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Cate Blanchett: Equality For Women Being Lost


Cate Blanchett has told Sky News she has ruled out going into politics, although she is concerned that a "wave of conservatism sweeping the globe" is affecting the role of women in society.

The Australian was in London to promote her new film, Blue Jasmine, directed by Woody Allen.

He is famous for making muses of his leading ladies, but Blanchett, who describes herself as a feminist, believes equality for women has yet to be achieved.

"I'm reading a book by (Australian feminist writer) Anne Summers called The Misogyny Factor, and I feel that all of the steps forward that we've made ... a lot of those have been rescinded," she said.

"Conservatism is affecting the way women perceive who they are in the world."

Blanchett was asked about Australia's first woman prime minister, Julia Gillard, who claimed she had been "the subject of a very sexist smear campaign".

The Lord Of The Rings actress said: "Whether you admire her as a politician or not, as a woman and out of respect for the office of the prime minister, how she was treated was quite shocking."

Blue Jasmine is set in the aftermath of the banking crisis and tells the story of a New York socialite whose life falls apart when her financier husband, played by Alec Baldwin, is exposed as a fraud.

Already tipped for Oscar glory, the film was inspired by the financial crash and the real life story of American stockbroker Bernard Madoff.

He ran a ponzi scheme exposed as the largest financial fraud in US history, which his wife Ruth said she was entirely in the dark about.

Describing Allen as an "enigma", Blanchett said working with him was "surprisingly great".

"There's an absurdity to the way Woody deals with the most painful situations, of a nervous breakdown ... it was intense."

At 78 years old, Allen continues to average around one film every year.

The former stand-up comedian has enjoyed his best North American box office results yet with his latest film, which is released in the UK on September 27.

I'm always shocked that we are still fighting for gender equality.

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