×

Cate Blanchett Would Love a Job on Television

A funny thing happened at the premiere of “The House With a Clock in Its Walls” at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Sunday: Several minutes into the movie, the screen abruptly froze on an image of Colleen Camp, who plays Jack Black’s nosy neighbor, Mrs. Hanchett, and her little dog, too.

Eli Roth jumped out of his seat and went into director mode to downplay what turned out to be an issue with the back-up projector, according to a Universal rep. “During a really, really scary scene, if we all hear Jack Black burping, it’s probably not going to work as well,” Roth explained to the packed house. “So if you can all bear with me, I think that we need [child star] Owen Vaccaro to stand up and lead us in a magical spell for us to restart the movie.”

Some of the younger audience members protested, despite the promise of an impromptu magic show. “We’ve only seen three minutes,” Roth said. “I know it seems like a long time, but trust me, it’s just three minutes. Owen!” he called out to his petite lead actor. “He didn’t know that he would have to do this, but I screwed it up,” Roth added. “Owen … is going to do a magical spell for all of us to restart the movie so that the projection goes perfectly. So, Owen, if you can lead everyone in group participation. … Just go!”

Vaccaro rose in front of the impatient crowd. “From Saturn to the sun … turn the movie back on!” he shouted while waving outstretched arms. Instantly, the opening credits rolled once again and Roth deadpanned: “Take two!”

Earlier, on the red carpet, shortly before Black crooned a classic by the Turtles (“We’re happy together/ So happy together,” Black sang during a group cast photo), Roth explained his inspiration for the abrupt departure into PG-rated material.

“A lot of my favorite directors — Sam Raimi, Peter Jackson — they started off with hardcore horror movies, then they went into ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Lord of the Rings,’” Roth said. “I always in my mind wanted to have that kind of career trajectory, and it was time to prove it. If I think about it, I didn’t start off with hardcore horror. The gateway movies — the gateway drug films — were the Amblin films: ‘E.T.,’ ‘Raiders [of the Lost Ark],’ ‘Gremlins,’ ‘Goonies,’ ‘Poltergeist,’ other films like ‘Time Bandits,’ ‘Dragonslayer’ — and I realized that there isn’t a PG scary movie anymore. The movies for kids are PG superhero or animation, and those things are great, but where’s the movie if you like scary movies, and you want your kids to like scary, you can take them to … and it’s going to give them the thrill of going to a haunted house?”

It happened to be Emmys Eve, but that’s one award show Roth has no interest in watching.

“None whatsoever, honestly,” he said. “I don’t mean that in a flippant way. I’m very happy for the people that are involved and the people that are nominated, but it’s very disconnected from what my favorite shows were. So I just have no interest in it really. I watched, obviously, ‘Stranger Things,’ but I loved ‘Fauda’ and ‘The End of the F***ing World,’” he said.

Cate Blanchett trailed behind her director on the red carpet. Due to the blazing September sun, she slowly crept along in a double-breasted, checkered pantsuit and shades, using her hand to shield her complexion. The two-time Oscar winner and veteran movie star seemed unaware that the Emmys were on Monday. Not that Blanchett has ruled out doing TV in the future; quite the opposite, in fact.

“Oh, for sure,” she said of her potential interest in the small screen. “I went to a theater school and one of the first gigs I got away from the theater was working in television,” she recalled. “And at the time I was making it, it was really fast. I think that now television is much better resourced because you can tell longer-form stories. And there are certain stories that I’m developing where you ask yourself, which is fantastic: ‘What’s the right form to tell the story in?’ The right form to tell this story in — ‘The House With a Clock in Its Walls’ — was a movie. But there are some stories where you need to sit with characters, and character arcs, and narrative arcs, that can only be told in television form. So absolutely, yeah.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Gael Garcia Bernal on the Power,

    Gael Garcia Bernal on the Power, Responsibility of Cinema to ‘Provoke’

    Gael García Bernal said acting for the likes of Oscar winners Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón helped groom him for the director’s chair and praised cinema as “the only medium” that allows artists to “explore the gray areas” in unparalleled ways. “The world is so full of certainties now, and cinema is the one that [...]

  • Gareth Jones

    Samuel Goldwyn Films Takes North American Rights to Berlin Competition Title 'Mr Jones'

    Samuel Goldwyn Films has taken North American rights on Agnieska Holland’s “Mr. Jones,” it announced Thursday. The period thriller debuted in competition at the Berlin Film Festival in February. Set on the eve of the Second World War, “Mr. Jones” stars James Norton as the eponymous character, an ambitious young journalist who travels to Moscow [...]

  • Live Action Mulan

    China Uses Disney's 'Mulan' to Attack Hong Kong Protests

    Although Twitter and Facebook have taken steps to stop what they say is a Chinese state-backed misinformation campaign about the anti-government protests in Hong Kong, similar content from suspicious accounts continues to proliferate widely, some of it co-opting Disney‘s new “Mulan“ to try to discredit the demonstrators. At the same time, China‘s government-controlled media are [...]

  • PACIFIED

    San Sebastian Adds Alice Winocour, Malgorzata Szumowska, Sarah Gavron to Main Comp

    The Darren Aronofsky-produced Brazilian title “Pacified,” by American director Paxton Winters, Alice Winocour’s French-German astronaut drama “Proxima” and Polish film director Małgorzata Szumowska’s religious thriller “The Other Lamb” are among the six final competition selections for September’s 67th San Sebastian Film Festival. Also vying for San Sebastian’s Golden Shell will be U.K. drama “Rocks,” from [...]

  • Jamile Wenske

    Jamila Wenske Leaves One Two Films to Head Achtung Panda! in Berlin

    German producer Jamila Wenske has left One Two Films to head Achtung Panda!, a Berlin-based film production company. Wenske succeeds former managing director Helge Albers, who left Achtung Panda! to become the new CEO of regional funder Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein. Wenske partnered with Sol Bondy and Christoph Lange to launch One Two Films in 2010. [...]

  • Tuva-Novotny

    Tuva Novotny Questions Monogamy in 'Diorama' Pic (EXCLUSIVE)

    HAUGESUND, Norway  — Actress-turned-helmer Tuva Novotny thrives on big challenges. Her feature debut “Blindspot,” Norway’s entry for the 2019 Nordic Council Prize, was shot in real-time in one take and illuminates mental health issues. Her sophomore mainstream Swedish pic “Britt Marie Was Here” –slated for a Sept. 20 U.S. release via Cohen Media Group –  [...]

  • Seizure

    Writer Megan Gallagher On Her Viaplay Supernatural Nordic-Noir 'Seizure'

    With outposts in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Oslo, Miso Film has become one of the most influential film and TV outfits in Scandinavia. On August 19, the company’s Norwegian arm lifted the curtain on its series venture, the supernatural police drama “Seizure” by premiering the show’s first two episodes at the Haugesund Film Festival ahead of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content