Cate Blanchett’s humble beginnings at her first Cannes Film Festival
The actress revealed that she was such a wallflower she was “elbowed away” at her first festival in 1999.
Cate Blanchett wasn’t always the movie star she is today — in fact, the actress recalls being treated like a “nobody” as she was pushed out of the way when she first attended the Cannes Film Festival in 1999.
Blanchett attended the 2023 Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of her new film, ‘The New Boy’.
From nobody to movie star
While talking to People magazine, the actress recounted her early experiences at the prestigious film event. She was 30 years old when she attended the film festival in France for the first time, where she was treated like a “nobody”. But the second time she came with a little more clout — after her role in the 1999 film ‘Ideal Husband’, which co-stars Rupert Everett and Julianne Moore.
“The first time I came to Cannes I was covered in bruises because I just came into the market with a little tiny comedy in the marketplace and as a ‘nobody’,” Blanchett said. “So I was completely elbowed out of the way.”
“Then the next time I came with a film,” the actress continued, “I’m not quite sure why it did, but it opened the festival.”
“And then I had people pushing other people out of the way and was walking down the carpet arm in arm with some movie star,” Blanchett remembered. “So it holds both those experiences, and you don’t forget the first experience.”
The director remembers the early intimidation
Meanwhile, the film’s director, Warwick Thornton, said the first time he attended a Cannes festival it “completely freaked me out and scared the hell out of me.”
Thornton, who was awarded the most-coveted award at the festival, the Caméra d’Or, for his 2009 film ‘Samson and Delilah’ recalled how intimidated he felt.
“It’s not hysterics, but I’ve never seen that kind of passion for cinema in my life,” the director said. “It just completely scared the hell out of me the first time I came with the film. But winning the Caméra d’Or completely empowered me to keep moving forward and believe.”
“You’re always self-doubting,” he added. “But the empowerment that I got to believe that actually what I am doing, the stories that I’m telling, there’s a world out there that wants to see those movies as well. You think you’re insular and you think you’re just a gentle little petal. But having a film in a film festival like this makes you bloom incredibly. It’s so empowering.”