What You Don't Know About Cate Blanchett

There's no denying that Cate Blanchett is one of Hollywood's leading ladies (and has been for a long time). From her breakout role in Elizabeth to her Oscar-winning roles in Blue Jasmine and The Aviator, the Australian actor very clearly has a knack for choosing only the best of the best movies to star in — so much so that whenever you see her name in a promotion for a movie or a TV show, you know it's going to be a good one (via IMDb). But apart from the fact that she's incredibly talented and is continuously receiving awards for her outstanding work, there's little we know about this intriguing woman. 

After studying at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, she performed on stage for years before landing gigs on Australian TV (via IMDb). From there, the rest is history. But beyond her on-screen life, here's what you don't know (and need to know) about Cate Blanchett.

Cate Blanchett actually took a step back from acting in 2008

Believe it or not, Cate Blanchett actually quietly took a step back from acting in 2008 to become the artistic co-director for the critically acclaimed Sydney Theatre Company, alongside her husband Andrew Upton. "When I stepped away to run the theatre company, a lot of people said, 'This is a mistake. You realise you have a certain shelf life and you're throwing that away,'" Blanchett revealed to The Guardian in 2015. "But I think it's made me a better actor. If it hasn't, I'm a fucking idiot," she continued, before admitting, "But you do carry that fear with you. When I was getting ready to leave [the company], I did think, 'Well, I'm in my 40s, I don't know if I've even got a film career to go back to.' And then Blue Jasmine landed in my lap." It was obviously meant to be.

She took another step back from acting in 2015 when she adopted her youngest

What you may not realize is that Cate Blanchett took another step back from acting in 2015 due to the arrival of her adopted daughter, Edith. "She has been an extraordinary blessing for all of us," she told Harper's Bazaar at the time. Pointing out that her favorite role is being a mum to her four kids, she explained, "It's a huge part of what I am and what I want to do. I can't help it, it's part of my instinct." Giving an example to the interviewer, she went on, "Edith woke up in the middle of the night and said: 'Will you pick me up from school tomorrow?' I'd sort of said to the babysitter, I really can't pick her up, because I didn't want to be late for you. But I was really happy to be able to." It's clear she puts her family before anything else.

She refers to herself as an "actor," not an "actress"

Admitting that, like so many women, she's "a working mother who identifies as a feminist" (via Oprah Magazine), Cate Blanchett has made her feelings about acting and entertainment being a completely genderless industry very clear. In simple terms, she is an actor, not an actress, and when it comes to her professional life, that's how she would like to be labelled. "I have always referred to myself as an actor," Blanchett explained to The Guardian in 2020. "I am of the generation where the word actress was used almost always in a pejorative sense. So I claim the other space," she continued, making a very good point, "I think a good performance is a good performance no matter the sexual orientation of who is making them" (via The Guardian). And we obviously couldn't agree more — she's one of the great actors and when we say this we're comparing her to men and women actors. As we should.

When it comes to fashion, she doesn't care what people think

While you may not consider Cate Blanchett to be a fashion icon, she totally is. Guest editing for Voguebeing an ambassador for the likes of Armaniand gracing the covers of fashion magazines all over the world are things she's been doing for years, so whenever she has fashion tips, you need to take note. Describing the way she dresses to Vogue, she admitted, "I don't think about it too much." She continued, "I'm a bit of bowerbird. My taste is quite eclectic. The more I mature, and the more that I've been exposed to extraordinary people designing extraordinary things—not just in the world of fashion but in architecture, theatre design, and film costumes—you [end up] like a rolling stone; you accrue a sense of what's possible." But, most importantly, she said she only dresses for herself. "I don't really care what people think in the end. I'm not dressing for anyone's approval."

Cate Blanchett is a long-standing Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR

When Cate Blanchett is not busy working or being a mum to her four children, she can most likely be found dedicating her time to the UNHCR, the UN's refugee agency, which is something that she has been passionate about for most of her life. Speaking to Town & Country about her involvement, she explained, "For me this issue has always been very close to home. I, like many Australians, feel a deep shame about our government's continual violation of international human rights and draconian immigration system when it comes to offshore detention in places like Nauru and Manus Island. Every day I would read the news and feel more and more hopeless about the situation. It got to a point where I could no longer look away or ignore what was happening, not only on Australian shores but around the world."