Todd Field: "I wrote Tár for Cate Blanchett"

Todd Field: “I wrote Tár for Cate Blanchett”

This winter, the American director returned 16 years after his last film with Tár, which landed six Oscar nominations. This film is to (re) see this evening on Canal +.

Better Tar than ever ! 16 years after his last feature film, LittleChildrenthe rare Todd Field received six Oscar nominations this year for the third feature film of his career. Cate Blanchettafter his performance award in Venice and his Golden Globe, however, did not receive the coveted statuette, dubbed by Michelle Yeoh for Everything Everywhere All at Once.

Tar was, however, globally acclaimed by critics, and marked the triumphant return of its author. First had met him at the end of 2022 to talk about this comeback, in the company of the actress. We are republishing an extract from this interview to wait until the broadcast of the film, at 9:09 p.m. on Canal + (it is also available on MyCanal until November 15).

Tár: Cate Blanchett at the top of her game (review)

And it is no coincidence that Field chose the Australian star, with whom he almost collaborated ten years earlier, for this psychological drama about a conductor, Lydia Tár, brilliant and tyrannical whose life, private as public , is on the verge of implosion. We were able to meet Cate Blanchett and the filmmaker and screenwriter, who told us that he had simply written the film for her. Here is an excerpt:

Premiere: Todd, did you write Tár for Cate Blanchett?

Todd Field: Absolutely.

Cate Blanchett: You wrote it first and then you thought I could play it, right?

TF: No, no, I wrote it for you. I had never done this before, but this time, as I knew quite quickly who the character was, I immediately saw his face – yours, in this case. Before I even got down to actually writing the screenplay, I put your name down on paper. And every day, arriving at my desk, I said: “Hello, Kate. » You never answered…

CB: I still resented you for the way you treated me the first time!

Cate, you didn’t know that Todd was writing this movie for you…

CB: Not at all. I only found out when Hylda (Queally), my agent, who Todd got into a car accident because of…

TF: A long story…

CB: So Hylda called me to tell me that Todd had written a script and I needed to read it right away. And Hylda doesn’t say that often. I usually read slowly, but I devoured this one. I read it once, then immediately reread it. This is interesting, because many people who discover Tar tend to say when leaving: “I want to see him again. » The film is so rich. And very rhythmic. The dialogues are full of notions unknown to ordinary mortals, I did not know while reading the script certain conductors or certain musical forms whose characters speak, lots of references passed over my head, but we go beyond that very quickly and we let ourselves be overwhelmed, because the whole thing is governed by a rhythmic logic that carries everything.

Todd, by the way… What if Cate Blanchett hadn’t wanted to do the film?

CB: Maybe you could have made it, I don’t know… an animated series?

TF: Um… Tiny Tar? (Laughs.) No, too bad, the script would have simply gone to my “dead letter box”. Where all the screenplays I’ve written over the past fifteen years lie…

Interview by Frédéric Foubert

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