Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett said it was “absolutely terrifying” conducting an orchestra for her new film Tar but described it as an “unforgettable experience”.

The 53-year-old plays internationally-renowned composer and conductor Lydia Tar, the first-ever woman to preside over an important German orchestra.

Written and directed by Todd Field, the film follows the complicated genius conductor at the height of her career before she faces accusations about her behaviour and the darker parts of the life behind the success come to light.

Graham Norton Show – London

Cate Blanchett, Margot Robbie Beverley Knight, Alan Carr, Raye and Graham Norton during the filming for the Graham Norton Show (Jonathan Hordle/PA)

Speaking about why she wanted the role on The Graham Norton Show, Blanchett said: “It is a great story about cancel culture, but it was to work with Todd Field.

“It’s been 16 years since he made a movie, and he is a master director and makes extraordinary films. And, to stand in front of an orchestra and conduct them – it’s not often you get to do that stuff.

“It was absolutely terrifying and not something I thought I would ever be asked to do. It was lifechanging and an unforgettable experience.”

The film has been widely praised with Australian actress Blanchett just winning a Golden Globe for her role as the fictional Tar and is also tipped for an Oscar.

Speaking about the film, she added: “It’s the album Lydia Tár never got to make. It’s amazing.”

The 86th Academy Awards – Press Room – Los Angeles

Cate Blanchett with the Oscar for best actress for her role in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine at the 86th Academy Awards in 2014 (Ian West/PA)

Blanchett is one of the most celebrated Australian actors ever, having won two Academy Awards, three Baftas, four Golden Globes and dozens of other honours around the world.

During her career, Blanchett has played Elizabeth I twice, a version of Bob Dylan and the elf leader Galadriel in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series.

She won a best supporting actress Oscar in 2004 for her portrayal of Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator, and best actress in 2014 for her part in Blue Jasmine.

The Graham Norton Show airs on Friday on BBC One at 10.40pm.

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