Awards Circuit Podcast: Also in this episode, ‘The Whale’ best actor nominee Brendan Fraser — and the Roundtable reacts to SAG winners and final Oscar voting. Will Cate Blanchett fulfill the awards prophecy of winning an Academy Award every nine years? The two-time Academy Award winner of “The Aviator” (2004) and “Blue Jasmine” (2013) is a favorite to possibly win her third for Todd Field’s psychological drama “Tár,” in which she plays a lesbian conductor who begins to lose her grip on power and reality. On this week’s episode of the Variety Awards Circuit Podcast, we sit down with Blanchett to discuss her work stunning transformation into Lydia Tár. In addition, she talks about working with co-star Nina Hoss and more. Listen below: From Focus Features, “Tár” is set to a rhythmic beat of classical orchestration, marking writer and director Todd Field’s return to the director’s chair, 16 years after “Little Children” (2006) and 21 years after his debut “In the Bedroom” (2001).
The drama landed six Oscar noms — best picture, director, actress, original screenplay, cinematography and film editing. “Tár” is among only four features that have won the critics trifecta (New York, Los Angeles and National Society of Film Critics Awards), plus London. It joins “Schindler’s List” (1993), “L.A. Confidential” (1997) and “The Social Network” (2010). Two of those, “Schindler’s List” and “Hurt Locker,” won best picture at the Oscars. From the royalty of Elizabeth I to the treachery of Hela, Blanchett is one of the most revered performers of her generation. She’s considered an actor’s actor who loves to praise the works of her colleagues such as Tang Wei and two of her fellow nominees this year — Andrea Riseborough (“To Leslie”) and Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”). “I think it’s wonderful when the creative risks one takes are recognized or rewarded,” Blanchett tells Variety. “Not all films find their audience straightaway. That’s what these online libraries are for, to discover films later that didn’t necessarily rise to the surface.”
Even Blanchett, who has eight career Oscar noms, has her fair share of films that found their admirers later in life — such as “Bandits” (2001) and “Little Fish” (2005), which she and her husband produced through their production company, Dirty Films. Revisiting her outstanding career, we also asked for an update on whether her son Dash (born in 2001) and Martin Scorsese’s daughter Francesca (born in 1999) will ever get married, as she proclaimed during her Oscar speech in 2005. Blanchett jokes, “I’m working on it.” Blanchett’s eldest son and Scorsese’s youngest are now moving into the film industry. Blanchett added, “we’ll just have to finagle a way for them to work together.” As Variety exclusively revealed, Blanchett can now add “world-class dancer” to her list of talents, as seen by her appearance in Sparks’ new music video for “The Girl is Crying in Her Latte.”
“I love Russell and Ron,” Blanchett says. “We were at the Cesar Awards together in France and got on really well… and we just stayed in touch. And then Russell asked: Would I, on my mobile phone, record just me mugging around to their latest single? I said sure… It was one of those kind of crazy nights and, at 3 o’clock in the morning, I did something,” dancing on her smartphone alone. “But then I said, ‘You know, I’m gonna be in L.A.,’ and they said, ‘Come round.’ … It was really quick. It was so much fun.” Also on this episode, best actor nominee Brendan Fraser talks about his work in Darren Aronofsky’s “The Whale” and what’s next on his Hollywood docket. The video podcast episode also features Fraser playing the game “Who’s Babe Is It Anyway?” — where he guesses which of his former co-stars said a line from one of his iconic films such as “Blast from the Past” and “The Mummy.”
Finally, the Awards Circuit Roundtable breaks down the SAG and PGA winners and what to expect with final voting for the Oscars, now open. Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, produced by Michael Schneider, who also co-hosts with Clayton Davis, is your one-stop listen for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives; discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines; and much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post weekly.