Payday Loans
Cate Blanchett

  1. Miranda Oto, In The Winter Dark, Australia, 1998.      Playing Elizabeth got in the way, resulting  one of Miranda’s finest performance as the pregnant Ronnie in the psychological drama about four people in a country village.
  2. Catherine Keener, 8mm, 2000.    “The very first time I made the rounds in LA, people said, ‘Oh I love your work’ and ‘Don't you look pretty, who designed that frock?’ And then I met Joel Schumacher: ‘Oh you've just finished doing Oleanna...’  And we just talked about David Mamet for a half-hour! And I rang my agent and said:  ‘Can I work with him?’” Schumacher wanted her to play Nic Cage’s wife but she was booked for Elizabeth. They got together for Veronica Guerin, 2002.
  3. Julianne  Moore,  Hannibal, 2000.       UK director Ridley Scott had Blanchett in mind  when Jodie Foster threw out her FBI sweat-shirt and rejected the Silence of the Lambs sequel opposite Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter. But Hopkins voted Moore.  Scott later gave Maid Marion (sic!) to Cate in Robin Hood, 2009, as a a consolation  prize. No consolation at all. Not at all! 
  4. Robin Wright Penn, Unbreakable, 2000.        An early choice again when Julianne Moore took over Jodie Foster’s plane tickets to Italy. “I didn’t set out  get somewhere,  I thought it might be  nice to work.”
  5. Angelina Jolie, Taking Lives, 2001.       Jennifer Lopez picked up Tony Scott’s old FBI serial-killer thriller, then  quit for  director Francis Coppola’s project on Mexican painter  Frida Kahlo - beaten  into production  by Salma Hayek.
  6. Renée Zellweger, Bridget Jones's Diary, 2001.      Among the dozen nearly-Brendas  - from outrageous ideas like Nicole Kidman, and Catherine Zeta-Jones (like Cate, far too beautiiful for a dumpy dowdy)  to more sensible Rachel Griffiths and Emma Thompson.
  7. Renée Zellweger, Chicago, 2001.
  8. Samantha Morton, Minority Report, 2001.      Steven Spielberg had set the film up but first shot Artificial Intelligence: AI  in 2001 (an apt year for an old  Stanley  Kubrick project). Steven Spielberg wanted The Australian Streep for the pre-cog Agatha.  He had to wait another six years to win her for the ill-advised Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 2007.   Poor girl! Morton was keen to work with Spielberg and Tom Cruise -  while she admitted never having seen a Woody Allen film before making one, her Oscar-nominated Sweet and Lowdown, 1999.
  9. Nicole Kidman, Cold Mountain, 2002.       Future co-stars Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts were also seen for Ada,  awaiting the return of her guy from the Civil War as she tries to runs the family farm.
  10. Lynn Collins, William Shakespeare’s The Merchant  of Venice,  2003.        Too pregnant (with Roman Robert Upton) to be Portia. Big break for  the mainly TV and staged actress from Texas. She also played Ophelia in New York and Juliet in LA.

