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Cate Blanchett reveals her battle with faith ahead of new film

by Lydia Davies
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In an interview with The Times Cate Blanchett revealed that she grew up hoping for God to be real. 

The Oscar-winning actress is starring in a new film called The New Boy. In this film, Blanchett portrays a nun in 1940s Australia.  

The film's backers say it "explores spirituality, culture and colonisation in a way we haven't seen on screen before". 

The New Boy was filmed near the Melbourne suburb where she spent her childhood.  

Her father, Robert, worked in advertising and died of a heart attack when she was ten years old. 

Reflecting on her father’s sudden death, the actress, aged 54, said: “As a child I wanted a religion. I wanted the strong hand of God to put a hand on my childish shoulders to say, ‘Your father is with me. He’s having fun. You’ll see him in 60 years. 

“But that didn’t happen. And so as a ten-year-old I fled from the church and moved down to the river and spent my childhood propelled into nature”. 

Blanchett went on to explain “If I’d stayed inside the Methodist church I’d have a lot of bad guitar playing, but instead I rode my bike, thinking I was Nancy Drew, down by the Yarra River. I remember that as profoundly as I remember the hymns". 

When asked if she abandoned religion because it didn’t give her what she wanted, Blanchett responded: “It was not so much about what I wanted…more what I was hoping for. Also, I was ten. 

“But religion contains a sense of hope and also a sense of community. And, in a way, that desire for something greater than myself never left me”. 

The New Boy is set to hit the cinemas on 15th March 2024.


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