by Neil Smith
BBC News Online
Australian actress Cate Blanchett says she has been inspired by the life and career of the late Katharine Hepburn, whom she will play in a new film.
"Her death has definitely brought her back into people's immediate consciousness. I think there isn't an actress alive who hasn't got a love and admiration for her work," she told reporters while promoting her new movie, Veronica Guerin.
Blanchett, 34, will play Hepburn in The Aviator, a biopic of Howard Hughes, directed by Martin Scorsese.
Blanchett's latest role is as a journalist
Leonardo DiCaprio plays Hughes in the big-budget production, which also stars Kate Beckinsale as Ava Gardner and Gwen Stefani (from pop group No Doubt) as Jean Harlow.
"The part that I'm in is about Hughes' relationship with Hepburn which was strangely around the point of her career when she was completely box office poison," Blanchett explains.
"Not being a reader of biographies I had no idea the great Katharine Hepburn ever put a foot wrong.
"I find that quite inspiring, because often people can say, 'He's washed up' or 'She's washed up', just because they got a bad review or their new film failed to make seven million, zillion, trillion dollars at the box office."
Blanchett who won a Bafta for playing Elizabeth I and whose other films include The Talented Mr Ripley and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, says it will be "a singular challenge to represent someone whose job was to invent characters on the screen".
Kate Hepburn died last month
"I think she had an individual measure of success which I really admire. They didn't know what to do with her probably, because she was so unusual."
Blanchett will be seen next playing journalist Veronica Guerin in a film of the same name, and is also reportedly playing children's author Beatrix Potter in a forthcoming film.