The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara will be starring in Todd Haynes’ Carol.
Mara replaces Mia Wasikowska, who is currently filming David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars. The two actresses have been up for the same roles before. They both turned down Spike Lee’s Oldboy remake (it then went to Elizabeth Olsen), and Wasikowska declined to audition for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo because of the time commitment. Mara was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for the role.
Carol is based on the groundbreaking 1952 romance novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith.
Mara will star alongside Cate Blanchett. The 28-year-old will play Therese, a young department store worker who is unhappy with her job and is brought together with Blanchett’s titular character, who is trapped in an unhappy marriage with a wealthy husband.
Carol marks Haynes’ first directorial since 2007’s I’m Not There, which also starred Blanchett and Heath Ledger.
“We’re over the moon to have Rooney on board, I’ve been a tremendous admirer of her work from the beginning, so the thought of bringing her together with Cate on screen is thrilling, to say the least,” Haynes said in a statement.
Number 9 Production’s Elizabeth Karlsen added, “It’s a testament to Todd Haynes as a director and the quality of the script that we have managed to attract this exciting caliber of actor.”
Back in May, Karlsen said 44-year-old Blanchett, who was the first choice, was perfect for the lead.
“She’s got the chops and she’s got the physical beauty for the part,” she said. “It’s a cliche to say this but roles for women like this don’t come along very often.”
She also talked about how far the industry has come as far as portraying homosexual love stories.
“We’ve come a long way since Dirk Bogarde starred in Victim,” Blanchett said. The use of “homosexual” kept the film from being released in the US in 1961; a change in the film allowed for its release the following year.
Blanchet added, “We’ve had Brokeback Mountain, A Single Man, Far From Heaven – and President Obama came out in support of gay marriage.”