Australian actress Cate Blanchett was left mortified by her first meeting with director Martin Scorsese, because she laughed at his breathing aid.

The ELIZABETH star was not aware Scorsese suffers from severe asthma and thought he was hooked up to a ventilator as a joke.

Of their first encounter on set of their latest movie The Aviator, she says, "I thought Marty was playing a joke.

"He had a mask over his face like Dennis Hopper and I thought he was pretending to be Howard Hughes or something.

"But that's what Marty has to do because he can't stand the smoke. Once I realised that, I felt awful."

29/11/2004 09:21