Cate Blanchett Says She's "Middle Class" Despite Having an Estimated $95 Million Net Worth

"I’m white, I’m privileged, I’m middle class..."

Cate Blanchett
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cate Blanchett has left some fans scratching their heads in confusion after claiming she is "middle class" despite her reportedly overwhelming net worth.

On Monday, May 20, while participating in a United Nations (UN) press conference held during this year's Cannes Film Festival, the famed Lord of the Rings actor spoke about her time as a goodwill ambassador as well as her ongoing efforts to elevate refugee filmmakers and their work.

“I’m white, I’m privileged, I’m middle class, and I think, you know, one can be accused of having a bit of a white savior complex, but to be perfectly honest, my interaction with the refugees in the field and also in resettled environments has totally changed my perspective on the world,” she said, according to a video of the conversation shared on TikTok by the Associated Press.

Known not only for her work onscreen but for her humanitarian efforts, Blanchett went on to say that she's "utterly grateful" for the experiences she has gained as a goodwill ambassador while also encouraging people with equally large platforms to build "a dialogue with these people."


♬ original sound - The Associated Press

“I’ve met some extraordinary people with extraordinary creative talents and amazing perspective,” she added.

While Blanchett's comments were no doubt well-intentioned, fans and listeners alike were baffled by her decision to call herself "middle class" despite having an estimated net worth of $95 million.

"You think you're middle class, Cate Blanchett?" one person wrote in the Associate Press' TikTok account's comment section.

"I love Cate Blanchett, but in what world is she 'middle class' she’s been in two major franchises and is worth an estimated 90 million," another commented.

"All this is very wonderful and very cool but can we back up and unpack 'MIDDLE CLASS' rq??!" another posted.

"Cate Blanchett is estimated to be $95 million," another commented. "That is far from middle class. Still ❤️ her."

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett at the Oscars.

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

According to the Pew Research Center, the median income of those considered to live in middle-class households in 2020 was $90,131.

According to the same Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. government data, the middle class has been steadily shrinking since the early 70s—the percentage of Americans considered to live in middle-class households decreased from 61% in 1971 to 50% in 2021.

(If you're wondering if you fall into the "middle class" category, you can always check via this Pew Research Center income calculator...just in case you want to avoid any confusion in the distant future, of course.)

Danielle Campoamor
Weekend Editor

Danielle Campoamor is Marie Claire's weekend editor covering all things news, celebrity, politics, culture, live events, and more. In addition, she is an award-winning freelance writer and former NBC journalist with over a decade of digital media experience covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mortality, gun violence, climate change, politics, celebrity news, culture, online trends, wellness, gender-based violence and other feminist issues. You can find her work in The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, New York Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, TODAY, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Prism, Newsweek, Slate, HuffPost and more. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two feral sons. When she is not writing, editing or doom scrolling she enjoys reading, cooking, debating current events and politics, traveling to Seattle to see her dear friends and losing Pokémon battles against her ruthless offspring. You can find her on X, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and all the places.