CHARITABLE EFFORTS

Cate Blanchett and Sarah Paulson Bring Their Unique Dynamic to a Roald Dahl Classic

For a Zoom rendition of “James and the Giant Peach,” they’re joined by actors Eddie Redmayne, Kumail Nanjiani, Ruth Wilson, and Taika Waititi.


Just 24 hours after Cate Blanchett and Sarah Paulson went Live on W‘s Instagram—on which they discussed Mrs. America, spoke to each other in various accents, and Paulson taught Blanchett what “LOL” actually stands for—the dynamic duo have joined forces again. This time, it’s in Taika Waititi and the Roald Dahl Story Company’s storytelling series, “James and the Giant Peach With Taika Waititi and Friends,” which released its latest episode today.

The series, which features Meryl Streep, Cara Delevingne, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Lupita Nyong’o reading from the Roald Dahl classic, is a fundraising effort to drum up donations for the medical and social justice organization Partners in Health. All donations made will be matched by the Roald Dahl Story Company and its partners.

Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Mindy Kaling, and Beanie Feldstein have also made appearances in the first two chapters of the ten-part series. In each episode, Waititi and a rotating cast of actors on a Zoom call read excerpts from “James and the Giant Peach” and take on different characters from the book. The remaining seven installments will be released on the Roald Dahl YouTube channel every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10 AM PST, 1 PM EST.

In Blanchett and Paulson’s episode, they’re joined by actors Eddie Redmayne, Kumail Nanjiani, and Ruth Wilson. Blanchett reads the part of the Centipede, while Paulson is the Old-Green-Grasshopper.

Paulson and Blanchett have a unique friendship. When they get together, their connection usually leads to wacky antics—pure comedy gold that, for this good cause, they’ve generated into a hilarious and moving rendition of “James and the Giant Peach.” But the gags have only been curbed slightly—Blanchett’s name on Zoom during the reading, after all, is “Cate Upton.”

Related: How Jody Rogac Helped Raise $1 Million for COVID-19 Relief With Photographs