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Cate Blanchett says she has always been “an actor.”

She is the jury president at this year’s Venice Film Festival and during the opening day press conference she was asked about the Berlin Film Festival’s decision to give “gender neutral awards” instead of best actress and actor awards.

“Not as a political statement, but I’ve always referred to myself as an actor,” she said. “I don’t think we have a very gender specific language and I’m of a generation where the word ‘actress’ was used always in a pejorative sense. So, I think I claim the other space.”

Blanchett went on to say that “good performances are good performances” and that it’s more difficult having to judge other artists’ work.

“I think that’s often the hardest thing,” she said. “Demarcation or no.”

Her contemporary, actor Tilda Swinton, agreed.

“It’s just such a waste of life; you know life is too short for this,” The Guardian reported Swinton as saying. “And so, I’m really happy to hear that about Berlin and I think it’s pretty much inevitable that everybody will follow. It’s just obvious to me.”

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