Behind the scenes

Inside the Big Issue: Cate Blanchett and The New Boy

Cate Blanchett met the Big Issue in a South London hotel. We talked, as you do, about religious dogma, colonialism and white supremacy

Cate Blanchett for The Big Issue

Cate Blanchett met the Big Issue in a South London hotel. We talked, as you do, about religious and political dogma, colonialism and white supremacy, misogyny and the perilous state of democracy.

Blanchett asked as many questions as she answered – unusual in an interview scenario – appearing as happy listening as speaking.

Turns out she’s a regular customer. She wants to know more about how the Big Issue started, how we survived lockdown, what was in the first edition, how many vendors we have, how it feels for them when people just walk on by.

This time last year, Blanchett was at the Oscars, where Tar was nominated in six categories. Her latest venture is altogether different. In The New Boy, a film by Warwick Thornton, Blanchett plays a conflicted nun in a story of colonialism and Christianity set in 1940s rural Australia, starring opposite young actor Aswan Reid, who features alongside her on this week’s cover.

This is a film that looks beautiful and centres on a simple story. A young boy arrives at the orphanage Sister Eileen (Blanchett) runs in the absence of the priest in charge. But this is also a film with something serious to say about this country’s colonial past and the politics of today.

Blanchett said: “There’s so many failures going on with us as a species at the moment. But a big failure is a failure of imagination. To imagine that this is not about you, this is not a negative for you.

“Actually, in someone else’s opportunity is also an opportunity for you. Like when any dark family secret is tabled. It’s like a wake – there might be a painful moment, but we will move through something and then it’ll be a relief and a release.”

Read the entire interview in this week’s Big Issue!

What else is in this week’s Big Issue?

How to balance people and the planet with profit – our essential guide to all things B Corp

Do you know where your breakfast cereal comes from? How about your brandnew jumper? Or the metals in your iPhone charger? Ethical shopping is on the rise.

Consumers increasingly want their money to make a positive impact – and are quick to shun businesses that fall short. We talk everything you need to know about B Corps.

How the police needs a total change of culture to restore public trust

It has been three years since the shocking murder of Sarah Everard at the hands of a serving police officer. Yet, we are still talking about rooting out rogue officers without the police taking serious action to address the systemic issue of misogyny at its core.

For far too long a pervasive culture of misogyny has been allowed to run rampant throughout policing – and it is women who are paying the ultimate price

Meet the residents in Tower Hamlets are battling back against horrific housing failures

Lorraine Byrne scrubs and scrubs the walls, but the black mould keeps coming back. She lives in a damp and cold two bed council flat with her husband and four children on the Nags Head estate in East London. Last winter she moved the chest of drawers in the bedroom where her three eldest children sleep, and mould covered in fluff stretched up the unit.

“I just want to know that my kids aren’t suffering from breathing in those damp spores,” Byrne, 38, says. “It’s in the walls. It’s like one of those horror movies.”

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