Cate's latest performance was in 2004's "Aviator." With her regal bearing and elegant features, it is no surprise that Cate Blanchett broke through the Hollywood ranks with her Academy Award-nominated performance as Elizabeth I in Shekhar Kapur's Elizabeth. Her performance, in equal parts poignant and fierce, won the admiration of both critics and filmgoers, who wondered where this extraordinary actress had been all these years. The actress had, in fact, been in Australia, where she was born in Melbourne on May 14, 1969. The daughter of an Australian mother and an American father hailing from Texas, Blanchett was one of three children. Following her father's death when she was ten, Blanchett was raised by her mother. She went on to study economics and fine art at the University of Melbourne, before deciding that such studies weren't her real vocation. In true Australian fashion, she went traveling for awhile, living in England for a time before her visa ran out. She then found herself in Egypt, where, desperate for money, she agreed to work as an extra on an Arabic boxing film. This initial film experience led to her enrollment, after her return to Australia, at Sydney's prestigious National Institute of Dramatic Art. Following her graduation from NIDA, Blanchett joined the Sydney Theatre Company, where she first performed in a production of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls. A subsequent role in Timothy Daley's musical Kafka Dances won Blanchett a 1993 New Comer Award from the Sydney Theatre Critics Circle, an honor that was doubled that same year with a Rosemont Best Actress Award for her performance opposite Geoffrey Rush (who was later to star with her in Elizabeth) in David Mamet's Oleanna.
The considerable prestige that accompanied these theatrical triumphs led Blanchett to television, where she appeared in various programs for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, including the drama Heartlands and the popular series Police Rescue. Her television performances caught the attention of director Bruce Beresford, who cast her in his upcoming film Paradise Road. Blanchett made her film debut in the 1997 POW drama as a shy Australian nurse, playing opposite Glenn Close and Frances McDormand. Also in 1997, she starred in the comedy Thank God He Met Lizzie, for which she won an Australian Film Institute Best Actress Award. With the considerable amount of praise and recognition Blanchett was receiving in her native country, it was only a matter of time and opportunity before she became known to a wider audience. Her opportunity came that very same year, with her role in Gillian Armstrong's adaptation of Peter Carey's novel Oscar and Lucinda. Playing opposite Ralph Fiennes, Blanchett won almost uniform praise for her performance in a film that incurred very mixed reactions. The attention she received got her a small patch of land on the Hollywood map, something she would soon exchange for what amounted to prime Hollywood real estate, with her performance in the title role of Elizabeth the following year.
The critical and popular reaction to Elizabeth was swift and unequivocal, with Blanchett's portrayal of the queen netting her a spot in the roster of Hollywood royalty. A whole spectrum of awards greeted both the film and her performance, including eight Oscar nominations, one of which was a Best Actress nomination for Blanchett. The actress won a Golden Globe and British Academy Award, as well as a host of critics' circles awards. With the industry wrapped neatly around her little finger, Blanchett went on to star with Angelina Jolie, John Cusack, and Billy Bob Thornton in the Mike Newell comedy Pushing Tin (1999). Although the film got a lukewarm response, Blanchett was praised for her performance as a Long Island housewife. The same year, she played another housewife, albeit one of an entirely different stripe, in Oliver Parker's adaptation of Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband. Despite a uniformly strong cast including Jeremy Northam, Rupert Everett, and Julianne Moore, the film received very mixed reviews, although, as was usually the case, Blanchett won praise for her contribution to it.
Remaining remarkably busy through 2003, Blanchett would appear in no less than five films in 2001 alone. After following Pushing Tin with a supporting role in The Talented Mr. Ripley, Blanchett joined Johnny Depp and Christina Ricci with her role as a kindhearted though materialistic showgirl in The Man Who Cried before starring as a fortune teller who may hold the key to a mysterious murder in director Sam Raimi's The Gift. Gaining positive notes for her uncanny ability to move effortlessly and convincingly between a wide range of characterizations, Blanchett appeared as a hostage of love in the crime comedy Bandits before re-teaming with Gift co-star Giovanni Ribisi in director Tom Tykwer's Heaven. Her busy year already off to a hectic start, Blanchett then faced the daunting task of appearing in not one but three films with her role as Galadriel, Queen of Lothlorien, in the eagerly anticipated Lord of the Rings trilogy. As if her plate wasn't full enough, Blanchett would also appear in 2001 in both The Shipping News and director Gillian Armstrong's Charlotte Gray before rounding out the Lord of the Rings trilogy with The Two Towers in 2002 and The Return of the King in 2003. That same year, Blanchett's performance as ill-fated Irish journalist Veronica Guerin director Joel Schumacher's eponymously titled film captivated audiences despite only a brief run at the box office.
