What Cate Blanchett does before the Oscars

What Cate Blanchett does before the Oscars

Golden girl

Text: Renée Batchelor

Cate Blanchett has been nominated for an Oscar six times already, and is in the running yet again for Best Actress for Carol tomorrow. We catch up with her just before the big night

Cate Blanchett is one of the most compelling and lauded actresses of her generation — and is admired for her poise, grace, beauty and intelligence. From her breakout role as Queen Elizabeth in Elizabeth to playing living legend Bob Dylan in I'm Not There, it seems there's no role this fearless performer won't take on.

A two-time Oscar winner, for Best Supporting Actress in The Aviator and as Best Actress in Blue Jasmine, she's in the running yet again for Best Actress for her title role in Todd Haynes' Carol. Find out what skincare products the SK-II ambassador finds indispensable before awards season, how fear plays an interesting role in her career choices and what her winning Oscar song — is there even such a thing? — would be.

Do you ever feel the pressure in Hollywood to look younger and go for anti-ageing treatments like Botox and fillers?
I don't think that those things make people look younger... I think they make them look different. My face is part of my tool, and the idea of freezing it or not allowing it to go through the natural changes seems an anathema.

I subscribe much more to the idea of working with what you've got. I enjoy the process of change and the consistency of using SK-II over the last 15 years has meant that my skin is in a better condition than it was when I was 25. To give in to that level of panic is not particularly useful as an actress.

What products do you use on your face every day? And do you do anything special for the Oscar weekend?
I use the SK-II LXP range every day. And when I'm under a lot of scrutiny during Oscar weekend, I'll use the Facial Treatment Mask. And I love the Facial Treatment Oil — it's a bit of a miracle product for me and I'm so pleased to have discovered it.

I'm so basic and lazy. As long as I drink enough water and try to get sleep, I don't change my skin routine very much. I would go for a good massage or an acupuncture facial to take the stress off your face. I'm a big subscriber to acupuncture. And I'm planning to have a massage on Oscar Sunday.

What's the best beauty advice you've ever received?
Don't try and tan yourself. I try to stay out of the sun. Sun damage on the skin gets worse as we get older. 

What's your decision making process when you come across a new role?
My career involves taking on roles that other people have turned down... such as when actors think they're too small or their agents say it doesn't pay enough money. I love a challenge. I like that leap into the void. For me, I feel that you don't learn a lot from your successes, you learn a lot from your failures... and that's terrifying.

If perhaps someone else has turned a role down, I think, "Why have they turned it down?" If I pick up a script and I can imagine myself doing it, I put it down. It's the roles where I have no idea how to do them and where to start that I take on.

What projects do you have coming up next?
I feel like I'm at an exciting crossroads because I am risking not knowing what's coming next. I am going to get fit. [She is set to play a villain in Marvel's Thor:Ragnarok] I've been looking after my skin for so many years, but not my exercise regimen. I might actually develop a few muscles. I haven't started training, but I'm going to change my destiny tomorrow!

Cate Blanchett Behind the scenes #changedestiny

What was it like to portray Carol?
It is a very quiet, lonely process. Both women were totally isolated, they didn't fit into a niche group and there was no language around same sex relationships as there is today. But the challenge for me, was trying to embody an object of desire, which was a very objective space. The challenge particularly, was to develop a mask that became increasingly thin as the process wore on, and to get a sense of the allure of Carol. 

Who do you think are the best Oscar contenders this year and why?
It's very hard. It's not a horse race. The remarkable thing about this year is that there have been some extraordinary performances for women and many extraordinary performances that were not nominated. It doesn't mean that they were not worthy of it or that the any of us who are nominated are entitled to be there. It's very subjective. I don't know how to answer that.

If you win the Oscar, what would be your victory song?
It'll be something from Bob Dylan. Don't Think Twice it's Alright probably.

Watch her video that's part of SK-II's #changedestiny campaign below