With a cast featuring the likes of Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, and Sarah Paulson, there are many potential breakout stars of the forthcoming Ocean’s 8 press tour. Yet based on the press conference at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this morning (featuring most of the cast, minus RiRi), it was clear that Cate Blanchett occupies a special place in her colleagues’ hearts.
From the moment Blanchett walked in wearing a Carol-meets–David-Bowie purple velvet pantsuit, the rest of the cast’s reverence for the silver-screen icon was apparent. As Anne Hathaway said at one point, answering a question about fame: “Early in my career I thought of fame as something that was real, rather than something that was …” Then she paused, grasping for the word. “Cate, what word am I looking for?”
Blanchett leaned into the mic: “Illusionary.” To which Hathaway responded: “Thank you so much, Madam President.”
When Mindy Kaling was asked how she developed her character, she explained that the role had some unique challenges; for example, she had to speak a few lines of Hindi. “Oh, you should have told me, I’m fluent,” Blanchett interjected. “Of course Cate would be fluent in Hindi,” Kaling responded.
Throughout, Blanchett maintained a steady stream of bon mots. When Akwafina riffed that they used their cast-wide group chat to talk about what they were going to wear today, Blanchett added, “We were going to wear a dress fully made of tampons”; asked by the moderator about her recollections from the set, she remarked, “I have early-onset dementia, but I will try.” In perhaps her most charming moment, when the cast was asked how young girls might be affected by seeing women playing these roles, Blanchett deadpanned that they were “encouraging children into crime.”