Carol screened at the BFI London Film Festival last week, with leading ladies, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, on show to share details about some of the film’s most intimate details.
The film, based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 lesbian novel The Price of Salt, is helmed by out director Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven) and stars Blanchett who plays alluring married woman Carol Aird, who meets young department store clerk Therese Belivet, played by Mara.
The couple form an instant connection and fall in love. Carol faces losing custody of her daughter in a bitter divorce battle because of her affair with a woman.
The movie’s integral moment when the women finally consummate their affair was treated with nothing but the utmost care according to both actresses as well as director Todd Haynes (Far from Heaven).
Discussion on the red carpet, Blanchett said;
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.”
Blanchett went on to say it was a “relief” when the scene was filmed between them,
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 added that she felt “comfortable” with Blanchett, saying;
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.”
Both Blanchett and Mara have been widely tipped for Oscar nominations for their roles.
Haynes also discuss the necessity of a comfortable, respectful environment when shooting love scenes,
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,” he described of the process, “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.”
Carol opens November 20th, so get ready to soon fall even more in love with this film and its co-stars than you already are.