Blanchett credits Hepburn's camisole for Oscar win!
Cate Blanchett has credited wearing Katharine Hepburn's favourite camisole for helping her win an Oscar on Sunday night (27.02.05).
The blonde beauty scooped the Best Supporting Actress prize for her portrayal of Katharine in 'The Aviator' and believes the pretty underwear she wore while filming helped her.
A source said: "Cate was wearing an undergarment lent to her by Hepburn's goddaughter, Katharine Kramer.
"The director Martin Scorsese introduced them before filming as he thought Katharine might help her prepare for the role.
"As the undergarment was a gift from Hepburn, Katharine thought it appropriate she should pass it on to Cate for good luck."
When Cate won her award at the star-studded event, she thanked the late screen beauty as well as announcing she wanted her young son to marry Martin Scorsese's daughter.
She said: "Thank you to the Academy, who know Katharine Hepburn so well and are so intimately acquainted with her work. This is an indescribable surprise and honour so thank you.
"I know you think it's cheesy, sweetheart, but I have to thank you, my husband. Everyone involved in the Aviator.
When you play someone as terrifyingly well-known as Katharine Hepburn, it's a collaborative effort - you need as much help as you can get.
So thank you of course to Miss Hepburn - the longevity of her career is inspiring to everyone.
"But most importantly, on behalf of everyone I know on 'The Aviator', thank you to Martin Scorcese. I hope my son will marry your daughter."
Cate Blanchett Sells Up In The UK
BLANCHETT PUTS ENGLISH HOME UP FOR SALE
CATE BLANCHETT has put her luxurious British home up for sale because she wants to move back to Australia to raise her children.
THE AVIATOR beauty and her director husband ANDREW UPTON are determined to bring up their sons - DASHIELL, 3, and ten-month-old ROMAN - in the antipodean country, because "that is where the heart is".
The couple's refurbished four-storey residence in Brighton, England, has an asking price of $3.8 million (£2 million). Blanchett bought the property for $2.28 million (£1.2 million) in 2003.
More fun facts about Cate Blanchett
Birth name: Catherine Elise Blanchett
Height 5' 8½" (1.74 m)
She was the first person to win the Critics Circle Theatre award for Best Newcomer and Lead Actress in the same year. One of the performances which won her this award was for her role in David Mamet's Oleanna, opposite Shine (1996) star Geoffrey Rush.
Has an older brother named Bob who works in the computer field, and a younger sister, Genevieve who is a theater designer.
Attended Methodist Ladies College (MLC) in Melbourne, Australia and was the School Drama Captain.
Her father, a Texan ad executive, died of a heart attack when she was ten years old.
After completing work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy in the role of Galadriel, she kept and bronzed her elf ear prosthetics.
Was considered for the role of Clarice Starling in Hannibal (2001). The part eventually went to Julianne Moore.
Son, Dashiell John Upton, born December 2001. He was named after the author of classic crime novel The Maltese Falcon (1941), Dashiell Hammett.
In an interview she gave to Fox Television Network, she admitted blushingly that she had accepted the role of Galadriel, the Elf Queen, in The Lord of the Rings trilogy because she always wanted to appear in a movie wearing pointed ears.
Enjoys making lists and crossing items off as she accomplishes them.
Chosen as one of People Magazine's "50 Most Beautiful." 
Children: Dashiell John, born on December 3, 2001 in London, England; Roman Robert, born on April 23, 2004
Has been in 5 movies where the title contains the name of the character she plays: Veronica Guerin (2003), Charlotte Gray (2001), Elizabeth (1998), Thank God He Met Lizzie (1997), and Oscar and Lucinda (1997). [March 2004]
Was originally going to play the role of Anna in Mike Nichols's latest film Closer (2004/I), but due to her second pregnancy she had to drop out, so it was recast with Julia Roberts instead.
