Academy Award-winner Cate Blanchett explains why she signed up for the Borderlands film: 'A touch of Covid madness'

 Borderlands movie teaser still - Cate Blanchett as Lilith firing a gun.
Credit: Gearbox Studios/2K

"Why is Cate Blanchett in the Borderlands movie?" is a very fair question to ask. The Australian actor has won numerous awards including two Oscars, four Golden Globes, four BAFTAs, and three SAG awards, and she can surely pick and choose her roles as she pleases. So, why Borderlands—a film that, with all due respect, doesn't look like it's going to put any new trophies on her shelf?

As it turns out, it's kind of a two-part answer. First, the "crazy asks" and "things I could never conceive of" are what she gravitates toward these days, she said in a recent interview with Empire (via Kotaku), which I guess is reasonable. Liam Neeson is another Academy Award-nominated actor who's earned acclaim for films including Schindler's List, Michael Collins, and Kinsey, and he made a movie about a snowplow driver who goes to war with a drug cartel in Denver after they murder his son. Hey, not everyone is Daniel Day-Lewis.

The other part of her answer is somewhat more relatable for those of us whose day-to-day opportunities are somewhat more conventional: She was desperately bored. "I think there also may have been a little Covid madness," Blanchett said. "I was spending a lot of time in the garden, using the chainsaw a little too freely. My husband said, 'This film could save your life'."

We've all been there, right? Although for most of us, being stuck at home with nothing to do means we're going to play Borderlands, not star in a film about Borderlands—but, not everyone is Cate Blanchett, either.

Although Blanchett did play some Borderlands, too: She said she prepared for the film by purchasing a PlayStation 5 and playing with her husband. "I wanted to know the limits of the game and what fans loved about the character. I got really absorbed in that whole world. The cosplayers. The YouTube make-up tutorials."

Of course Blanchett isn't the only big name in the Borderlands cast: It's also got Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Hart, Ariana Greenblatt, Gina Gershon, and Jack Black. But see, when you tell me they're in the Borderlands film, my immediate reaction is—again, with all due respect—"yes, that makes sense." But the alter-ego of world-renowned Monster Hunter conductor Lydia Tár? Not so much. I guess boredom really does get to all of us now and then.

After nearly 10 years of work—don't forget, this project was first announced in 2015—the Borderlands film is finally set to arrive in theaters on August 9. Executive editor Tyler Wilde thought the first trailer looked "pretty alright," while associate editor Ted Litchfield had a somewhat more critical take, calling it "Guardians of the Galaxy with the serial numbers filed off."