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Blanchett's father died at only 40 after suffering a heart attack

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated December 01, 2015 05:20 PM
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Credit: Jordan Strauss/AP

It’s been 36 years since the death of Cate Blanchett‘s father, and while the actress contends she doesn’t use her career as “therapy,” she does admit it has helped her find peace.

The Oscar winner, who was only 10 years old when Robert Blanchett passed, tells GQ‘s Zach Baron that “when your parents die so young, you just incorporate it.”

“Everyone likes to think, ‘Oh, that’s why you became an actor, that’s why you’ve got …’ They look for a narrative in your life,” she explains.

Blanchett, 46, says that any attempt to see her life path as an “algebraic equation,” however, is ill-advised.

“Suddenly, once you’ve done a few interviews, there’s an ‘Oh, I see,’ ” the Truth star explains, adding, “Life’s not like that … I didn’t really think about my experience. I do something where I physically get up most days of the week and do weird s— and have catharsis.”

Robert, a Texas-born advertising executive, died of a heart attack at age 40 in 1979. Blanchett’s mother June, a former teacher, is still living.

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The star, who is drawing rave reviews for her work in the drama Carol, says any of the “unprocessed stuff” from losing a parent “gets worked through” on film.

“It’s not that I’m seeing my job as some form of therapy,” she added. “I mean, I find that notion quite disgusting, actually – repulsive. But I do have catharsis in my work. If I was an unemployed actor, I think I’d probably be less emotionally healthy.”

So all that on-screen power does have a root? Blanchett still maintains her award-winning performances are really beyond her control.

“If you stand blank in front of a camera,” she explained, “there’s something you cannot control that is simply what the camera sees in you. You do nothing in front of a camera and it sees into you and there’s some quality, some inescapable quality, and it’s not really useful to know what that is.”