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Cate Blanchett on Acting: ‘It’s Time for Me to Stop’

Cate Blanchett. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

In Where’d You Go Bernadette, Richard Linklater’s adaptation of Maria Semple’s 2012 novel, Cate Blanchett plays the titular role, an architect and mother on the verge of an existential artistic crisis. Back in February, Blanchett hinted at a minor existential crisis of her own in an interview with Julia Roberts, where she told Roberts she was thinking about quitting acting. “Maybe it’s just time to stop,” she mused, with Roberts immediately replying, “Stop saying that!” Blanchett continued, “No, but it really is. I have to go onstage in my underwear yet again, and I’m thinking, ‘Why? Why don’t I just feed the chickens and read Proust?’”

At last night’s premiere of Bernadette at New York’s Metrograph, we asked Blanchett if she was serious about wanting to throw in the towel and become a chicken-herding Proust scholar. “Oh, yeah,” she said. “It’s time for me to stop. Totally. Absolutely. And I’m sure audiences around the world, when they see this film, will say, ‘Oh, yes. It’s definitely time for her to stop.’ I apologize in advance.”

Near devastated, Vulture asked for clarification: Does she just always feel this way after wrapping a movie? “Oh, yeah, every time,” she said. So what keeps her going? “It’s because really interesting people like Richard Linklater and Maria Semple say, ‘Do you want to work with me?’ And I say, ‘Of course I want to talk to you!’” Blanchett said. “To me, the role is secondary. It’s about who you’re in conversation with — and who wouldn’t want to be in conversation with these people? Plus it’s Billy [Crudup] again, who I worked with 20 years ago, and that was an absolute joy, to work with him again. But then it’s like, ‘Okay. Time to stop.’”

Vulture implored Blanchett to continue acting for the sake of the people. “We’ll see what you say when you see this movie,” Blanchett said. Before she walked away, she expressed similarly dark sentiments about her black stilettos. “What am I doing in these shoes?” she asked, laughing. “I have bunions!” She paused for a moment. “I’ll tell you what it is,” she said. “It’s vanity.”

Cate Blanchett on Acting: ‘It’s Time for Me to Stop’