Annie Liebovitz / Vogue 1 / 11
Annie Liebovitz / Vogue 1 / 11

By Michelle Lanz

Cate Blanchett, the newest Vogue cover girl, is one of the most gifted and chameleon-esque actresses in Hollywood. While she's undeniably gorgeous, she's somehow flexible enough to play some non-pretty girl roles, like her convincing work as Bob Dylan in the 2007 film "I'm Not There" (Gender reversal? NBD)

Now the Aussie beauty is taking Broadway by storm as Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams' "A Streetcar Named Desire." In the December issue of Vogue, on newsstands Nov. 24, Cate talks candidly about performing on stage vs. screen, taking risks and why she's exactly like a gold fish.

On the importance of theater:

"In the wake of everything that's happened in the world in the last eighteen months, we're thinking about what we've lost. So much of the play is about the death of poetry and idealism and hope—the fine, delicate things in our lives, the intangible, ephemeral things in our lives—which theater actually represents, doesn't it? It's ephemeral by its very nature. If you're not there, you miss it. It's gone."

Cate Blanchett in Vogue: Read the interview

On performing in a Tennesee Williams play:

"Of course, you could say that at the time 'Streetcar' was written, once you hit 30 you were beginning to be past your use-by date. But Tennessee Williams doesn't really operate on that level. He operates on the metaphysical, metaphorical level—he's quite expressionistic as a writer—and he's talking about the weariness and ancient nature of her soul."

Photos: Cate Blanchett's Vogue Photo Shoot

On having her kids with her at work:

"There are so few experiences in our manicured, nanny-stated existence that have the quality of circus. Theater still does. They're always engaged in the family business, so to speak."

Video: Lady Gaga, Cate Blanchett on set for Vogue's December issue

On how motherhood has made her more bold:

"Your sense of bravery increases. You're constantly making mistakes as a parent. So you just think, 'Oh, let's give this a go—what have I got to lose?'"

Lady Gaga's "Hansel and Gretel" photo shoot for Vogue

On career choices:

"I forget things as soon as they've happened. I'm like a goldfish. I'm not very cautious or careful. It's always been more about having a variety of experiences than any planned trajectory. Not to get too mauve about it, but I think that in a way, projects choose you."

See Cate and more of Hollywood's timeless beauties

Actor Geoffrey Rush on Cate Blanchett:

"As an actor, you either work off your own personality, and that's what you're peddling, or, like Cate, you draw out from the source material all the many dark, mysterious, and conflicting elements of the character that are going to make it engaging and trilling for the audience."

See which other ladies have androgyny down pat