Creating a character like Lydia Tar is no doubt serious work. Cate Blanchett has said that in order for audiences to empathize with someone who is ultimately a monstrous figure, she must focus on Lydia’s one true joy: conducting. “It started with music,” the Thor: Ragnarok star said in a recent interview with the publication. Diversity. “Asking, ‘Why is this the Fifth Mahler? Why did she leave it for last? What is it about this piece of music that means so much to her that she is so afraid? wanted to shoot some of the transition scenes first, but Todd Field had limited time to shoot the amazing orchestral scenes and insisted they be first. “He said, ‘Here’s the thing… We’ll lose the orchestra in Dresden and we’ll have to conduct everything first,'” she explained.
However, Blanchett admitted that diving into the deepest part of the role was a gift because it allowed her to explore Lydia’s true passion, which only made the characters fall from grace more intuitively on a narrative level. “I started with what she liked,” the actor said. “I started with what she did, where her personality was connected, and I understood the stakes. Because when we lose what we love, when we lose our identity, without music, who is she?
Although the role was hard work, it made Blanchett conduct a symphony and working with an orchestra, those early days of filming brought her into tune with Lydia Tar’s deepest desires. But the work was far from over.
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