"I wanted to be him," Blanchett tells The New Yorker of being cast as Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' I'm Not There (right). The entire ensemble, including Heath Ledger and Christian Bale, play the singer at different periods of his life. "It's the first time I ever had that feeling. I actually wanted to be Dylan. Ultimately, he just really didn't care. He's on his own path."
Blanchett plays Brad Pitt's wounded wife (left) in Alejandro González Iñárritu's Babel. "You're assaulted with poetic reality," Blanchett tells EW of the film. "That's the domain of the auteur." That same year, she plays a mad femme fatale opposite George Clooney in The Good German.
Blanchett stars as a teacher who sleeps with her teenage student and is blackmailed by Judi Dench (right) in Notes on a Scandal. She receives Golden Globe, SAG and Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress. "She was quite ruthless in the way she approached that role," Notes screenwriter Patrick Marber tells The New Yorker. "This was a woman whom she was not going to explain or apologize for-she was just going to play it."
A glowing Blanchett, 38, graces the cover of W. In the cover story, she discusses her most anticipated roles: playing Bob Dylan in I'm Not There and a Russian villain in the fourth Indiana Jones film (costarring Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf). She calls the highly anticipated sequel, "the ultrasecret, secret project, the one that cannot be discussed." When the sequel opens, it shatters the weekend box office, making an estimated $311 worldwide.
A pregnant Blanchett walks the red carpet of the Academy Awards, with two Oscar nods: one for Best Actress as Queen Elizabeth I and another for Best Supporting Actress as Bob Dylan. Although she doesn't take a statue home, she does welcome her third son, Ignatius Martin, in April.
With Oscar buzz surrounding her new film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, where she plays the love interest of Brad Pitt's reverse-aging character, Blanchett appears on the February cover of Vanity Fair. "I haven't done anything, but who knows," she says of never undergoing plastic surgery. "Andrew said he'd divorce me if I did anything."
Blanchett reprises her role as elven ruler Galadriel for Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit": An Unexpected Journey. "When I got word that, in fact, she was going to be in a small section of it I was over the moon," the actress tells DigitalSpy.com. "It was a little bit like returning to summer camp, in that so many of the people that were a part of the first journey are a part of this journey. It's an amazing thing to be able to return to something that begun 12 years ago." The film takes in more than $84 million during opening weekend.
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Splash News Online; Paramount; Kobal Collection/Wireimage; Frazer Harrison/Getty