Second son, Roman Robert, with Andrew Upton, born 23 April 2004 in London, England.
Was the original 'Tim-Tam' girl in the series of commercials promoting the product.
In The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), she appears ith Anjelica Huston, daughter of director John Huston. In addition to having played Katharine Hepburn, who appeared in The African Queen (1951), directed by John Huston, she also appeared in a remake of a film that John Huston appeared in: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).
September 2004: Flew back home to Melbourne, Australia to launch the skincare range from SK-II at Australia's leading department store Myer.
Was set to play Portia in Michael Radford's adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (2004), thus re-uniting with actor Joseph Fiennes, her co-star from the blockbuster Elizabeth (1998), but had to drop out after discovering her pregnancy.
Her personal quotes:
"If you know you are going to fail, then fail gloriously!"
When asked what colour her hair is: "Look, it's one of the great mysteries of the world, I cannot answer that question. I think I'm vaguely blonde. To be perfectly frank, I don't know."
When asked if she has ever appeared in "Neighbours" (1985): "Absolutely not. I'm an actress."
On the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy" "I had never done anything with blue screen before, or prosthetics, or anything like that. "Lord of the Rings" was like stepping into a videogame for me. It was another world completely. But, to be honest, I basically did it so that I could have the ears. I thought they would really work with my bare head."
"If I had my way, if I was lucky enough, if I could be on the brink my entire life - that great sense of expectation and excitement without the disappointment - that would be the perfect state."
It's part of my job. You can't play Veronica Guerin [puts on heavy Strine] sounding like this. It just wouldn't wash. But what I find fascinating about doing an accent - unless it's a farce - is that it's not slapped on. [on doing many accents]
"I loved making it, I had a ball - cowboys and Indians. This is the thing, I love doing things which I'd never envisaged before. And so getting me on the back of a horse, with Tommy Lee Jones and shooting guns and chasing Indians, it's just not something that I would have expected myself to be doing." [On working with Ron Howard in The Missing (2003/I).]
The more you do it, the more you learn to concentrate, as a child does, incredibly intensively and then you sort of have to relax. I remember the first film I did, the lead actor would in between scenes be reading a newspaper or sleeping and I'd think, "How can you do that?"
Thank you. I so didn't expected this. I wore a really tight dress that's very ungracious walking up those stairs. Thank you very much, I sort of don't know where to begin. Playing Katharine Hepburn, I absolutely did not expect to be standing here in front of you all. But Hepburn aside, I actually would like to say, as an actor coming from another country to this country, I am so astounded and amazed, and grateful, at the power of the SAG union and what it does for its members. And I hope that other countries, mine own included, you know, is inspired by that - I think it's incredible. (SAG acceptance speech Feb. 5, 2005)
BAFTAs Favor The Aviator
Chalk up another victory for The Aviator, as Martin Scorsese's epic led the BAFTA Awards with four wins, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Cate Blanchett. The Howard Hughes biopic, nominated for 14 awards, also picked up two technical nods – for production design and make-up/hair – which was enough to make it the BAFTA's top dog; it also helped that due to some errors in distribution (ie, Warner Bros. didn't get it to England in time), fellow Oscar hopeful Million Dollar Baby was nowhere among the nominees. British favorite Vera Drake, which had eleven nominations going in, walked off with three awards, including honors for actress Imelda Staunton and director Mike Leigh (who's the latest director to best Scorsese). Continuing his stellar winning streak, Jamie Foxx was yet again named Best Actor for Ray (which also won the sound award), and Golden Globe winner Clive Owen nabbed Best Supporting Actor for Closer.
The BAFTAs spread around the wealth quite a bit this year, with a number of high profile movies receiving awards, though top nominees Finding Neverland (eleven nominations) and House of Flying Daggers (nine nods) were shut out entirely. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind took two awards (Original Screenplay and Editing), as did The Motorcycle Diaries, which won Best Film Not in the English Language and the Best Music award. Single winners included Collateral (Cinematography), The Day After Tomorrow (Visual Effects), and Sideways (Adapted Screenplay); My Summer of Love was named Outstanding British Film of the Year, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was the Orange Film of the Year, the award voted on by the general public.
