Monday 26 September 2016

Cate Blanchett: 'I had no problem with lesbian sex scenes in Carol'

Published 14/10/2015 | 23:04

Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett attending the Carol premiere, held at Odeon Leicester Square, London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire
Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett attending the Carol premiere, held at Odeon Leicester Square, London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett said she had no doubts about doing the sex scenes in her latest film because they are essential to the story.

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The Australian star of films such as The Lord Of The Rings, Blue Jasmine and The Aviator plays a married woman who falls in love with a young photographer, played by Rooney Mara, in Todd Haynes' romantic period drama Carol, which screened at the BFI London Film Festival.

The tastefully shot sequences between Carol Aird (Blanchett) and Therese Belivet (Mara) show them taking their romance to the next level.

Blanchett, 46, said on the red carpet outside the Odeon Leicester Square: "They're scenes and they're really important. You always have to scrutinise and ask hard questions of those scenes - how necessary are they?

"But the consummation of their (Carol and Therese's) relationship is really important. It's just about how we were going to do it. We talked about the scene and there's a great sense of trust between Rooney and I."

Earlier the actress said it was a "relief" to carry out the love scenes with Mara.

"Both characters are quite isolated - not only because their feelings set them apart from others, but the gap in their ages. They go through these volcanic feelings towards one another so it was a relief to do the scenes with Rooney. Finally we get to be together."

Mara credited her co-star for making her feel at ease.

She said: "I felt as comfortable with them as any other love scene.

"Getting to work opposite Cate was a dream. She's a very generous actor and super prepared but also she's very alive and in the moment. I don't know if many people know this but she's also really funny - this incredible Australian sense of humour and wit about her."

The director, who previously worked with Blanchett on the Bob Dylan film I'm Not There, wanted his stars to feel comfortable with the scenes.

Haynes said: "Love scenes are always hard. They are always scary. We do our best to all talk about it together, me and the actors, to know exactly what they're calling for narratively to how we're going to shoot it so they feel as comfortable and prepared as possible.

"This is an essential component of the story and in that regard, there was no doubting it or feeling like it's exploitative in any way."

Blanchett, who has won two Academy Awards for her performances in Martin Scorsese's The Aviator and Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, said she is "excited" to be this year's recipient of the BFI Fellowship.

She will receive the accolade at the London Film Festival Awards on Saturday.

"I hope they're not going to change their mind. It's great. It's absolutely marvellous," she said.

"The pedigree and the list of people who come before me is rather daunting but I'm really excited."

The actress joins previous winners of the BFI Fellowship such as Tim Burton, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Al Pacino and the late Christopher Lee.

Mara said Blanchett is a worthy winner of the prize: "I can't think of anyone more deserving. She is one of the greatest actresses that we have today."

Carol, adapted from Patricia Highsmith's novel The Price Of Salt, opens in UK cinemas on November 27.

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