Blanchett Finds A lot of Herself in ‘Where'd You Go, Bernadette'

A loving mom is compelled to find her passion again after years of sacrificing for family.

What to Know

  • Cate Blanchett is currently filming "Mrs. America" for FX in Toronto.
  • "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" is based on a bestselling novel by Maria Semple.
  • The film opens Aug. 16th.

Cate Blanchett is a phenomenal actress. No one can dispute that. In fact, her co-stars and director Richard Linklater in "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" say she gets lost in her performance. When we talked about the similarities between herself and Bernadette she laughs at first and says "I hope not!" But as we dig deeper into the character of this loving mom who is compelled to reconnect with her creative passion after years of sacrificing herself for her family, it turns out they are more alike than she thought.

"I can definitely relate to the pull of having a lot of creative energy and then being pulled to the needs of your family," Blanchett tells me at a press event in Toronto. She is currently in Canada filming her new series "Mrs. America" for FX when we met up to talk about Annapurna's "Where'd You Go, Bernadette."

The film is based on a bestselling novel by Maria Semple of the same name. It tells the story of Bernadette Fox, an eccentric architect who finds herself in suburbia and starting to crack under the weight of monotony, mean moms and the fact that her closest connection, daughter Bee (Emma Nelson), is leaving for boarding school in the fall.

Things start to unravel around her and she can't quite seem to stabilize. That's when a former colleague (Laurence Fishburne) has a crucial coffee date that leads to a life-changing decision: Bernadette must go to Antarctica and find her passion.

Most people would just take an art class. But not Bernadette. From the beginning you can she doesn't fit into the typical mom stereotype, and that's something Blachett related to as well.

"Not all mothers are the same," Blanchett explains. "There are some years where I say, I'm not going to work. The children have exams, my little one is starting a new school... And after six months my husband will say, will you please go back to work?"

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Bernadette has a special relationship with her daughter in the film played by Emma Nelson. This is Nelson's big screen debut and she seems perfectly at ease on screens with the Oscar winner.

"She put so much thought into Bernadette. She understood Bernadette better than anybody," Nelson said. "I learned some things from Bee's relationship with her mom. She has an undying loyalty to her mom. And I thought, maybe I should be saying this stuff to my own mom!"

"Where'd You Go, Bernadette" was directed by Richard Linklater who tells me he was drawn to this story because it reveals another side to the human condition.

"To me it was about trying to fully understand someone," Linklater said. "You see someone and superficially you think, oh they're crazy. But if you could really get into someone's life and try to understand them from every angle it's quite a revelation."

You can lost in Berndatte's life when the "Where'd You Go, Bernadett" comes out on August 16th. It stars Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Kristen Wiig, Emma Nelson and Laurence Fishburne and was directed by Richard Linklater.

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