Cate Blanchett landed Pinocchio monkey role after Guillermo del Toro compared her to a 'naughty 12-year-old boy'
Getting compared to a "naughty 12-year-old boy" wouldn't be the most flattering comment under typical circumstances, but when it comes to Guillermo del Toro, apparently it's a quality needed for his upcoming movie.
Cate Blanchett was announced back in 2020 as part of the illustrious voice cast for the Nightmare Alley filmmaker's stop-motion animated Pinocchio, coming to Netflix. The Oscar winner recently appeared on SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show where she then confirmed she's voicing the role of the monkey Sprezzatura and revealed the unique way del Toro offered her the part.
"I don't know how it came about really," Blanchett began. "I think we were on set [of Nightmare Alley] one day and I said, 'When are we gonna work together again?' And he said, 'I'm doing Pinocchio.'"
According to the actress, del Toro had told her, "You are not this mysterious woman. You are a really cheeky, naughty 12-year-old boy."
"And so he said, 'Why don't you play the monkey?'" Blanchett continued. "I dunno. I don't have any words. I just make monkey noises for two hours... So, yeah, that was fun."
Newcomer Gregory Mann will voice Pinocchio in the film, while Harry Potter actor David Bradley voices woodcarver Geppetto and Obi-Wan Kenobi star Ewan McGregor voices Cricket.
The French Dispatch's Tilda Swinton, Watchmen standout Tim Blake Nelson, Stranger Things' Finn Wolfhard, James Bond actor Christoph Waltz, The Plot Against America's John Turturro, del Toro's frequent collaborator Ron Perlman, and Enola Holmes' Burn Gorman are also confirmed to be in the cast, but their roles haven't been disclosed.
The director behind Oscar-winning The Shape of Water and genre classic Pan's Labyrinth has been wanting to make a dark stop-motion Pinocchio based on artist Gris Grimley's illustrations for years. He's now getting that chance with Netflix.
Set in Mussolini's Italy during the rise of Fascism, Pinocchio is the retelling of Carlo Collodi's story about a wooden puppet magically brought to life.
"We have spent a long time curating a remarkable cast and crew and have been blessed by continuous support from Netflix to quietly and carefully soldier on, barely missing a beat," Del Toro said in a previous statement. "We all love and practice animation with great passion and believe it to be the ideal medium to retell this classic story in a completely new way."
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