Cate Blanchett: I Love Raising Boys

11/30/2009 at 02:00 PM ET

Todd Williamson/WireImage

Cate Blanchett may be a fashion icon on the red carpet and a chameleon when it comes to played such roles such as Queen Elizabeth and Bob Dylan, but in her real life the actress is a mom who loves the daily chore of vacuuming!

“I enjoy vacuuming,” Cate told PEOPLE at the Giorgio Armani/Ristorante dinner party in New York City this week in honor of welcoming the Sydney Theatre Company to the Big Apple for their production of A Streetcar Named Desire. “It’s a very satisfying noise when you hear all that grit sucked up from the floor and into the machine.”

Adds the Oscar winner: “Vacuuming is a big one for me and it’s those simple things that keep my life grounded. It can be quite therapeutic!”

As a mother raising three young boys – Dashiell John, 8 this week, Roman Robert, 5 ½, and Ignatius Martin, 19 months – with her playwright husband Andrew Upton, life at home can be a bit rambunctious for star, but she says she doesn’t mind being the only lady in the house. “Having boys is great. It’s a neat position to be in and I love the high energy that comes along in raising boys. It’s fun.”

Having recently wrapped a sold-out run of Streetcar both in Sydney and Washington D.C., the actress, 40, is bringing her acclaimed performance as Blanche DuBois to the Brooklyn Academy of Music starting Nov. 27 through Dec. 20. And how does Cate juggle her rigorous work schedule and still have time to help her kids settle in?

“Theater is an evening event so you can’t put your kids to bed as often as you like but we seem to find a way to manage,” she says. “The kids have been to New York before and they love it. We have lots of friends who’ve got kids and that helps. But they will come visit me at work.

She adds, “We did a show earlier in the year in Sydney and our little child actually watched the show backstage, which is a really interesting and exciting place with people putting on makeup and costumes and so they love it.”

And will her children follow mom and dad in becoming actors?

“My oldest already performs his own version on Hamlet,” laughs Cate. “I’m afraid so!”

— Paul Chi

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Stella Bella on

She loves vacuuming? She can come to my house anytime! lol

Jen on

Why is it that every celebrity who has boys thinks that only boys are high energy and rough and tumble, and every one who has girls thinks they are all nurturing?

Why are we reinforcing these stereotypical gender roles?

My daughter is VERY high energy, she never stops moving. I love to dress her in girly outfits, but she also has a Tonka truck and plays with Legos.

Sarah M. on

My cousin has 4 boys (2 1/2, 5, 7, and 10) and her house is CRAZY at times! Entertaining, too!! Her sister has 2 boys (14 and 16)and 1 girl (7). Her daughter is probably tougher than all of the boys put together, simply because she is the only girl of the bunch!

I don’t think Cate was trying to feed into a stereotype of any kind. I’ve been working with children for over 10 years (in a day care setting, with various families, babysitting, etc.). There is usually a difference between little girls who are only children or only female siblings (they can get rambunctious, but are pretty mellow the majority of the time) and little girls who are around little boys a lot (they have a tendency to be rowdy more of the time). Boys can be and are still sweet, though. With my younger boy cousins, bring in a baby and they sit there and coo, talk to, feed, etc. the baby and are quite disappointed when the baby has to leave. It’s VERY sweet! There are exceptions to every rule. There will still be some girls who aren’t around boys much and bounce off the walls much of the time…

Liliana on

Jen, I believe Cate was describing her experience with her sons. I doubt she was trying to reinforce gender roles.

Personality traits have nothing to do with the sex of a child. I have two sons and the differences between them are amazing. Obviously they’re both boys but they’re also two, separate individuals.

miaow on

I get where Jen is coming from…the gender difference is often overstated in my experience (I have an active , not chatty girl and a boy that is nurturing and never stops talking ) but to cut Cate some slack I have noticed that lots of boys together seems to multiply the effect…3 boys = more than 3 X the noise!

True on

Jen i think she would have said the same thing if she had girls, she was talking about HER EXPERIENCE, plz lets cut her some slack.

buggs on

could not agree with you more Jen. there are differences between the genders . there are differences between individuals. Quite clearly the differences between individuals is far greater than that between the genders…. so we should talk about individuals more and talk about “boys vs girls” less IMO.

that said, GROUPS of boys and GROUPS of girls are very very different creatures. I would have to second miaow and say that a group of 3 brothers would be extraordinary if they were not, to use Cate’s diplomatic phrase, high energy.

J.J. on

It’s just personality of the kids!! Not their genders..there are plenty of rowdy and loud boys and girls, as well as sweet ones. There is NO such thing that ALL boys are loud and rough and ALL girls are quiet and nurturing, who the hell made up that thing because it can be proven that it’s false easily! Don’t look at the ridiculous stereotypes people! Every child in this world is different regardless of sex, it’s based within their personality, not what’s between their legs!

Anna on

Why do people want to pretend there are no differences between boys and girls? Is it the new PC thing to do? There are differences and there is nothing wrong with it.

CelebBabyLover on

Anna- I think what people are trying to say is that girls can be just as noisy and “wild” as boys, and boys can be just as nurturing and quiet as girls. 🙂

JessicaB on

Agree completely on the “groups of boys” comment – I have 3 boys. When only one is home, it is calm and pleasant. When all 3 are around, there are chasing games resulting in doors being pulled off hinges “accidentally” and pillows being slammed against walls! I grew up in a house with girls, we did not play like that! There are true gender differences – Psychology Today even published an article about the scientific differences between girls’ and boys’ brains…no one is creating stereotypes, the genders happen to be made differently, nothing wrong with that.

daniela on

Thank you Anna – I totally agree with you! I think with the whole PC movement we are so focused on creating equality within everyone when there clearly can be differences – and that is not wrong or bad in my opinion. But I guess others don’t feel that way at all.

miaow on

Sure genders are different when looked at as a huge group…but there is huge variation in individuals within that group. So SOME boys are QUIETER than SOME girls. I think most of the posters have simply pointed out this…and trust me when you have an slightly atypical child you become very aware very quickly of all the assumptions people make about gender.