Cate Blanchett used a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival to lambast Hollywood – and societal – stereotypes about mothers.
In her words, they're "complete rubbish."
Blanchett is a mother of three boys (12, 10, and 5), and has been married for 16 years. She won Oscars for her portrayal of Katherine Hepburn in "The Aviator" in 2004, and more recently in 2013 as Best Actress in "Blue Jasmine."
In her latest film – "How to Train Your a Dragon 2," an animated movie from DreamWorks – Blanchett provides the voice for a mother who is reunited with her heroic son after abandoning him in his early years. She accepted the role of Valka, in part because her sons were fans of the first "Dragon" film. But she also apparently agrees with the message the film delivers.
When asked about motherhood and this role, the Australian actress replied at Cannes, according to The Telegraph:
"When anyone plays a mother on film, there is a whole raft of judgment in that a mother is a particular archetype or that every mother is the same," she said.
"That's complete rubbish. We did discuss a lot about that particular issue because of course there is a judgment on how women parent.
"The film actually deals with it really beautifully and deeply and emotionally."
She added: "It's a certainly a question that's never asked of men. The question is only ever directed towards of women.
"How do you balance? How do you have it all?"
The Telegraph noted that Blanchett raised the issue of double standards at the Screen Actors Guild Awards earlier this year. She challenged a cameraman who was panning from head to toe. She asked: "Do you do that to the guys?"
At Cannes, she added: "It's a little bit rude to look a woman up and down like that, and when a camera does it, it's a bit annoying."
In an interview last fall with The Herald in Scotland, she noted that her boys keep her grounded in the real world. Her husband, playwright Andrew Upton, and sons were with her when she was filming 'Blue Jasmine" in San Francisco. "They're not interested whether you're playing Lady Macbeth or Jasmine French or Hamlet. They just want their dinner and for you to do their homework with them," she said.
Blanchett is raising important questions about how the media treats women, and the quality of questions that get tossed her way. But she does manage to keep her sense of humor about it.
One reporter in Cannes asked if Blanchett let her children play with her trophies. She deadpanned: "Every morning, mommy sits them down, and I get my two Oscars out and I let them stroke them for 15 minutes before they go to school if they are good," she said to laughter, according to the Associated Press.