Australian Actress Cate Blanchett Play Down Oscar Award propoganda

Best Actress Nominee Cate Blanchett tonight played down the Oscar hype surrounding her latest portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I.

Speaking at the London premiere of Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Blanchett put Academy Awards talk surrounding her reprisal of the role which won her a Best Actress nomination in 1998 down to the "time of year".

"Oscar who?" Blanchett said in a red-carpet interview with Sky News.

When pressed on the film's chances at the awards next year, Blanchett said: "I don't know. Who knows?

"In the end, when you reprise a role, you just hope the film is going to stand on its own two feet, which I think this does.

"That's all you can hope for really."

Blanchett, her Australian supporting cast, Geoffrey Rush and Abbie Cornish, and the film's editor, Jill Billcock of Melbourne, had been early front-runners for Oscars, which will be awarded on February 24.

But the movie's hopes were hit by negative reviews in America earlier this month.

Newsday called it "overbearing", Entertainment Weekly gave it a C-plus and the New York Post described it as an "inferior follow-up" to Blanchett's first attempt at playing the English monarch.

However, Blanchett, who won the 2005 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator, escaped criticism, with most reviews praising her performance.

And Shekhar Kapur, who directed both Elizabeth films, described Blanchett as "absolutely incredible".

"It's a stunning performance," he told the British Press Association.

"She deserves an Oscar - she didn't get it the first time round and she deserved it then."

Elizabeth: The Golden Age is set in 1585, with the queen continuing to face bloodlust for her throne and the lingering threat of family betrayal.

It also explores her relationship with adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh, played by Clive Owen, and age is a key theme on and off camera.

While Elizabeth reflects on her life over nearly three decades in power, Blanchett urged the film-makers to dispense with soft-focus camera techniques to ensure her character's true age was shown.

Tonight the 38-year-old Blanchett's timeless beauty shone.

Fans flooded Leicester Square in a bid to catch a glimpse of the star, who looked stunning in a grey, strapless jewelled gown, which hugged a more curvy figure than the skeletal frame shown in photographs earlier this year.

The Australian actress said she had revisited the earlier Elizabeth film in preparation for her latest role.

"We did watch it before we started shooting and I thought, 'God I've aged,"' she told Sky News.

"Enough time had passed - I was a green, young thing when I did the first one.

"As I could gradually see a really fantastic story emerge, then I felt 10 years on I had something else to offer the role."


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