Cate Blanchett has had relationships with women

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Variety has Cate Blanchett as its new cover girl, and inside, she talks about playing the lead in Carol, a “lesbian romance” based on Patricia Highsmith‘s novel The Price of Salt. Interestingly, the accomplished actor offers that she has had relationships with women “many times.” From the piece:

When asked if this is her first turn as a lesbian, Blanchett curls her lips into a smile. “On film — or in real life?” she asks coyly. Pressed for details about whether she’s had past relationships with women, she responds: “Yes. Many times,” but doesn’t elaborate. Like Carol, who never “comes out” as a lesbian, Blanchett doesn’t necessarily rely on labels for sexual orientation. “I never thought about it,” she says of how she envisioned the character. “I don’t think Carol thought about it.” The actress studied the era by picking up banned erotic novels. “I read a lot of girl-on-girl books from the period,” she says.

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Cate is married to Australian writer/director Andrew Upton, and this is the first time she’s spoken about having been with women. A six-time Oscar nominee, Cate is lauded as one of today’s best leading actors, and her roles in films like Notes on a Scandal and now Carol have been of particular lesbian interest. In Carol, which premieres at Cannes on May 17, Cate engages in a romantic and sexual relationship with Therese, played by Rooney Mara

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Carol was adapted by out playwright Phyllis Nagy and also stars out actresses Carrie Brownstein and Sarah Paulson. Produced by Christine Vachon, an out lesbian, and directed by gay filmmaker Todd Haynes, it is highly anticipated to be one of the best queer films ever, and that’s a lot of pressure. Despite Variety calling gay love stories often “cursed,” Todd has a more optomistic spin on it:

“In some ways, the event of a gay love story is less surprising every day,” Haynes says. “But I think love stories are hard to pull off, period. They require external forces that keep the lovers apart.” 

As for the sexiness of the script, Cate said it will be different from our last big lesbian film. “It’s not Blue Is the Warmest Color,” she said.That’s not the ambition of the film.”

Instead, the film is less about “politicizing” sexuality, Cate said. (“I think there are a lot of people that exist like that who don’t feel the need to shout things from the rafters.”)

Cate is one of several public women who have spoken about having relationships with women, while also not labeling themselves. In this interesting time we live in, it offers more visibility but also begs the question, should we consider them queer? Without their identifying as such, it’s hard to say, so we’re more likely to refer to someone as “out” if they do not specify or seek to do so. But since Cate is open about her having dated women, she’s officially one of those “out” actresses in our eyes.

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