Oscar winning actress Cate Blanchett is currently staring in the new Rowan Woods film �Little Fish�. In �Little Fish� Blanchett plays a reformed narcotics addict, Tracey Heart, who is desperately trying to rebuild her life and make a career for herself.
In the following interview, Blanchett talks about working with her director friend, Woods; and the complex characters in the film�
�I think I probably heard about the project two or three years ago - and all good things take time! The thing I really loved about Rowan as a director was that after the huge success of The Boys - one of those Australian films that survive more than a year, people are still watching and talking about it - he wasn�t in any rush to make his second feature. We�d been speaking off and on about working together, and so it was just a matter of finding the right thing. He said that Jacqueline (Perske, writer) had written a script and he sent it me. I was really intrigued by it, I think primarily because of the characters. When you are dealing with supposed working class characters they are often clich�d, but this was a set of characters which didn�t fit into any particular socio-economic group � they are almost a forgotten class of people.�
One of the things that attracted Blanchett to this film were the very real characters� �These are people who have had exciting and hopeful dreams in their twenties, which have all been dashed on the rocks, and now they have to re-apprentice themselves to their parents and try and work out who they are in their thirties. This is a whole group of deeply uncool and unfashionable people who never get represented in cinema.
�I think that that it would be really easy with a project like this - it being Australian - for me to assume that I would understand Tracy�s world, so it was really important for me and for Rowan to accept Tracy as a really complicated character. I treated her like she was German � I know as little about that culture as the culture that Tracy comes from. I had to find her voice, find her movements, find her place in the world. Over 18 months, Rowan would intermittently send me DVD research with interviews of people from Tracy�s world. There was an interview with a woman about Tracy�s age who ran a video shop and whilst she wasn�t an exact Tracy model she was a corner of Tracy�s existence.
Blanchett was determined to portray Tracey�s former addiction in a real unromantic way, some thing that took collaboration with Woods.
�What Rowan and I talked about a lot, as a recovered addict, is that she didn�t fit neatly into the NA model. She hadn�t gone down that sort of �person who never recovers� path who then gets addicted to the group networks. She�s much more isolated and much more shut down than that. She�s recovered with her mother; de-toxed at home. There is a very strong sequence of scenes in the film with Lionel (Hugo Weaving) who is Tracy�s mentor and father figure - the Jesus to Tracy�s Mary Magdalene - the iconography continues! He asks her to score for him, and I decided that was her trigger: the getting on, that was her excitement.�
�It�s always quite nerve-wracking when you have to play a family member because families have such an unspoken series of complicated dynamics that span twenty or thirty years. How do you capture that with people you don�t know in a week or two of rehearsal, and bring all that history to screen? But when you�ve got Noni Hazlehurst playing your mum, and Martin Henderson playing your brother� it was just such a joy to do because they are incredibly playful detail actors and so easy to get along with.�
�Little Fish� hits cinemas July 21.