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Blanchett, Clay Talk Woody

9 Dec, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — Cate Blanchett has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a pair of Golden Globe Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards and the holy grail of acting awards, an Oscar.

She can pick and choose whichever roles she wants, but there’s still one filmmaker whose phone call she wouldn’t dare refuse — and she didn’t.

“When you get Woody’s call you take it, and you take it before you even know what the role is,” she said of legendary filmmaker Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris, Manhattan). “Hopefully it’s a good one.”

It was, with Allen choosing Blanchett for the role of the elegant, alcoholic, mentally fragile New York socialite Jasmine, whose fall from stature is front and center in Sony Pictures Home Entertainment’s Blue Jasmine, out Jan. 21 on disc and digital.

It was a character Allen drew up who’s supposed to leave viewers wondering how they feel about her, and Blanchett’s delivery is already pulling in awards and generating mentions of an Academy Award nomination.

“[Allen] despised and revered Jasmine, and I think he was fascinated by her,” Blanchett said. “A lot of the directing is in the script.”

Andrew Dice Clay (The Adventures of Ford Fairlane) is known more for his raunchy comedy, but his well-received performance as Jasmine’s sister’s first husband was a surprise to many. Just like it was a surprise to Clay to get Allen’s call.

“I thought it was a joke,” he said. “I got very excited about it. It’s not like I’ve been banging out film after film lately. It’s nothing less than thrilling to work with someone like that.”

The serious subject matter of the film extended to the set, both actors said, and Allen kept everyone (including fellow actors Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K., Peter Sarsgaard, Sally Hawkins and Bobby Cannavale) personally invested in their characters. None more so than Blanchett.

“The matter is so dense,” she said. “It was a fascinating thing to play Jasmine, who’s a different person to different people.

“Welcome to Woody’s world.”

The Blu-ray includes an UltraViolet copy, and bonus features include the featurette “Notes From the Red Carpet” and a Blue Jasmine press conference.

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