Cate Blanchett Before Broadway: 5 Memorable Stage Roles

8:00 AM 1/13/2017

by David Rooney

Before her debut in 'The Present,' the actress had played heroines from Hedda Gabler to Blanche DuBois and shared the stage with Oscar hopefuls Isabelle Huppert and Joel Edgerton.

Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh are a widow and a womanizer who face off at a fraught dinner party in 'The Present.'
Cate Blanchett and Richard Roxburgh are a widow and a womanizer who face off at a fraught dinner party in 'The Present.'
Courtesy of Joan Marcus

  • Plenty

    1999

    As her film career was taking off with Elizabeth, Blanchett debuted on London's West End in a celebrated revival of the David Hare drama, playing a World War II Resistance operative who becomes unhinged by the banality of her bourgeois postwar life.

  • Hedda Gabler

    2004

    Returning to the Sydney Theatre Company, where her stage career began in the early '90s, she played the self-destructive trophy wife in Henrik Ibsen's classic drama of female repression, co-starring with Hugo Weaving.

  • A Streetcar Named Desire

    2009

    In a test drive for her Oscar-winning role in Blue Jasmine, Blanchett took a stab at Tennessee Williams' cracked heroine Blanche DuBois in a Sydney Theatre Company production directed by Liv Ullmann and co-starring Joel Edgerton (Loving).

  • Uncle Vanya

    2011

    Blanchett co-starred with The Present's Roxburgh, as well as Weaving and Jacki Weaver, in a highly physical Sydney Theatre Company production of the Chekhov drama that married tragedy with farce.

  • The Maids

    2013

    Blanchett (right) with Huppert in 'The Maids.'
    Blanchett (right) with Huppert in 'The Maids.'
    Ruby Washington/The New York Times

    She shared the stage with Elle star (and Golden Globe winner) Isabelle Huppert and Elizabeth Debicki in an unconventional Sydney Theatre Company production of Jean Genet's depiction of festering class resentment.

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