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Cate Blanchett • Geoffrey Rush • Clive Owen • Abby Cornish
DIRECTOR: Shekhar Kapur

Cate Blanchett reprises her role as Elizabeth I THE CONCEPT:
A sequel to Elizabeth, which made Cate Blanchett an international star. Queen Elizabeth I, who has now reigned for nearly 30 years, has to protect her throne from Spain’s Philip II, and her own cousin, Mary Stuart (Samantha Morton).

U.S. RELEASE: October 12 2007, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13


Director Shekhar Kapur“The first film really was about power, the second one is about absolute power and divinity, and the third one [would be about] if you’re divine and immortal all your life, what happens when you’re facing mortality? How do you, if you’ve been this great being, die – and in death you’re like everybody else. When Elizabeth realized that she was going to die she stood for 18 hours, history has said, because she thought that if she sat down that she would die, so she would not sit down. It was like her will against the will of death.”

Cate Blanchett“There’s a long and glorious legacy of actresses who have played Elizabeth I, Flora Robson, Bette Davis, Glenda Jackson, Helen Mirren, Anne-Marie Duff. She’s ripe for reinvention because she’s such an enigma. I think there will be many more Elizabeths long after this film, because I think she’s a fantastic point on which to leap off for a story.”

GEOFFREY RUSH (Sir Francis Walsingham) on convincing Blanchett to play the role again:
Geoffrey Rush and Cate Blanchett“I think from Cate’s point-of-view Elizabeth was a role she already played. As you can see from her repertoire since she first blazed onto the scene 10 years ago, she’s very exploratory, very unpredictable, and maybe she felt that reinventing the same character was not going to be as great a challenge as she would like. I said to her, ‘You know, even in the theatrical repertoire, as you get older the roles become less. In terms of films, it’s probably going to be even less opportune, and a great multi-dimensional character like this needs an actress of your caliber.’ And I wanted to be there on the sidelines watching her rev up those Rolls Royce engines.”

ABBIE CORNISH (Bess Throckmorton):
Geoffrey Rush, Abby Cornish and Cate Blanchett“Cate’s an incredible woman and an incredible actress. She’s very focused on what she does and I felt in working with her that she had this tremendous amount of work to do in relation to her own character and her own performance, but she was always aware of everyone else around her and particularly for me. I felt there was a watchful eye over my character.”

“Our film works on many levels, it works on a psychological, political and mythic level. I saw Elizabeth and Beth as one person, one representing the spirit side of a human being, and one representing the more sexual side; the more mortal side of a human being. They were two people rolled into one. Elizabeth was living vicariously through Beth.”

“I would have loved to have done a scene with Samantha Morton [Mary Stuart], I think she’s incredible. She’s such a dangerous, exciting, unusual, unpredictable presence on screen. I so admire her work.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

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Film Review, #689, November 2007 cover

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