Ocean’s 8 featuring an ensemble cast and starring Cate Blanchett alongside Rihanna, Sandra Bullock, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter and Dakota Fanning is out now at a cinema near you. Read our exclusive interview with Cate from Book Four, The Iconic Australian Issue…
Q. GROWING UP IN MELBOURNE, WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR HAPPIEST CHILDHOOD MEMORIES?
Riding my bicycle along the Yarra, past the cows. Often the destination was Heidi Gallery, which is still one of my favourite places to visit.
Q. YOU ARE ONE OF THE MOST AWARDED ACTRESSES OF OUR TIME. AS A GIRL DID YOU DREAM OF BECOMING AN ACTRESS OR DID YOU HAVE OTHER PLANS?
I was always drawn to performing, whether it was dance or putting on the school play, or sitting in the theatre as an audience member myself. I adored going to the cinema, but I never considered that being an actor was something that one could do with one’s life.
Q. LEAVING OUR SHORES IN PURSUIT OF YOUR CRAFT IN YOUR EARLY 20S, YOU HAVE SPENT MANY YEARS LIVING AND
WORKING ABROAD. WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT AUSTRALIA?
I went to university and drama school in Australia and have continued to work there ever since. Running the Sydney Theatre Company with my partner, Andrew Upton, was one of the greatest challenges and privileges of my career thus far. Not only did it allow us to
reconnect with friends and colleagues in Australia, but it enabled us to engage with a whole raft of new people and be part of a fascinating national conversation.
Q. YOU ARE FREQUENTLY NAMED ONE OF THE BEST DRESSED AT AWARD CEREMONIES AND ARE INDISPUTABLY ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST STYLISH WOMEN. WHAT’S YOUR SECRET TO ELEGANT DRESSING?
Q. AUSTRALIAN DESIGNERS ARE SEEN AS A RECKONING FORCE IN THE INTERNATIONAL FASHION INDUSTRY. DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE DESIGNER AT THE MOMENT AND WHO?
I’ve always loved the wild imagination of Anna Plunkett and Luke Sales at Romance Was Born, but I would struggle to pick a single favourite Australian designer. Josh Goot, Dion Lee, Toni Matičevski, Ellery… the list goes on. I also love Ryan Storer’s jewellery, and on a day-today basis I wear a lot of Bassike clothing.
Q. YOU HAVE BEEN RECOGNISED FOR YOUR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE ARTS, PHILANTHROPY AND THE COMMUNITY. IN THE YEARS TO COME HOW DO YOU HOPE TO BE REMEMBERED AND WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD
OF SO FAR?
You know, I think very little about legacy. How I am remembered when I am dead is far less concerning to me than how I behave in the present.
Q. YOU ARE AN AMBASSADOR FOR MANY WORTHWHILE AND IMPORTANT CAUSES, WHAT IS CLOSE TO YOUR HEART
AT THE MOMENT?
I’ve been a Goodwill Ambassador for the UNHCR since the beginning of last year. There are so many pressing issues facing the world and so many worthy causes to support, but with over 65 million forcibly displaced people worldwide (we are currently witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record), it is vital that we deal with this as a global issue and that Australia acts compassionately to protect and defend the world’s most vulnerable people. Our recent record of offshore “processing” has been nothing short of reprehensible, and I don’t think it truly reflects who we are as a nation, nor who we aspire to be.
Q. WHAT DOES A PERFECT AUSTRALIAN SUMMER’S DAY LOOK LIKE TO YOU?
Sitting in the shade with sunscreen and a hat on…
I’m a realist.
Q. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2018?
Globally – the list is endless. Personally – a bit of space to think longer, deeper thoughts would be most welcome.
Photographer: Peter Brew-Bevan