At first I thought the idea of Cate Blanchett playing Bob Dylan circa 1966 in the film I’m Not There was a horrible joke, but now I’m coming around to the idea. It’s a brave move. It’s the other jokers, sorry actors playing Dylan at key times in his life I’m worried about. (Actually Christian Bale will probably be good.)
From a just published interview:
Blanchett plays Dylan in the mid-Sixties when the folk balladeer turned electric, prompting accusations of a sell-out from diehard folkies and cries of “Judas!” when he played the Manchester Free Trade Hall in 1966.
“We even call the character I play Jude. And I think the reason Todd wanted a woman to play that version of Dylan is that on a prosaic level he found his look then to be quite effeminate. I also think that on another level because the silhouette I’m playing is so iconic, if you had a man playing it you would be expecting an impersonation. But if you’ve got a woman playing it you are automatically liberated from a cabaret version of Bob Dylan.”
“When Todd approached me I said, That’s so insane where do I sign?’ And it was hilarious. I laughed every day when I looked in the mirror. But it was an enormous challenge because on the one hand he didn’t want me to do an impersonation. And I’m a woman, so there’s a distance there to begin with.
But at the same time Todd was meticulous. I wore the same suit he wore on the tour when he got booed in Manchester, so those kind of details were really important.” Blanchett doesn’t sing herself and hasn’t met Dylan. “God, I’d love to. I don’t even know if Dylan’s read the script. I said that to one of the producers and he said, Are you kidding? Of course he has!’ But to meet him would have been too weird, also because my consciousness has been so altered by his music. It would be very weird indeed.”