Cate Blanchett: Diversity in Hollywood is not just a fashionable moment in time

Keiran Southern, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
·2-min read

Leading actress Cate Blanchett has said a drive for greater diversity in Hollywood is “not just a fashionable moment in time”.

The two-time Oscar winner stars in TV drama Mrs America, which charts the fight for women’s rights in the US during the 1970s.

It features several high-profile figures on both sides of the debate, with Australian actress Blanchett playing Phyllis Schlafly, an outspoken opponent of the equal rights movement.

Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett play Phyllis Schlafly in Mrs America (Ian West/PA)

The critically acclaimed Mrs America was created by Canadian TV writer Dahvi Waller and features women in prominent positions both in front and behind the camera.

Blanchett said while she “loved” being on a more gender balanced set, there is still a long way to go before it becomes the norm in Hollywood.

She told the Radio Times: “We had a female cinematographer for the majority of the shoot. We also had all female directors, apart from one, who was an honorary woman. That doesn’t necessarily mean that women are better directors, but they are as good, and I was very excited to work with them.

“I was like, ‘Why haven’t I been doing this for the last 20 years?’ You realise it should be normal but it’s not yet, so we have a long way to go to cement that level of equality.

“It’s important to remember that it’s not just a fashionable moment in time. We bring brothers along with us, so that we realise it’s not a choice – but we are all doing this together and it doesn’t mean that it’s threatening to them. It’s just a much more inclusive way of working. I absolutely loved it.”

Also starring in Mrs America are Rose Byrne as feminist Gloria Steinem, Uzo Aduba as the pioneering politician Shirley Chisholm and Elizabeth Banks as activist Jill Ruckelshaus.

Read the full interview in the Radio Times magazine.