Cate Blanchett Says Drama Needs to Be ‘Challenging and Impolite and Provocative’

Stewart Clarke

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In London on Wednesday to talk about her upcoming scripted series, “Stateless,” Cate Blanchett implored drama producers to be impolite, provocative and to make shows that start meaningful conversations.

“I love zombies, I love vampires,” the two-time Oscar-winner said. “But we’re living in a time when the political system, which is meant to deal with facts – and our job [in film and TV] is dealing with fiction – has become a burlesque. It’s cosmically bewildering.”

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Blanchett said that the world “has a problem with nuance,” but it is those gray areas where good drama exists. She added that “drama should be challenging and impolite and provocative” that and producers “have to find the right way to do that.”

The Australian actor was speaking at Content London’s Drama Summit. She said Australian drama “Stateless” was a passion project that has been six years in the making, with several U.S. backers shying away from its challenging subject matter. She described the series as an “elephant in the room” project.

The hotly anticipated six-parter turns on the lives of four people whose lives converge on an Australian detention center. Blanchett produces and has an on-screen role. Yvonne Strahvoski (“The Handmaid’s Tale”) and Dominic West (“The Wire”) also star, as does Fayssal Bazzi, who was also on hand to talk about the series.

Australian pubcaster ABC greenlit the series, which is produced by NBCUniversal-backed Australian producer Matchbox Pictures and Blanchett’s shingle, Dirty Films. NBCU is handling international sales, and NBCU International Studios president Jeff Wachtel reported that a deal with an unspecified global buyer is in the offing.

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