PARIS — Cate Blanchett appears in the newest ad campaign for Giorgio Armani’s Sì fragrance franchise, including a film lensed by Fleur Fortuné. Just prior to its release in early February, Blanchett shared with WWD some thoughts on perfume and acting.
WWD: How would you describe the Sì fragrance woman?
Cate Blanchett: The Sì woman — a woman I myself aspire to be — is adventurous, full of emotion, open to the world and experience, and comfortable in her own skin.
WWD: How does being the face of a fragrance differ from playing a role in a film?
C.B.: Being the so-called “face” of this fragrance — I think I’d prefer to say “the spirit” of this fragrance. So being this Sì “spirit” is all about creating an atmosphere in which I can inhabit myriad states. Being a Sì woman isn’t a static thing — it’s full of flow: joy, apprehension, excitement, desire, risk and frivolity. And love, bien sûr!
WWD: What are some early memories of perfume?
C.B.: The home of my childhood was always fragrant — a house full of women! Lavender, freesia, firewood, the smell of the sea, of whatever was cooking. I remember my grandmother always smelling of violets and my mother of citrus. Fragrance, like music, always lifts my spirits.
WWD: What do you like in a fragrance?
C.B.: The deep developing notes. I love a scent that promises to contain experiences yet to be had.
WWD: Aside from the role you play at Armani, what other projects are you working on right now?
C.B.: I’m in a play at the National Theatre in London, [“When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other”] directed by Katie Mitchell and written by Martin Crimp. It’s about gender politics — power and the eternal struggle for intimacy and equality…not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s a provocative piece for sure.
WWD: Are there any types of characters you’ve never had a chance to try out that you’d like to?
C.B.: The character for me is always the last point of entry. It’s always about the quality of the conversation and the people I will be working alongside. I love surprises. The roles, I haven’t willed into being, if that makes sense. The role I would least expect to play.