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Cate Blanchett, who has appeared in multiple movies that counted Harvey Weinstein as a producer, including The Aviator, The Shipping News, The Talented Mr. Ripley and Carol, has accused the disgraced former mogul of sexually harassing her on set. In a new interview with Variety, the two-time Oscar-winning actress spoke about her involvement with the Time’s Up movement, what it was like working with Harvey Weinstein, and whether she would work with Woody Allen again.
Blanchett has been a passionate supported of the Time’s Up, which works to provide legal support to those who have experience sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace. She feels the change occurring in Hollywood now in relation to equality is permanent. “We’re not going back to ground zero,” she said. “This conversation has been had by so many individual women in isolated places for decades. What is different now is the collective, cross-industry nature of this movement.”
The catalyst for this change was the series of sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein. According to Blanchett, Weinstein was an “unwanted producer” on a number of her movies, including Carol.
For the first time, Blanchett said Weinstein has sexual harassed her, but did not specify how or when. “I think he really primarily preyed, like most predators, on the vulnerable. I got a bad feeling from him. He would often say to me, ‘We’re not friends,’” Blanchett said. She also said she would refuse to do “what he was asking [her] to do,” but declined to clarify further.
Blanchett does not believe that Weinstein will ever work again. However, she didn’t make such a definitive statement about another collaborator, Woody Allen, who has been accused for more than two decades of molesting his daughter Dylan Farrow at a young age. Blanchett supports taking that case to trial and leaving it up to the criminal justice system to judge. Weinstein is currently the subject of at least four different criminal investigations in Los Angeles, New York, and London.
“Dylan Farrow has been living in a world of pain, and if the case has not been properly tried, then it needs to be reopened and go back into court because that’s a place where those things get solved,” she said. She refused to “add to another headline” and “finger point” when it came to the allegations against him, stressing that at least in this case, the solution lies in court.
“Would I work with Woody again? I had a very productive time working with Woody, and he has written some of the most extraordinary roles for women,” she said. “But at the time I worked with him I knew absolutely nothing about what was going on, and it came out subsequently.”
Blanchett also spoke openly about the lack of equal pay in Hollywood, something fellow actresses Jennifer Lawrence, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, and Claire Foy, among others, have struggled with as well. Blanchett said she’s refused to do movies after she was denied equal pay to her male counterparts. But she's generally optimistic issues like these will change, if only because if they’ve been around forever and we're definitely talking about them now.
“What is changing is that women are truly starting to exercise the creative and box office clout they have en masse,” she said. “We are collaborating without traditional Hollywood’s approval—perfect timing, as there are now so many disruptive platforms. If Hollywood doesn’t catch up and be part of this very real future, it will be left in the uncreative, irrelevant dust.”
Blanchett will be the president of the jury at the 2018 Cannes Film festival, becoming only the 12th woman to do so in the festival’s history. She’s excited for the role, even if she’s aware there is still plenty of work to be done even at that level. “Will there be an equal proportion of films represented directed by women [at Cannes]? I don’t know. Will there be a transgender director? I don’t know. But those questions are being really openly interrogated,” she said, pointing out a thin silver lining.