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On Friday (19 May), the Oscar-winning actor returned to the French Riviera event to promote her latest film, The New Boy, and reflected on her debut experience years ago in 1999.
“The first time I came to Cannes, I was covered in bruises because I just came into the market with a little tiny comedy in the marketplace and as a ‘nobody.’ So I was completely elbowed out of the way,” Blanchett, 54, told People.
At the time, the actor was there in support of her romantic comedy An Ideal Husband, alongside co-stars Julianne Moore and Rupert Everett.
The then-30-year-old Blanchett was just starting to make a name for herself in the industry after earning a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her role in the 1998 historical drama Elizabeth.
“Then the next time I came with a film, I’m not quite sure why it did, but it opened the festival. And then I had people pushing other people out of the way and was walking down the carpet arm in arm with some movie star,” she said.
“So it holds both those experiences, and you don’t forget the first experience.”
Warwick Thornton’s drama made its world premiere at the festival on Friday.
Blanchett leads the film as a renegade nun who runs a remote monastery that sees the arrival of a nine-year-old, Australian Aboriginal boy (Aswan Reid) in the dead of night.
“To come here and to be recognised by a completely different culture, I think that’s when you start to think, ‘Okay, we are engaged in universal storytelling’,” she said of bringing a project from her native country across seas.
“This isn’t just specifically Australian, it isn’t just a form of personal expression.’ There’s ways that you can start then working with other cinema artists so your work continues to grow,” Blanchet added.
“I think that’s the incredible opportunity, at a festival like this.”