EXCLUSIVE We told you last week that Cate Blanchett had joined Gary Ross’s all female Ocean’s 11 heist movie with Sandra Bullock, Elizabeth Banks, Helena Bonham Carter and Mindy Kaling. But Blanchett told me last night at the Women in Film Crystal & Lucy Awards that it’s not a done deal.
Blanchett was at the Beverly Hilton to honor the amazing Hylda Queally, her agent of 19 years, with the Sue Mengers Award. In giving the award, Blanchett said to Queally, “ I would be an unformed piece of amoebic jelly without you.” Cate never ceases to be classy, when actor/producer Kat Kramer introduced Cate to deaf actress Antoinette Abbamonte, who told Cate through sign language that she loved her work, Cate signed back thank you.
I spoke with Cate Blanchett about the Tonys, where she presented the award to winner Frank Langella. “I love being a part of the New York theater. Theater people are really circus performers in a sense, it’s real feeling of camaraderie. Especially on that sad night.”
Others honored were “Homeland’s” director Lesli Linka Glatter, presented by her star Claire Danes, and Kate Beckinsale closed the night honoring eight female producers. Guests included Warner Brothers esteemed CEO Sue Kroll, multi award winning Songwriter Diane Warren, Actresses Maria Bello, Blythe Danner, Frances Fisher, Keegan-Michael Key, Director Catherine Hardwicke, Sharon Lawrence, CAA agents Bryan Lourd and Kevin Huvane, LA Film Fest head Stephanie Allain and more.
Natalie Dormer, the glorious Queen Marjorie in “Game Of Thrones, accepted the Face of the Future award. She noted, “this is a room of game changers.”
The indefatigable Oscar winning warrior, and head of STX Production, WIF President Cathy Schulman, said that filmmakers and storytellers “are the keepers of histories. If we don’t include women in that, what does that say? The media matters. We need to be designing change. It’s not true that movies about boys and men do better than ones about women and girls. We’re figuring out how to end this parity divide one and for all.”
“Boys Don’t Cry,” director Kimberly Peirce then referenced the tragedy in Orlando by commenting, “at the root of this tragedy is homophobia, which is a cousin to racism and sexism. I think we all want to work together to end this and bring light into the world and end the darkness.”
Taraji P. Henson, honored with the Lucy Award for Excellence In Television, livened up the room with her funny and truthful take on Hollywood. “If women don’t support each other, who will? We have a bad rap for being difficult when we are fighting for what we deserve. Why should my pay be less than his? If it’s because he has a penis, well I can have that attached. Hey, I have them at home in many colors. I’ll be 46 this year and I’m just touching the surface, after a 20 plus year career, I’m just getting started! Art is powerful, it can change a life, create a life and save a life.”
The cleverest bit of the night was the scroll of donors that was constantly running throughout the night in the front of the room. Hillary Clinton was listed as donating $500, Bernie Sanders $50 and Donald Trump $1. When I asked Schulman about it, she quipped, “Well I’m sure that it was people donating in their names.” She added, “But it sure does reflect how Hollywood stands.”
Pictures courtesy of Getty Images