WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE— Based on the 2012 comedy novel by Maria Semple, Cate Blanchett stars as Bernadette Fox, a retired, world-renowned architect who seems to have the perfect life: a loving husband, a brilliant daughter, and a beautiful home— the only thing missing is herself. Feeling compelled to reconnect with her creative passions, she embarks on an unexpected adventure that leads her to a triumphant rediscovery. But when she suddenly up and leaves, her worried family sets off on a mission to figure out where she may have gone.
Having starred in countless movies, and as the recipient of two Academy Awards® for “Best Actress” in Blue Jasmine (2013) and “Best Supporting Actress” in The Aviator (2004), we were beyond excited to sit down with Cate Blanchett as well as the supporting cast and director of Where’d You Go, Bernadette.
Cate Blanchett (Bernadette) for Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019)
Mayte: Bernadette is a force to be reckoned with, especially her sarcasm. How would you describe Bernadette?
Cate Blanchett (Bernadette): Bernadette is someone who is in a monumental crisis. She’s experiencing deep professional failure. She’s had a lot of grief, even getting to the point of being able to have one child, and now that child is going to go off to boarding school, so her whole world is falling apart. And rather than look at that and that pain of that and her own culpability in that, the problem is with everything: her neighbor, the fashion taste of the women at school, corn chips, traffic problems in Seattle. . . everything. So there’s a relentlessness to her, but I think she’s someone who’s really lost.
Mayte: Can you tell me a little bit about the chemistry, and how it was working with such iconic talent in this movie?
Emma Nelson (Bee): While we were filming a scene where Cate and I were singing “Time After Time” in the car, it felt like nobody else was there. The rain was coming down, [. . .] and it was a magical scene to film. It was just fun!
Bernadette (Cate Blanchett), Bee (Emma Nelson), and Elgie (Billy Crudup) in Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019)
Zoe Chao (Soo-Lin): Being in a scene with Kristen (Wiig), you just forget that you are in a scene because she is so present and such a generous acting partner, and really exciting and keeps you on your toes. It’s great. You don’t have to do much. You just listen and respond because she is just giving you so much. Spending time with her off set too was really lovely.
Troian Bellisario (Becky): I didn’t get to work with Kristen, but I did get to work with Cate, and it was a total dream come true. When you look up to somebody as an artist and are influenced by her past performances, and then here you are sitting across from her and working with her, it can be really overwhelming. But she was really great and just grounded, and she made me feel welcome. It was a total dream.
Zoe Chao (Soo-Lin) and Troian Bellisario (Becky) for Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019)
Mayte: Is there a specific scene that captures what this movie means to you?
Richard Linklater (Director/Co-Writer): Well that scene where they’re driving along in the car, singing— you see their connection and then a thought hits and then she [realizes] “Oh, mom’s struggling.” So it’s both the exuberance of parenting and that connection and then just how tough life is.
Cate: I think there’s some little pieces, things that she’s said, like “I’m in the weeds, but I can get myself out.” I find that’s so Bernadette. And I think the mudslide and that fight with Audrey are really important things. Kristen is so wonderful in the movie. I wish there was more of that.
Mayte: The connection between mother and daughter is very strong in this movie, how was it working with Emma as your daughter on screen?
Cate: She was great! You would never know that she had never made a movie before; she was so relaxed and comfortable on set and easy with everybody. In a way, she had that self-possession that I think Bee has, which was perfect.
Bernadette (Cate Blanchett) in Where’d You Go, Bernadette (2019)
Mayte: What do you hope audiences will gain by watching this movie?
Zoe: We’ve been talking a lot about how it seems, as we move through life, there’s all of these chapters and movements within one’s own journey, and that you take different things from periods of time that you learn about yourself. To give yourself the time to check in and see where you’re at, I think [is] the most tangible gift this movie has to give.
Troian: I think one of the best parts about this story across the board, that is most centralized in the character of Bernadette, is that none of us are one thing: we contain multitudes. Nobody is just a mom; there’s a mom, and an artist, and a wife, and a wanderer all in the same person, and I think we can get very finite with our ideas about people and we can become very constricting. I think it’s important to have empathy and curiosity about the people in our lives and wonder how they are going to change and marvel at that.
Feel like getting away from it all? Why not run off to Regal to see Where’d You Go, Bernadette, coming Friday, August 16th!