  11. Julia Roberts, Closer, 2004.         “I owe it all to Cate,” said Roberts.  “She had got pregnant and then couldn’t be in it.  So I owe her a great debt.” For a great role - and a lasting relationship with director Mike Nichols. (He never thought such a superstar  would accept four-parter ensemble. He didn’t, he said, then know about her modesty). Blanchett had made a previous film when pregnant, hiding her bump in a corset - not a good idea  here, not for a script all about... sex.
  12. Angelina Jolie, Mr & Mrs Smith, 2004.         A married couple of assassins (he’s Brad Pitt) are hired to kill each other! Pitt quit when Nicole Kidman had to leave and returned only when her final replacement was, well… When Brad Met Angelina! Chased in the meantime were Cate, Eva Green, Gwen Stefani, Catherine Zeta-Jones and the unlikeliest Mrs Smith of  ’em all, Bollywood’s gorgeous Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.
  13. Rachel Weisz,  The Fountain, 2005.      Director Darren Aronofsky’s sf project had to be shelved in 2002 due to Cate’s pregnancy. More like Brad Pitt’s major creative differences with the director. At the time, Rachel iwas Aronofsky’s lady. In 2011, she wed Daniel  Craig.    
  14. Meryl Streep, The Fantastic Mr Fox, 2008.   One Oscar-winner for another to voice Ms Fox in director Wes Anderson’s toon  marvel.
  15. Charlotte Gainsbourg, L’Arbre, France, 2009. French realisateur  Julie Bertucelli chased  Cate for a full year but she was one of the  busiest gals.
  16. Susan Sarandon, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, 2009.     Cate spurned the role of Sylvia Moore.
  So did Naomi Watts. The sub-title stems from a Michael Douglas-as-Gordon-Gekko line in the first, 1987 film.
  17. Olivia Williams, Anna Karenina, 2011.   Change of Countess Vronskaya in the 25th screen version of Chekov - adapted here by playwright Tom Stoppard for director Joe Wright.
  18. Robin Wright, The Congress,  2012.    Strictly speaking,  not the same role,  as either woman would have played “herself” – an ageing actress offered  a  deal of being replaced by a virtual version  of herself.   Using the same semi-animated style of his  Waltz With Bashir, this is  director  Ari Folman’s stunning  take on Stanislaw Lem’s Futurological Congress.
  19. Kate Winslet, Triple Nine, 2013.   Kate substituted  Cate when she had to leave the thriller due to her schedules
  20. Olivia Williams, Anna Karenina, 2011.   Change of Countess Vronskaya in the 25th screen version of Chekov - adapted here by playwright Tom Stoppard for director Joe Wright.

  21. Robin Wright, The Congress, 2013.   After a career of lousy choices, movies and men, a Hollywood hasbeen agrees to be replaced by an ever-young digital version of herself - without fully understanding the implications thereof. Yes,  this is Stanisław Lem’s 1971 book The Futurological Congress  Or,  it is here, somewhere.  When Blanchett passed, Wright was so keen she became one of the 14 producers. Sadly,  their enterprise disappeared down a succession of rabbit-holes.

  22. Rachel McAdams, True Detective, 2014.     The second season could never match the impact and huge viewership - averaging 11.9m - of the first HBO season. They were both written by exec producer Nic Pizzolatti and even if the second show was better, no one would say so as the first had long since entered the pantheon alongside The Sopranos, Oz, The Wire, Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Last time, two cop guys; this time, guy and gal. They were considered a flop. The locale changed from Southern to West Coast noir, still owing everything to Elmore Leonard. Blanchett, Malin Akerman, Jaime Alexander, Jessica Biel, Oona Chaplin, Jessica Chastain, Rosario Dawson, Brit Marling, Elisabeth Moss, Kelly Reilly, Abigail Spencer were all up for the role of Detective Ani Bezzerides…. opposite Colin Farrell.   So, on to Season 3 - second sequels being usually better than the first.

  23. Kate Winslet, Triple 9, 2015.    Title is US PD code for: officer down. First choice for ther Kosher Nostra gangster in this Reservoir Puppies was as much a surprise as her substitute.  I cannot see that Cate would haver had any more luck with the character’s Russian-Israeli accent than our Kate.  
  24. Tilda Swinton, A Bigger Splash, 2015.       One of the infamously leaked 170,000 Sony Pictures e-mails that year, proved that Blanchett was first choice foe the English actress studying a US accent while on vacation… which Swinton churned into a singer, resting her vocal chords after surgery. She was allowed by Italian director Luca Guadagnino - it was their fourth film together. And their worst, making the 1968 French original with Romy Schneider, La piscine, better than it ever was!
  25. Connie Nielsen, Wonder Woman, 2015.      On Warner shelves for a full decade (not helped by David Kelley’s disastrous 2011 TVersion), the demi-goddess daughter of Zeus finally joined the DC Extended Universe in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, 2015. For her film, WW’s (apparently Australian) mother, Hippolyta, the Amazon queen of Themyscira, was aimed at Blanchett and Nicole Kidman. Well, the Danish Nielsen had been listed for Superman’s Ma, Lara Lor-Van, in Man of Steel, 2012.


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