Blanchett Blasts Cosmetic Industry
Australian actress Cate Blanchett has hit out at the cosmetic industry, just weeks after signing a deal to promote a skincare range. Blanchett was recently unveiled as the new face of SK-II Japanese creams. But the actress insists she is very skeptical about the true power of cosmetics and is concerned about the hold they have over women. She says, "I'm always a cynical, skeptical person, and I think that women and their vulnerabilities are played on in the cosmetic industry. I do think women are encouraged to be terrified of aging." But Blanchett insists she has signed the deal with SK-II because it didn't play by the same rules. She also took the opportunity to hit out at younger models who are finding themselves out of work at the expense of Hollywood stars who are now being signed to promote cosmetics, adding, "I certainly think that when I flick through all the magazines at the hairdresser's I like to see and am drawn to images that have an intelligence and mind at work behind them. Whilst I'm sure there is a mind at work behind a 12-year-old girl, it's something different from a woman in her 30s, where there is a life experience behind it."
Stefani "Backs Out of Shoot"
No Doubt singer-turned-actress Gwen Stefani has refused to be photographed with her The Aviator co-stars Cate Blanchett and Kate Beckinsale for the front cover of Marie Claire magazine. The shoot was to promote the release of director Martin Scorsese's new Howard Hughes biopic, in which Stefani plays Jean Harlow, Blanchett plays Katharine Hepburn, and Beckinsale is Ava Gardner. According to American website Pagesix.Com, Stefani felt her "street cred" as a musician would be damaged if she took part in the shoot.
Kapur Makes Blanchett Queen Again
Indian director Shekhar Kapur is ecstatic about his plans for a sequel to Elizabeth with Hollywood beauty Cate Blanchett reprising her Oscar- nominated role as the virgin Queen of Britain. The film's makers are using the working title Golden Age for the movie which focuses on the middle years of the controversial royal's reign - she sat on the throne from 1558 - 1603. The 58-year-old legend says, "It is about the battle between Elizabeth's life as a monarch and her personal life. It ends in the destruction of the Spanish Armada on the larger level when the English navy defeated the Spanish invasion fleet in the English Channel in 1588." A start date has yet to be set because of the commitments of director and star - according to British film magazine Empire.
Blanchett Discovered Pregnancy by Fainting
Cate Blanchett only discovered she was pregnant when she passed out on the set of her new movie The Life Aquatic - while she was being fitted with a prosthetic belly. Ironically, the Australian actress plays a pregnant mum in the Wes Anderson film, and she was preparing for the role when she found out she was pregnant with her second child for real. She says, "I was having the prosthetic belly fitted and I fainted and I thought, 'That's really odd.' I thought I had a gastro problem, and I found out I was pregnant! It was a very weird experience having a bodycast fitted - you have to take your clothes off, so you're naked, and they cover you in plaster of Paris on the front and the back and it's quite claustrophobic and you can't breathe a lot. So I fainted and I must've smashed the cast. They put all this black plastic around me, so I woke up and, if you faint, you don't know where you are for the first few minutes. I woke up in black plastic, covered in plaster, naked. I thought, 'This is the end!'"
Blanchett Awaits Baby Number Two
Lord Of The Rings beauty Cate Blanchett is expecting her second child with screenwriter husband Andrew Upton. The Oscar-nominated Australian actress was forced to withdraw from upcoming movie project Closer - in which she was to team up with British superstar Jude Law - due to her condition. Cate, 34, already has a two-year old son called Dashiell. Despite being one of Hollywood's most in-demand actresses Blanchett and her family live in England and recently relocated from the capital London to south coast seaside resort Brighton. The baby is expected to arrive in Spring 2004.
