Hollywood is not known for being a kind place to those who dare to age ungracefully, or those who don’t conform to its unrealistic (and often unattainable) standards of beauty. The obsession with maintaining an ageless appearance is one that plagues both actresses and actors alike. But Cate Blanchett has never been one to be bothered by such pressures—in fact, she finds them “a bit crazy.”
The award-winning actress—who has worked in the film industry for more than 25 years—instead chooses to wholly ignore Hollywood’s obsession with so-called perfect appearances. “When I started working in the film industry, I was working with a lot of women,” she told The Cut in a recent interview. “Some of the women were interested in the work and the characters. Some, more in how they look. I realized that I didn’t want to be in the latter. I want to be interested in the work. I want to look out at the world. I want to be interested in the job at hand.”
The conscious decision is one that’s helped keep Blanchett sane in the face of the intense and unforgiving pressures. “The obsession on one’s looks can make you a bit crazy,” she said. “And I thought, I don’t want to go crazy.”
But Blanchett, who stars in the upcoming all-female Ocean’s Eight, recognizes that maintaining such an indifference to the constant pressures and standards—which extend far beyond Hollywood’s borders, she claims—is no easy task. Especially when women are one another’s own worst enemies, Blanchett remarked. “I really long for a time when women aren’t mean to other women . . . and aren’t judgmental about what other women do,” she said. “There’s so much pressure on women to look a certain way, or be a certain thing, or to think that their outward appearance is the most important part of their personality or character. . . . Ultimately, I believe women have judged other women too long.”
And when it comes to aging, Blanchett is tossing aside the notion that younger is better. “It’s about looking the best you can at whatever age,” she said. “My philosophy is to work with what you got. It’s about feeling comfortable in your own skin. . . . But that’s just me.”
This isn’t the first time that Blanchett has been outspoken about embracing aging. She told Vanity Fair back in 2009: “When you’ve had children, your body changes; there’s history to it. I like the evolution of that history; I’m fortunate to be with somebody who likes the evolution of that history. I think it’s important to not eradicate it.”
Blanchett won her first Oscar, in 2005, in a pale-yellow silk-taffeta confection designed by Valentino.
Photo: By Carlo Allegri/Getty Images.
She looked statuesque in a minimalist black gown at the 2005 SAG Awards. “I wore a really tight dress that’s very ungracious walking up those stairs,” she said as she accepted the best-supporting-actress award.
Photo: By Vince Bucci/Getty Images.
A longtime fan of Alexander McQueen, Blanchett turned to the British fashion house to outfit her for the 2007 Golden Globes. “When I have my moments of insomnia, you’ll find me on style.com,” she once said. And it shows.
Photo: By Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.
At the 2007 Met Gala, the theme honored glamorous French couturier Paul Poiret, and she chose a glittering Balenciaga gown for the occasion.
Photo: By Evan Agostini/Getty Images.
In 2014, the Australian actress wore one of the most expensive Oscars gowns of all time: an Armani Privé dress embellished with $100,000 worth of Swarovski crystals.
Photo: By Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
A billowing Giles gown was the perfect choice for the Carol premiere at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.
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Cementing her status as a fashion icon, Blanchett wore a blush-pink Givenchy number with dazzling embroidery and fringe detail.
Photo: By Jason Merritt/Getty Images.