Borderlands Turns Cate Blanchett Into A Gunslinger: ‘I Got Really Absorbed In That World’


by Ben Travis |
Published on

For all that Cate Blanchett has done through her career – playing Elves, nefarious psychologists, maniacal music conductors and more – she’s rarely had the chance to go in all-guns-blazing. But that changes with Borderlands. Blanchett leads the cast of Eli Roth’s long-awaited video game adaptation, playing gun-toting space-outlaw Lilith – the leader of a ragtag crew on a deadly mission, heading to her home planet of Pandora. And as it turned out, it was something she enjoyed immensely. “The gun-slinging stuff was so much fun,” Blanchett tells Empire.

It might not be the sort of role you expect Blanchett to play. But that, she says, was part of the appeal. “The crazy asks are usually the things I gravitate towards; the things I could never conceive of,” she explains. “I think there also may have been a little Covid madness — I was spending a lot of time in the garden, using the chainsaw a little too freely. My husband said, ‘This film could save your life.’” To get prepared, she delved head-first into the Borderlands games. “My thumbs can barely control a phone, but I bought a PS5 and we played each other,” she says. “I wanted to know the limits of the game and what fans loved about the character. I got really absorbed in that whole world. The cosplayers. The YouTube make-up tutorials.”

Reuniting with Roth – after working together on family spook-fest The House With A Clock In Its Walls – proved another fruitful collaboration.“The combination of the two of us, it’s mixing Elizabeth and Hostel, TÁR and Thanksgiving,” Roth says. “You’ve seen her twirl a baton, but wait until you see her twirl a gun.” How’s that for an overture?

The Lord Of The Rings: The Rings Of Power Season 2 – Empire covers

Read Empire’s full Borderlands feature – speaking to Eli Roth, Cate Blanchett, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Ariana Greenblatt, Edgar Ramirez, and Florian Munteanu about bringing the game to the big screen – in The Rings Of Power Season 2 issue, on sale Thursday 4 July. Pre-order a copy here – choose the Galadriel cover, or the Sauron cover. Borderlands comes to UK cinemas from 9 August.

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