Blanchett Loved Playing Veronica Guerin
Sexy movie actress Cate Blanchett was captivated by her latest role in the true story of murdered Irish journalist Veronica Guerin. The Lord Of The Rings star was so taken by the reporter's tale that she felt "enormous responsibility" towards Veronica's family in how the movie - also called Veronica Guerin - portrayed her life. Veronica was murdered in 1996 after penning a handful of exposes on Dublin's underworld crime lords and drug dealers for Ireland's Sunday Independent newspaper. Three men were accused of her murder, two of whom are now in prison for the crime. The third, John Gilligan, was acquitted but sentenced to 28 days in jail on drug charges - he is currently appealing this decision in Dublin's High Court. Cate, 34, says, "It's very powerful - especially with Gilligan back on the stand, it's not gone away." The movie is directed by Phone Booth helmer Joel Schumacher and produced by Pearl Harbor's Jerry Bruckheimer.
Blanchett: Oscar Nomination Hindered Career
Cate Blanchett's Best Actress Oscar nomination failed to boost her career - because producers just wanted her to repeat her celebrated role in Elizabeth. The Australian star found that, contrary to expectations, an Academy Award nomination 1998 actually hindered her desire to play a wide variety of roles. She explains, "Just because one is nominated for an Academy Award doesn't mean that everything changes. The offers I had after Elizabeth were to do the same thing again, and I wasn't interested in doing that. I wanted to reclaim or to claim the space to actually keep working. I'm in it for the long haul and not for the short-term benefits, and I've been lucky enough always to do work that interests me."
Desperately Seeking Cate Blanchett
Antipodean movie star Cate Blanchett is proving a tricky customer for officials from her native country - they can't find her to give her an award. The Elizabeth actress - currently residing in North London, England - has been nominated for an honorary award marking noteworthy Australians by the country's government. But despite the authorities saying they have sent her numerous letters about this honor, her agents insist she knows nothing about it. Cabinet official Paul O'Neill laments, "You go through the agents and hope they pass the letter on. They probably see it as just another letter from a fan." However, Cate's Sydney agent Jillian Bowen says, "If they contacted me I would email her about it straightaway but I haven't seen anything. She would obviously think it is a great honor."
Blanchett To Be Hands-on Mom
Cate Blanchett is so determined to be a proper mum, she's refused to hire a nanny to take care of her new baby Dashiell. Cate gave birth last December. And despite her busy shooting schedule, she insists, "I plan on being a hands-on mum, because I didn't grow up in an environment where nannies were factored into it." But the 32-year-old admits she will get as much help as she can from members of her and screenwriter hubby Andrew Upton's families. She adds, "I'm very fortunate, because both Andrew's family and mine have been really supportive."
Cate Blanchett Not Afraid To Act Ugly
Stunning Australian Cate Blanchett is more than willing to hide her natural beauty if a role requires it. The attractive actress is known for her chameleon-like screen presence, and admits she has no qualms about looking less than perfect when she's in character. Blanchett donned a series of unattractive outfits and a bad hairdo for supernatural thriller The Gift, and even shaved off her lustrous hair to star in Heaven. She explains, "I think you've just got to embrace it. You have to be prepared to shed your natural vanity, and if the part requires it, shed parts of yourself that perhaps make you feel more secure."
Cate Blanchett Loves Her Bald Look
Australian actress Cate Blanchett had to shave her head for her new movie Heaven - but found she loved the bald look. The pretty star even shunned advice to wear a cap to cover up her new bare look. She explains, "My agent advised me to wear a cap but I don't care. It feels great when the wind blows over your bald head. The cut enabled Cate, who gave birth to her first child in December, to fulfil a rebellious fantasy she has been harboring since her teen years. She laughs, "As a teenager I wanted to shock my mother and cut off all my hair!"
Cate Blanchett Has Baby Boy
Australian actress Cate Blanchett has become a mother for the first time. The Oscar-nominated star gave birth to a boy at an undisclosed hospital in London. Blanchett and screenwriter husband Andrew Upton named him Dashiell John. They chose the unusual first name after the author of classic crime novel The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett. A spokeswoman for the actor said mom and baby were doing well. She also said Blanchett was not releasing details about the birth date but said the baby was born in the past three days.
Cate's Platform Problems
Stunning Australian Cate Blanchett had one big problem when she filmed the first instalment of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy - her character's platform boots. The BAFTA-winner plays Elven aristocrat Lady Galadriel in Fellowship Of The Ring and at five-foot eight-inches was a foot too short to play the character. Cate says, "You should have seen these boots, because Elves are meant to be very tall, they invented these 70s glam platform boots that I would clop around in and I was meant to sort of glide. So I had a lot of difficult gliding to practice."
