandy’s costumes are just extraordinary.
With Cate’s turn as evil came the preparation of playing evil. Meeting her, you would never know she had that in her. She talked about her preparation for becoming such villainous woman:
We get to try things out because before you even utter a syllable, what you wear- we form unconscious judgments of people, the way they smell, [LAUGHS], by the way- what they choose to wear; how you choose to present yourself, it’s a big part of who we are, and particularly on film because it’s so visual, obviously. you, once I knew what those silhouettes were, I knew which bits I didn’t have to act because the costume was, was revealing those things.
One of the great things about the film is how Cate explores the complexity of Lady Tremaine and how she became the woman she is in the film.
And the way that the stepmother has dealt with grief and hardship is to close down and to become bitter and jealous, and there’s a sense of entitlement. And Cinderella’s experienced those things, but she’s remained open-hearted and good. She’s much more glass half full. And I think that whether you’re a man or a woman, that tragedy can define your character. So, I mean, hopefully, you don’t necessarily like what the stepmother does, but hopefully you understand her.
See Cate Blanchett at Lady Tremaine in Disney’s Cinderella, out in theaters March 13 2015! Here’s a trailer to get you excited for opening night!
Many thanks to Cate Blanchett for meeting with us to discuss her role!
Click Here for the FULL Interview
As part of the #CinderellaEvent blog team, I was invited to Hollywood to be treated like royalty courtesy of Disney. All opinions are my own.