On the cover of the December/January issue of AARP The Magazine, Helen Mirren. And gracing the front of the latest edition of United Airlines in-flight magazine Rhapsody, Cate Blanchett.
Mirren wowed Broadway crowds last year with The Audience; Blanchett will begin previews of her drama The Present Dec. 17. In the AARP piece, penned by the magazine’s editor in chief Robert Love, Mirren reveals that a more recent film assignment in New York afforded her a rare domestic opportunity:
Mirren and her husband, film director Taylor Hackford, have kept an apartment hereabouts for more than a decade. They came for Manhattan’s theater scene but skipped the high-toned parts of the city for the grimy charms of the East Village. And her digs came in quite handy a few months ago while filming her latest movie, Collateral Beauty, which is set in various parts of New York, with Will Smith in the lead and Mirren part of an ensemble cast of celebrated actors, Edward Norton among them.
It was the first time she and Hackford, who’ve been partners since 1984 and spouses since 1997, were working in the same city at the same time, she tells me: “We were both going off to work like, ‘Have you got a big day?’ ‘Yeah, I have a big day!’ And then coming home, ‘How was your day?’ It was brilliant.”
For the Rhapsody piece, Ellen Carpenter interviewed Blanchett via telephone. The Australian actress’ Broadway debut The Present involves even more domestic alignment. This modern view of Anton Chekhov’s first play, Platonov, was adapted by her husband, Andrew Upton, and first presented in 2015 at the Sydney Theatre Company. The entire cast is together gain for the New York run. From the Q&A:
“The wonderful thing about having run the company with Andrew is we’ve been invited often to transfer a show. But because of the actor availability and length of run required for Broadway—and personally having quite a number of children—that’s been an impossibility. But now that we’re both freelance again, it’s possible. And it feels like a wonderful culmination of the work that Andrew and I facilitated, but also bore witness to, in the time that we ran the company.”