Cate Blanchett is clearing the air.
The 45-year-old actress got a lot of attention when she told a reporter from Variety that she had relationships with women off-screen “many times.” However, she now explains that she meant in the non-romantic sense.
The Oscar-winning actress is starring in the screen adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt, which takes place in the 1950s and tells the story of a woman named Carol (played by Blanchett) who enters into a secret romance with a female department store clerk (played by Rooney Mara).
Blanchett clarifed her remarks to reporters at a Cannes International Film Festival press conference for the movie. “From memory, the conversation ran: Have you had relationships with women?’ And I said: ‘Yes, many times. Do you mean have I had sexual relationships with women? Then the answer is no.’ But that obviously didn t make it.
The actress, who recently adopted a daughter with her husband of 18 years, told Variety that she “read a lot of girl-on-girl books from the period” to prepare for the role.
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And while there will be some steamy scenes between the two characters, Blanchett promises nothing overly graphic.
“It’s not Blue Is the Warmest Color,'” Blanchett says. “That s not the ambition of the film.”
Instead, Blanchett hopes Carol will break misconceptions in Hollywood about female-driven films while appealing to a wide range of audiences.
“It was so hard,” she explains of getting the film made. “Midrange films with women at the center are tricky to finance. There are a lot of people laboring under the misapprehension that people don’t want to see them, which isn’t true.”
Citing powerful female figures like Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Cinderella director Allison Shearmur, Blanchett says she’s hopeful things will change now that “there’s been a critical mass of women who have reached a certain place in the industry.”
“I want it to not be discussed anymore,” she adds. But it needs to be discussed.
Carol will compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.