Two-time Oscar winner Cate Blanchett is currently at the Cannes Film Festival for the premiere of Carol, the Todd Haynes helmed adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s benchmark lesbian novel The Price of Salt. But before she could promote the film she clarified with reporters that she has not had relationships with women as Variety (and subsequently a lot of us) reported earlier this week, according to Yahoo News.
In an extensive Variety interview with Blanchett about Carol, which is already garnering Oscar buzz, the interviewer asks if Carol is Blanchett’s first time playing lesbian and she responds, “On film — or in real life?” Then, when asked if she’s had past relationships with women, Blanchett says, “Yes. Many times,” but fails to provide any further information. That little tidbit made waves around the Internet, but Blanchett was forced to clarify at Cannes.
"Have I had sexual relations with women? The answer is no," Blanchett told reporters.
The part of the Variety interview where she clarified and said she actually not had relationships with women, was edited out of the article, according to Yahoo News.
Still, the 46-year-old actress took the opportunity to speak out on behalf of LGBT people, asserting, "in 2015, the answer (to that sort of question) shouldn't matter.” She went on to say, "in 70 countries around the world, homosexuality is still illegal.” Finally, she added that despite gains for LGBT people, "we're living in deeply conservative times.”
In the film, Blanchett plays the titular role of the socialite Carol (the original name of the book that Highsmith wrote under the pseudonym Claire Morgan), who meets and falls for a younger woman, a department store clerk and artist, played by Rooney Mara. Sarah Paulson and Carrie Brownstein costar as a couple of the other women in Carol’s life.
Highsmith wrote The Price of Salt during the heyday of lesbian pulp novels, but her tale, which is at times heartbreaking, varied greatly from the even bleaker outlook of so many pulp novels, offering up a glimmer of hope with its “happy ending."
Carol is set for release in December of this year.