Cate Blanchett says women playing lead roles in movies have “stopped talking about it like it’s a fashionable thing” but the issue still needs to be kept “unfortunately politicized”.
The actress said “great progress” has been made within the industry, but there are other gender equality issues that “need to be addressed”.
She is one of the most famous Australian actresses of all time, having won two Oscars, three Baftas, three Golden Globes and dozens of other accolades around the world.
Among her many roles, Blanchett has played Elizabeth I twice, a version of Bob Dylan, the leader of the Galadriel elves in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series, and more recently, an internationally acclaimed composer and conductor. in Tar, written and directed by Todd Field. .
She won Best Supporting Actress in 2005 for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator and Best Actress in 2014 for her role in Blue Jasmine.
During her acceptance speech for the latter, she said that films with women as the main characters should not be seen as “niches”.
Appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Records, host Lauren Laverne asked Blanchett if the industry has changed since then.
“At the time I said that, film stories with women at the center were still called ‘women’s films’, as if a female experience couldn’t be a human experience,” she said. .
“And often there was an extraordinary life that was made into a movie with a woman at the center, but the story around them couldn’t hold the weight of the life.
“And I think that has really changed.
“Obviously there are a lot more female writers, female producers — I still think the gender ratio of crew members on set needs to be addressed.”
She continued, “I think it’s stopped being talked about as a trendy thing, which is a big step up.
“But we feel particularly in the American film industry, that we have to keep this unfortunately politicized.”
During the interview, Blanchett discussed her family and her career, as well as memories of growing up in Melbourne and her father’s sudden death.
Cate Blanchett’s full interview on Desert Island Discs will air on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds on Sunday at 11am.