Cate Blanchett is one of the most celebrated actresses alive and could take home her third Academy Award this Sunday for her powerhouse performance in the Todd Field drama Tár. So why is she dancing like a maniac in a strange new music video?

Wearing a yellow suit and bright red headphones, Blanchett stands still and stares directly at the camera during much of the Sparks song “The Girl Is Crying in Her Latte,” before breaking into sporadic bursts of wild dance each time the chorus hits.

It’s the first single and title track from Sparks’ upcoming studio album, The Girl is Crying in Her Latte, which will be released May 26 via Island Records. Ron and Russell Mael, the brothers behind the eccentric art rock band, appear alongside Blanchett in the minimalist music video, which consists of a single shot in a sparse all-white room. The video was released March 3.

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Sparks - The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte (Official Video) - Starring Cate Blanchett
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“We met Cate Blanchett in Paris at the César Awards last year, little knowing that a year later, one of the great actors of our time (and a splendid person!) would graciously consent to lending her bootie-shaking skills to [our video],” said Ron, 77, and Russell, 74, in a news release. “Dreams really do come true. We will sleep well tonight knowing that forever we can say we co-starred in a film with Cate Blanchett.”

Sparks have been performing together since 1966, amassing a large cult following and influencing many bands and artists along the way. But even they seem a little amazed at having Blanchett in their music video. The dance moves she performs were largely her own idea.

“We didn’t even know she was going to necessarily be dancing,” Russell told Variety. “It was more like ‘come and stand in our video.’ You know, that would’ve been fine too. But that was what she felt like doing to that song. She came in with the red headphones she’s wearing in the video.”

Ron added: “She adopted a character really in the video… I mean, we would like to take credit for having directed her, but we had nothing to do with that. It’s a little bit presumptuous to be directing Cate Blanchett. We were extras in our own video, in a certain way.”

In an interview for the Variety Awards Circuit podcast, Blanchett said she and the Mael brothers got along well during their first meeting and kept in touch. While preparing for their music video, they asked Blanchett if she would be willing to record a smartphone video of herself “mugging around” to the song.

“It was one of those kind of crazy nights and, at 3 o’clock in the morning, I did something,” Blanchett said. “But then I said, ‘You know, I’m gonna be in L.A.,’ and they said, ‘Come round.’ … It was really quick. It was so much fun.”

Blanchett received her eighth Academy Award nomination for her performance in Tár. She portrays the brilliant but troubled orchestra conductor Lydia Tár in the film and is in the running for the Best Actress award. Blanchett previously won Oscars for her performances in The Aviator (2004) and Blue Jasmine (2013). The 95th Academy Awards Ceremony will air on March 12 on ABC and stream on FuboTV and Hulu.

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Colin McEvoy
Senior News Editor, Biography.com

Colin McEvoy joined the Biography.com staff in 2023, and before that had spent 16 years as a journalist, writer, and communications professional. He is the author of two true crime books: Love Me or Else and Fatal Jealousy. He is also an avid film buff, reader, and lover of great stories.