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Don’t call me an actress, says Cate Blanchett

Hollywood star Cate Blanchett said Wednesday that she would rather be called an actor rather than an actress.

The Australian, who is heading the jury at the Venice film festival, gave her backing to Berlin festival’s controversial decision last week to do away with gendered prizes and only give a best actor award.

“I have always referred to myself as an actor,” Blanchett said after being asked about the move towards gender-neutral prizes.

“I am of the generation where the word actress was used almost always in a pejorative sense. So I claim the other space,” she told AFP.

Cate Blanchett, accident

Blanchett is heading the jury at Venice — once slammed by feminists for the “toxic masculinity” of its selection — in a year when the number of women directors vying for the top prize has quadrupled to eight.

“I think a good performance is a good performance no matter who is making them,” she told reporters.

“The hardest thing as a jury member is to sit in judgement of other people’s work. That’s the hardest thing not the (gender) demarcation,” she added.

Venice was heavily criticised for selecting only one female film-maker to compete for the Golden Lion in 2017 and 2018.

Cate Blanchett, Venice Film Festival jury

And there was still greater fury last year when Roman Polanski — who was convicted of the rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977 — was selected and went on to win the festival’s second prize for his historical drama, “An Officer and a Spy”

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