Borderlands Sees Cate Blanchett Channel Escape From New York: ‘It’s Her Favourite Movie’ – Exclusive


by Ben Travis |
Published on

It’s not like Cate Blanchett has been averse to blockbuster fare entirely – after all, her career skyrocketed when she played the ethereal Elven queen Galadriel in Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and she battled Indiana Jones in The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. But generally, Blanchett is known for her deep-dive character work – like playing Lydia Tár in TÁR, or Jasmine in Blue Jasmine, or Carol in… well, Carol. Next up, though, she’s cutting loose and blasting into action in Eli Roth’s long-awaited adaptation of sci-fi action video game Borderlands (notably not playing a character called ‘Borderlands’).

As the central Lilith, Blanchett will engage in balletic and bombastic setpieces – a register which chimes with her personal film taste as much as those character dramas. “She loves Escape From New York,” Roth tells Empire. “It’s her favourite movie. But nobody would know that because why would you ask her about Escape From New York when you’re interviewing her about Lydia Tár?” As a result, Borderlands offered her a real opportunity – the chance to “do this incredible kind of Kurt Russell [character]”. It also marked a reunion for Blanchett, Roth, and Jack Black (who voices anarchic android Claptrap), after their team-up on 2018’s family spook-fest The House With A Clock In Its Walls. “I just thought, ‘What if we paired Cate and Jack again, but this time Jack’s an annoying robot?’” laughs Roth.

Get ready, then, to witness a whole new facet of Blanchett’s screen magnetism. “You’ve seen [her] twirling the baton [in Tár], but you haven’t seen her twirling guns behind her back,” Roth enthuses. “She’s a master at it. A big part of the fun of the movie is watching it and thinking, ‘I can’t believe they all did this crazy stuff.’ Cate with a flame-thrower — a real flame-thrower — come on! That’s pretty badass.” But, could Lilith have written accordion anthem ‘Apartment For Sale’? Save that for the sequel.

Empire – The Acolyte – June 2024 issue newsstand cover

Read Empire’s full Borderlands interview with Eli Roth in The Acolyte issue – on sale Thursday 11 April. Order a copy online here. Borderlands comes to UK cinemas from 9 August.

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