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How Cate Blanchett Pitched Her Own Episode of 'Documentary Now!' Season 4

As Season 53 – or Season 4, who’s counting – of the acclaimed series Documentary Now! approaches its premiere date, fans of the comedy series are eager to know as much as they can about the upcoming episodes, as well as what ideas were contemplated when putting the new season together. During this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, in which the series had an early screening of the two-part premiere episode “Soldier of Illusion”, Collider sat down with series co-creator Fred Armisen and producers Alex Buono and Rhys Thomas to talk about the show.


During the interview, the group revealed that Season 4 takes place entirely in the UK. We already knew that Cate Blanchett was coming back for one episode, but now Thomas revealed that not only the two-time Academy Award winner pitched her own episode, but also her pitch ended up laying the groundwork for all six episodes that are coming our way. He said:

“Cate Blanchett did Season [3] with us, so she actually brought an idea to us, which was ‘3 Salons by the Seaside’. [It] is a BBC, sort of like a 45-minute documentary that she brought to us, and said ‘Take a look at this, this could be good’, and that was very clearly, very regional, and very British, and it just felt, you know… when Cate Blanchett brings an episode to you, it feels like you probably should do it. So that was what definitely pointed us in that direction. But in terms of the whole season […] it felt exciting to me that it would force us all to think differently, that it would give a different landscape of what we do, and maybe energize the writing and everything.”

RELATED: ‘Documentary Now!’ Season 4 Adds Alexander Skarsgård and Nicholas Braun as Guest Stars

Cate Blanchett’s episode in Season 4 of Documentary Now! is titled “Two Hairdressers in Bagglyport”, and it centers around a couple of simple hairdressers who are gearing up to prepare their yearly stylebook for a tiny town. The episode also features Harriet Walter (Succession), and it parodies the BBC documentary 3 Salons by the Seaside, as well as the famous Vogue documentary The September Issue.

Additional guest stars for “Season 53” of Documentary Now! include Alexander Skarsgård (The Northman), Nicholas Braun (Succession), Liliane Rovère (Roxane), Jamie Demetriou (The Afterparty), Trystan Gravelle (Lord of The Rings: The Rings of Power), Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones), John Rhys-Davies (The Lord of The Rings trilogy) and Grammy award winner Tom Jones. Once again, the series will be hosted by Helen Mirren (The Queen).

Documentary Now! was created by Armisen, Thomas, Bill Hader, and Seth Meyers. It premiered back in 2015 to high praise, and ever since then, it has earned multiple nominations across several awards, including six in the Emmys. The series has featured several notable guest stars, including Cameron Crowe, Alana Haim, Owen Wilson, Michael Keaton, Michael C. Hall, Jack Black, and Anne Hathaway.

You can watch the TIFF trailer for Season 53 of Documentary Now! below, and look for our exclusive interview with Fred Armisen and producers Alex Buono and Rhys Thomas tomorrow.

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