Cate Blanchett has long been an impressive voice for female equality in Hollywood. Now the actor has won legions of new fans by admitting she's had lesbian relationships, but doesn't think it's a big deal.
While promoting film Carol - in which Blanchett plays a woman who has an affair with a woman - she admitted that she could relate to the character.
When Variety asked if she had had female partners herself, Blanchett answered: "Yes. Many times."
But Blue Jasmine star Blanchett - who is now married and has four children - never wove the experiences into a greater narrative about "her sexuality", saying: "I never thought about it."
She added: "I don’t think Carol thought about it."
Bechdel Test Pass/Fails
Bechdel Test Pass/Fails
1/10 PASS: Frozen
It features two central female characters, Anna and Elsa, discussing the isolationist policies of Arendelle, plans to build a snowman, and the time Elsa locked their civilization in an eternal winter
2/10 FAIL: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Contains fewer than two named women so fails the test on first criterion.
3/10 PASS: August: Osage County
Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts head strong female cast in family saga featuring multiple conversations about the character’s relationships, which do not centre on a man
4/10 FAIL: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Kenneth Brannagh's blockbuster includes two named women (Katya, a Russian assistant, Kathy, the protagonist’s fiancée) but they do not speak to each other throughout the entire film
5/10 PASS: American Hustle
American Hustle passes but only due to a single scene where a con artist’s wife, played by Jennifer Lawrence, discusses nail polish with a politician’s wife, played by Elisabeth Röhm
6/10 FAIL: The Hangover Part 3
The wives of Doug and Stu are both named and do have a conversation but it’s about Alan, Zach Galifianakis’ character
7/10 FAIL: Noah
Russell Crowe Biblical epic scrapes in due to scene where Noah’s wife Naameh (Jennifer Connolly talks to adopted daughter Ila (Emma Watson) about her pregnancy
8/10 PASS: Blue Jasmine
Jasmine (Cate Blanchett) and Ginger (Sally Hawkins) have multiple conversations about something other than a man, mostly about Jasmine herself
9/10 FAIL: Gravity
Gravity fails, despite delivering a strong female role for Sandra Bullock, since its isolated outer space setting limits her opportunities for female bonding
10/10 FAIL: The Avengers
The Avengers fails because none of its female characters talk to each other at any point
The film is set in the 1950s, and Blanchett read "a lot of girl-on-girl books from the period" to prepare for the role.
Blanchett also discussed the Hollywood pay gap, which has become a major talking point since the Sony email leaks.
The hacked messages revealed that hugely respected female actors were being paid a huge amount less than their male co-stars. Charlize Theron reportedly had to fight to achieve the same pay as The Huntsman co-star Chris Hemsworth, and the women in American Hustle - Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams - were apparently paid a good deal less than the men who acted alongside them.
"We have to push forward," Blanchett said. "What industry has parity pay for women? None. Why would we expect this industry to be any different?"
She also argued that a lack of engaging films targeted at women was letting viewers down.
"It’s not serving the audience," she said. "People want to see good films. We should have equal access to the multiplexes."
"It was so hard [to make Carol]", she revealed. "Midrange films with women at the center are tricky to finance. There are a lot of people laboring under the misapprehension that people don’t want to see them, which isn’t true."
Blanchett has long rolled her eyes at the way high-profile women are treated by journalists.
Talking about the inane questions female actors are subjected to on the red carpet, she said: "The way women are asked about those red carpet moments. Oh my God. It’s just a dress!"
In the interview with Harpers Bazaar Australia, Blanchett joked: "Next it will be: 'What brand tampon are you wearing?'"
She infamously once told off E!'s cameras on the red carpet for panning up and down her body.Reuse content