An award-winning actress, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, and the face of Giorgio Armani’s fragrance, Sí Passione, Cate Blanchett is the epitome of the modern woman. And we love her.

IN CONVERSATION WITH SARAH O’HEGARTY

I think the more you do [in life] the more expectations there are, so you have to liberate yourself from those expectations so you can keep exploring and failing, and trying new things. You keep thinking that you’re going to reach the perfect state of balance but it’s like perfection – it’s absolutely impossible.

I think that women, much more than men, put pressure on themselves to have it all, to do all, and to get everything right. We are, by our very natures, perfectionists, but we can’t [do it], the wheels are always falling off.

I think it is absolutely absurd that we’re still having the conversation about equal pay for work, about equal opportunities, and that, say, in a country like Russia, they passed a law where they decriminalised domestic violence.

So much ground has been given way for women, we’ve realised that we can no longer wait for it to get better, and we’ve set about changing things. It’s wonderful, but terrifying.

I think we are entering a time when women no longer want to guard their successes or their stumbling blocks – rather, share them and debrief with other women. Don’t doubt yourself, go and talk to the woman who’s sitting by herself, who needs a bit of an opportunity or a helping hand.

Self-worth grows through rewarded experience and that’s the thing that needs to change for women. They might get one opportunity, but then what happens to the second, or third? When those rejections are made on account of your gender, then the self-doubt starts to debilitate. But that’s where, you’ve got to tell that inner voice to shut the f*ck up, and get on with it because there’s a lot to do.

If one is not passionate about a project I think it’s best to hand it over to someone else. I’d love to do some theatre in Ireland, I really would. I’ve been back to visit friends a couple of times [since filming 2003’s Veronica Guerin in Dublin]. We loved it there, we had a great time...and it’s suddenly a long time ago.

I made a decision early on to choose self-respect and respect of others over ruthless pursuit of goals.

I think a lot of women feel melancholic, and ebullient, and fragile, and powerful, at various points on any given day. What I love about Giorgio Armani’s Sí Passione – which is such a positive name for a fragrance, when you feel like you’re always saying no to things for various reasons – [is that] Mr Armani really faces the complexity of the women that he loves to design for.

I love fragrances that develop with that depth. The notion of passion, it’s a really deep, private thing. It’s very sensual, I think, the actual fragrance itself.

Fragrance is really all about how you feel, and your aspirations and your dreams.