Todd Field on ‘Tár’ and the danger-loving Cate Blanchett


Hello! I’m Yvonne Villarreal, TV writer for The Times and “The Envelope” podcast co-host.

Writer-director Todd Field made two acclaimed films in the early 2000s and then disappeared from the big screen for 16 years. Now he’s back with “Tár,” a drama starring Cate Blanchett as a celebrated classical music conductor who has a scandalous downfall.

In this episode of “The Envelope,” Field tells me the movie burst forth in dramatic fashion: Its screenplay took him only three months to write — which, as a writer myself, makes me a little envious.

Todd Field.
Todd Field.
(Associated Press)

Field also breaks down how a Górecki composition inspired the internal rhythm of lead character Lydia Tár and discusses what it was like collaborating with Blanchett, who “always wants to do things that are dangerous.”

And if you enjoyed the 1996 movie “Twister,” definitely stick around through the end of the interview.

Cate [Blanchett] … never wants to take the easy route. She wants you to make it harder for her. And I remember her telling me, “If I’m terrible, if I’m too loud or something, just say, ‘Stop it.’” And I thought, “What an odd thing. Of course I’m not going to do that.” But she really forced me to push her different ways.

— Todd Field

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