Cate Won't Quit The Movies
Screen beauty Cate Blanchett has hit out at reports that she is to quit acting because she is pregnant. The Elizabeth star and her husband Andrew Upton are expecting their first child early next year. And Cate put back the filming of the new Joel Schumacher movie Chasing The Dragon in Dublin because of it. She says, "It's just a sexist notion that of course a woman's career ends once her body changes and she gives birth to a child. Andrew and I have to bring a child into this world, which is pretty major. But I'm not about to abandon my career." But Cate is planning on a break to enjoy her new baby - especially since her maternal instincts are already starting to surface. She reveals, "I've been waking up at 2am and tidying the kitchen. Life is about to change with bringing a baby into the world."
Cate Fights For Accent
Actress Cate Blanchett argued with film-makers over her Scottish character in her next film - because they wanted her to make it English. The pregnant BAFTA winner is playing Scottish resistance fighter Charlotte Gray working in France during World War II and was disappointed when crew asked her to make Gray English for the movie. Cate says, "I fought very hard for her to be Scottish because I felt there is a very strong connection between the Scots and the French. If you listen to the vowel sounds in the Scottish accent and the French vowels sounds they are very similar and it would have made for a more fluid transition. But obviously, would draw more attention to it. But in the end, it's an English language film and it didn't bother me.
Cate Blanchett Giving Up Films For Sex
Sexy Australian actress Cate Blanchett has sensationally confessed that she is giving up making movies to spend more time making love. Kate, 31, currently on screens in Gift, The (2000) (2001) is determined to have some "quality time" with her husband, Andrew Upton, whom she married in 1997, and possibly have a child.
Movie Reviews: The Gift
Cate Blanchett is receiving positively rapturous notices for her performance in Sam Raimi's The Gift which goes into national release today following a run last month in Los Angeles to qualify for an Oscar. "At year's end, when movie lovers are looking back on the best of 2001, " Joe Morgenstern forecasts in the Wall Street Journal, "they will still be marveling at the beauty, intelligence and seemingly effortless mastery of Ms. Blanchett's performance." In fact, Oscar voters will be able to evaluate her performance earlier. As Jack Mathews observes in today's New York Daily News, "There were few, if any, better performances in 2000 than the one Blanchett gives here." Director Raimi receives much praise as well, with Jay Carr of the Boston Globe writing that his "savvy direction turns [The Gift] into a sure-handed thriller." But at the film's heart, writes Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer, "there's Blanchett, an actress whose instincts are unerring, and dead-on."
Director Refuses To Cut Film; Elizabeth Won't Run In India
Director Shekhar Kapur has refused to cut scenes from his award-winning movie Elizabeth (1998) that the Indian censor board has deemed unacceptable. As a result the board has refused to allow the film to be distributed in the country. The board's decision came as Kapur and the film's stars, Cate Blanchett and Joseph Fiennes, arrived in New Delhi to attend the Indian premiere of the film, which had been scheduled to take place this week. After the turn-down, the premiere was canceled.
Bafta Awards Go To Elizabeth, The Movie And The Actress
It was an Elizabethan night at the 51st annual British Academy of Film and TV Arts (BAFTA) ceremonies Sunday night with five awards going to Elizabeth, the movie and a lifetime award going to Elizabeth, the actress. Cate Blanchett was named best actress for her role as the British monarch, winning over Gwyneth Paltrow, who took the best actress Oscar. The Australian beauty said later, "I really didn't expect the award. As the nominations were read out all I could think was that I needed the loo." Elizabeth also received the BAFTA award for best British film of 1998, while Shakespeare in Love (1998) was judged best picture overall. Roberto Benigni won the best actor award for Life Is Beautiful (1997). The man who had said that he had "used up" all his English at the Oscars, told the audience upon receiving the award that he was "filled with joy like a watermelon which is about to explode." The best director honor went to Peter Weir for Truman Show, The (1998). In accepting her BAFTA Fellowship Award, Elizabeth Taylor commented that she never thought she'd receive it because "I don't think of myself as an actress and I don't think any of you did." Backstage, she told reporters that she was no longer able to act because she is "uninsurable."