Cate Blanchett says she has had many relationships with women, according to Entertainment Tonight. The subject came up while discussing her role in the film Carol that premieres at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday, May 17.
Carol is a lesbian-romance film based on the 1952 Patricia Highsmith novel The Price of Salt. The film is about a female New York department store clerk in her 20s, played by Rooney Mara, who dreams of a better life. She falls for an older, married woman played by Cate Blanchett. While there will be a love scene in Carol between Cate and Rooney, the actress said it won’t be explicit.
Blanchett had a lot to draw on for the film. She prepared for her new role by reading “a lot of girl-on-girl books from the period.” When asked if this was her first turn as a lesbian, Blanchett responded, “On film or in real life?” She revealed to Variety that she has engaged in romantic encounters with women many times. However, she did not comment further.
“When the actress was pressed for details about her past real life romances, and whether they include relationships with women, the Oscar winner responded, ‘Yes. Many times.'”
The actress did indicate that she is not concerned about labels when it comes to sexual orientation. She said she never thought about it when she was preparing to play a lesbian character who doesn’t really come out. She said her character in the film didn’t care about labels either.
“Her sexuality isn’t politicized. I think there are a lot of people that exist like that who don’t feel the need to shout things from the rafters.”
Because the film features a lesbian love story, Hollywood wasn’t very receptive to it. Carol was in development for 11 years, and multiple directors dropped out of the project before Todd Haynes signed on to direct it in 2013. There was a lot of trouble bringing Carol to the screen, and Blanchett says she wasn’t convinced that Carol would ever make it to theaters.
Carol is the kind of film that won’t get much mainstream attention. After all, not only does it star two women, but they’re lesbians. Still, Blanchett thinks it’s time for more projects like this to be made because the sexism in Hollywood is connected to the sexism everywhere else.
She hopes Carol will break misconceptions in Hollywood about female-driven films while appealing to a wide range of audiences.
In real life, the 46-year-old Australian actress is married to playwright Andrew Upton, and they have four children.
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