Nine of Cate Blanchett’s Younger Leading Men

With the 5-years-younger DiCaprio in The Aviator

One of the most enduring criticisms of Hollywood movies has been the age disparity between their romantic leads, with a male star often old enough to be his on-screen paramour's father. Things have improved: Chris Pratt, 37, wooed Jennifer Lawrence, 26, in last year's Passengers; compare that to 50-year-old Gary Cooper marrying 22-year-old Grace Kelly in High Noon or James Stewart romancing the quarter-century-younger Kim Novak in Vertigo. Ick! And then we have Cate Blanchett. The Australian actress, born on this date in 1969, has frequently been cast opposite younger men (and one woman, Carol's Rooney Mara, born in 1985). It's especially curious in that Blanchett is so elegant and worldly: she looked 38 when she was 28; she looks 38 now. This makes her onscreen lovers appear even more boyish. In order of age gap:

  1. JOSEPH FIENNES in Elizabeth. One year Blanchett's junior. Even at 29, Blanchett (in her breakout role) was cast opposite a younger man.
  2. MATT DAMON in The Talented Mr. Ripley. One year Blanchett's junior.
  3. PETER SARSGAARD in Blue Jasmine. Two years Blanchett's junior.
  4. CHRISTIAN OLIVER in The Good German. Three years Blanchett's junior. Granted, George Clooney, eight years older than Blanchett, was the film's real leading man. Still, German actor Oliver played Blanchett's husband, the title character.
  5. CHRISTIAN BALE in Knight of Cups. Five years Blanchett's junior.
  6. LEONARDO DiCAPRIO in The Aviator. Five years Blanchett's junior. In real life, Howard Hughes (played by DiCaprio) was about a year and a half older than Katharine Hepburn (played by Blanchett).
  7. GIOVANNI RIBISI in Heaven. Six years Blanchett's junior.
  8. RYAN GOSLING in Song to Song. Eleven years Blanchett's junior.
  9. ANDREW SIMPSON in Notes on a Scandal. Twenty years Blanchett's junior. The massive age discrepancy is, in this case, key to the plot, as Blanchett's schoolteacher character is having an affair with a 15-year-old student. (Bill Nighy, twenty years Blanchett's senior, played her husband in the film.)