Cate Blanchett reflects on playing anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly in Mrs America

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Cate Blanchett reflects on playing anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly in Mrs America

Feminist Cate Blanchett reveals how she put aside her personal values to play right-wing icon Phyllis Schlafly in Mrs AmericaBy Caleb

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Feminist Cate Blanchett reveals how she put aside her personal values to play right-wing icon Phyllis Schlafly in Mrs America

Actress Cate Blanchett has reflected upon what it was like to play American conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly in BBC’s new BBC mini-series, Mrs America. 

Speaking to The Mirror, the avid feminist, 51, explained that while she doesn’t share the same values as Phyllis- she can connect to other parts of her character.

‘It’s very easy to say she was a crackpot but Phyllis was profoundly influential,’ the Australian star said. 

''It's very easy to say she was a crackpot': Feminist Cate Blanchett, 51, (pictured) has reflected upon what it was like to play American conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly in BBC's new BBC mini-series, Mrs America

'She was a true ­alpha': Speaking to The Mirror , the avid feminist, 51, explained that while she doesn't share the same values as Phyllis (pictured in 1977) - she can connect to other parts of her character

‘It’s very easy to say she was a crackpot’: Feminist Cate Blanchett, 51, has reflected upon what it was like to play American conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly in BBC’s new BBC mini-series, Mrs America.  Left: Cate in Mrs America, right: Phyllis in 1977

‘She was a true ­alpha and absolutely force of nature. Much like myself,’ she joked.

Cate also said she admired the fact that Phyllis, a mother of six, split her time between working and caring for her family, telling The Mirror: ‘Ironically, I think I related to her as a working parent.’  

Set in the 1970s, Mrs. America tells the true story of the attempt to pass the Equal Rights Amendment in America. 

'Ironically, I think I related to her as a working parent': Cate also said she admired the fact that Phyllis, a mother of six, split her time between working and caring for her family

‘Ironically, I think I related to her as a working parent’: Cate also said she admired the fact that Phyllis, a mother of six, split her time between working and caring for her family 

The amendment would guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens- regardless of sex. 

Phyllis led the charge against the amendment, standing against abortion, same-sex marriage and drafting women into the military.

Phyllis’s family has previously spoken against her portrayal in the BBC series.  

Speaking out: Phyllis's family has previously spoken against her portrayal in the BBC series. Phyllis is pictured in 2007

Speaking out: Phyllis’s family has previously spoken against her portrayal in the BBC series. Phyllis is pictured in 2007

In one particularly brutal scene, Phyllis is depicted dragging her daughter Anne (played by Gracen Daly) by the arm into the backyard pool for a swimming lesson.   

Frightened, Anne shouts: ‘I don’t want to!’ to which Phyllis responds: ‘Fear will not be something that stops my child’ before plunging them both into the water.  

Of the jarring scene, Anne Schlafly Cori told Elle magazine in May this year: ‘[My mother] She was an encourager and she was not particularly strict.’ 

She continued: ‘She expected that her children would excel, but she never pressured me.’ 

She finished: ‘Yes, we had a swimming pool and I started swimming at a young age wearing a floater, [but] I always loved swimming. ‘  

Pictured: Phyllis Schlafly (pictured) died on 5 September 2016

Pictured: Phyllis Schlafly (pictured) died on 5 September 2016 

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