Imagine that you’re an actress not even forty years old, and you’ve already been nominated for the Oscar four times, won it once, and worked alongside everyone from Steven Spielberg to Leonardo DiCaprio to Peter Jackson and many others. Where does Cate Blanchett go from here?
Naturally, she finds increasingly difficult material to make into movies, then does her best to help steer it to the screen. And her current pet project is “Cancer Vixen: A True Story,” Marisa Acocella Marchetto’s humorously serious depiction of how the C-word knocked her out of her Carrie Bradshaw fantasy and into reality.
“Yes, it’s a comic novel, which I’m hoping will come up,” enthused Blanchett, who hopes to someday play the part of Marchetto in a feature film based on her graphic novel. “It’s a really unique book.”
That’s for sure. “Cancer Vixen” tells the story of a successful cartoonist for magazines like “The New Yorker” and “Glamour” who lives in New York City and battled breast cancer in 2004 and 2005 – without health insurance. “Cancer, I am gonna kick your butt,” Marchetto says in a statement that pretty much sums up her character in the book. “And I’m gonna do it in killer, 5-inch heels.”
“It’s about a cartoonist’s look at her contracting cancer,” Blanchett observed of the book, which she acquired the rights to through her Working Title Films production company shortly after its release. “And the process of getting cancer.”
For obvious reasons, “Cancer Vixen” isn’t the type of film that Hollywood views as a potential blockbuster. So the “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” star is currently developing it slowly and carefully – and says the biggest difficulty at the moment is finding a director who could properly handle the tonal mix of drama and humor. “It’s a tragic-comic look at it,” she explained. “So it needs a really particular, special filmmaker. I hope that happens.”
And if “Cancer Vixen” does come to fruition, Blanchett said she’s eager to follow the role wherever it may take her – even to the sad reality faced by many cancer patients as they undergo chemotherapy. “I’ve shaved my head before,” she insisted, thinking back to 2002’s underrated Tom Tykver film “Heaven.” “So yeah.”
Is Cate Blanchett the greatest actress of her generation? If not, who is?