Cate Blanchett isn’t one to go into great detail about herself. In a new Variety profile about her role in the upcoming film Carol, she doesn’t even want to talk about how she prepares for a part, merely saying, “Do I have a process? I don’t know. There are certainly things perhaps that I don’t want to identify.”
However when talking about the fact Carol is her first lesbian role, she does suggest that perhaps she’s not completely new to relationships with women, as when asked about this being her first time, she answers, “On film – or in real life?”
When pressed on whether this means she has had relationships with women in the past (she is currently married to a man), she doesn’t have a huge amount more to add, but does say, “Yes. Many times.”
It seems she doesn’t have a time for labels, as she says that when considering what her character in the film would be considered, she says “I never thought about it. I don’t think Carol thought about it.”
The long-gestating Carol is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novella The Price of Salt, which follows the relationship between two women in 1950s New York.One is a young department store clerk (Mia Wasikowska) who dreams of a better life, and the other is a woman (Blanchett) trapped in a loveless marriage. Playwright Phyllis Nagy wrote the screenplay adaptation.
Todd Haynes, known for previous LGBT-themed work such as Velvet Goldmine and Far From Heaven, directs. He previously worked with Blanchett on his unusual 2007 Bob Dylan biopic, I’m Not There.
It’s well worth reading the full Variety piece, which talks about how Carol got to the screen, this history of Highsmith’s book (which was controversial enough on its initial release that she wrote it under a pseudonym), as well as the issue of both female and gay centred stories in mainstream cinema.