Hungary’s influence on Hollywood reaches back to the early days, including both fantastic filmmakers and Hungarian language itself. And now, it has been revealed that even a fictional character played by Hollywood star Cate Blanchett has a connection to Hungary – albeit in a rather unexpected way.
Many believe that “TÁR” was inspired by the story of a conductor who actually lived by that name, but this is not the case. The actress came across the word “gyógyszertár” (pharmacy) during her shoot in Budapest, and although she struggled to pronounce it, she was intrigued by the word, especially by the sound of “tár”. From there, she went on to get director Todd Field to name the conductor she plays in his film “TÁR”.
Field had originally named the character Tar, then Blanchett suggested Tarr because it had a better ring to it, and finally, while filming “Borderlands” in Budapest, she spotted the word “gyógyszertár” on a building, took a picture of it and sent it to Field. Thus, “Lydia Tár” was born.
cate came up with the accent on a in tár or as she say "budapest did" pic.twitter.com/cC6pTxB8FW
— ℳári (@cakeblanchett_) February 21, 2023
The character’s name isn’t the only link to Hungary: during the 3-month shooting of Borderlands at ORIGO Studios Budapest, Cate Blanchett learned to play the piano from Emese Virág, pianist of the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music.
“She’d get up at 5am, work on set until 7pm, then she played the piano or practiced on Skype with a conductor. For her, nothing is impossible, she works until she reaches her goal,” said Emese Virág about working with Cate Blanchett.
The Hungarian language has a unique sound and structure that has captured the attention of many artists and filmmakers over the years. It has been used in a variety of ways in Hollywood, from the use of Hungarian music in films to the use of Hungarian words and phrases in dialogue.
Cover credit: IMDb