Photographer Craig McDean shot the cover and the accompanying fashion spread, for which he and stylist Lori Goldstein created moody, shadowy images. Long, sinuous ensembles showcase the star's lean frame.
In one shot, Blanchett lounges in an Etro silk kimono with a plunging neckline; in another, she's draped in a Chloé jumpsuit. While her expression remains thoughtful or steely, her hair-raising 'do seems to have a mind of its own.
Blanchett clearly cottoned to the Tom Ford cat-eye sunglasses she wore on the shoot -- she's recently been photographed wearing them in Berlin, where she's filming the upcoming thriller "Hanna."
In outtakes on W's blog, she affirms her passion for fashion. "'I love it. I don't spend my life worshipping it, but I love beautiful things.'" Her current beauty must-have? Dry shampoo. "'It has changed my life,'" she says.
Still, despite her glamorous lifestyle -- the blockbuster movies, the Academy Award -- 41-year-old Blanchett doesn't see herself as a Hollywood actress. W senior editor Danielle Stein tells StyleList that she recognized this and decided to focus on a different aspect of the "Robin Hood" star's life: her relationship with her husband, Andrew Upton. And in an unusual move, Stein interviewed both Blanchett and Upton.
"As co-artistic directors of the Sydney Theater Company and co-parents of three young kids, Blanchett and Upton work more closely together, and in a more comprehensive way, than most couples," Stein explained to StyleList.
In her article, Stein describes "a rare symbiosis in which, creatively and otherwise, they seem to use each other like a second brain." Before this starts sounding sickeningly sweet, consider the inevitable criticism that comes with a couple's working together.
Upton told Stein, "'[Blanchett] challenges, but she's not aggressive.... We're fairly brutal with each other.'" Blanchett lobbed back, "'I know what to do with criticism.'"
While Blanchett's film career is still blazing along, Stein observes, "her personal compass is far less oriented toward Hollywood -- not just the place, but the concept -- than any other film actress I've interviewed."
Living in Sydney may keep Blanchett out of the Hollywood scrum, but Stein believes the star's perspective is also due to her deep love of theater. "I think that realm is where she's most firmly situated as an actress," says Stein.
"For her, making movies is a facet of her career in the performing arts, and it's not even the main one. She sounds most passionate talking about theater."
Still, she's not leaving the red carpet anytime soon. Check out what she wore to the "Robin Hood" premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.