Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett says that her career choices are motivated more by her kids than her craft these days. The Australian-born actress, who has kids Dashiell, 8, Roman, 5, and Ignatius, 22 months, with her husband Andrew Upton, tells The Sunday Times how she manages to find time for just about everything.
On making career choices: “With films, it used to be a question of ‘Who’s directing it?’; now it’s ‘How long is the shoot and where are they filming?’ Recently I said yes to something because filming is in the Easter holidays. The children need to be in school now, but that’s okay: it’s good to be focusing on the theatre.
On small indulgences: “I like having a bath and a facial. The children understand that when I have the mask on, it’s mummy time – it’s the working mother’s best friend, because you may be exhausted, but you don’t want people to know. I might also relax in the evening with a vodka and tonic.”
On making sacrifices for family: “All I can think about is what I’ve gained. I’ve had to say no to things because I was pregnant, but then I had a baby, so it didn’t seem like a sacrifice. I’m quite fatalistic – if something doesn’t happen, then something else will.”
On the biggest challenges: “As much as I’m committed to the theatre, touring with a play means that the hours are incompatible with kids. When they come backstage, you don’t want to exclude them or make them feel secondary. I try to include them; in fact, it can be pretty magical for them.”
On prioritizing: “The main priorities are the children and the theatre. The day begins at about 5.30am: my youngest is 20 months old and an early riser. After breakfast, I walk the kids to school – they go to the state primary at the end of the street. Then I either work from home or go into the office at the theatre. Andrew and I job-share, so there’s always someone to motor the family wheels.”
On taking her family with her when she goes: “I don’t know any actor who doesn’t travel with children. When we were filming [Ridley Scott’s] Robin Hood, we stayed near the set and there was a Montessori school nearby, so I’d take off my wig, put on my hat and go to pick them up. It has to work for my family, otherwise I can’t do the job. I feel lucky – I have a trailer where the kids can hang out – but I think it’s harder for the film crews. Having children around really adds something. On Robin Hood, they loved the bows and arrows and knights on horseback.”