Cate Blanchett Tells Julia Roberts Acting Gets ‘More Humiliating’ With Age

Cate Blanchett — a  six-time Oscar nominee and two-time winner for The Aviator and Blue Jasmine — continues to take audiences by storm, starring in ensemble pieces like Ocean’s 8 and stealing the spotlight in films like Carol. During a sit-down with Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman, August: Osage County) for Interview Magazine, Blanchett discussed her career and her feelings towards acting as she ages — there’s a mental shift that she has undergone recently.

Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett walks the red carpet ahead of the ‘The House With A Clock In Its Walls | Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Staff

Cate Blanchett says acting gets ‘more humiliating’ with age 

Blanchett explained to Roberts that, when she was younger, she would wonder why the older actors would talk about quitting showbiz. She shared: 

You are a good friend. I’ve just had a half-bottle of red after a rather challenging day of rehearsal for a play I’m doing at the National Theatre [When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other]. As you get older, acting just gets more and more humiliating. When I was younger, I would wonder why the older actors I admired kept talking about quitting. Now I realize it’s because they want to maintain a connection to the last shreds of their sanity. 

Blanchett | Interview Magazine

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As she gets older, Blanchett seems to feel that the field strips away her sanity — making it all “more and more humiliating” as she takes to the stage (or to the screen) over and over again. She goes on to label her continual descent into acting “shamanistic,” calling the whole situation a journey to “madness.”

Does Blanchett wish to go ‘completely into madness?’

Blanchett goes on to imply that she has considered walking away from it all, telling Roberts: 

“ As I get older, I ask myself if I still want to submit myself to the shamanistic end of this profession and go completely into madness. It’s the King Lear end of the spectrum of what we do, right? So I’m on the proverbial couch thinking, “Do I want to go that direction, or do I actually want to live a life?”

Blanchett | Interview Magazine

Blanchett goes on to explain that she loves the relationship audience members form with the actors when it comes to live theatre, as it’s different every night. However, she loves it as a member of the audience. It goes without saying that Blanchett remains intimately drawn to “radical” and “abstract” ideas and compelling “narrative structures,” as she later explains in the interview, but it doesn’t mean she doesn’t question it all.