Cate Blanchett: Why ask about sexuality?

Cate Blanchett is amazed her sexuality is being questioned in light of her new movie, as she doubts her fidelity would be discussed if she played an adulterer.

The Oscar-winning actress plays the title character in Carol, which is set in 1950s New York and follows the relationship between two women. Rooney Mara stars as Therese, a young shop assistant who falls in love with the older, glamorous Carol. Due to the subject matter Cate has faced many questions about her own romantic feelings, with one interview taken out of context and leading to the suggestion she is bisexual. The whole episode left the 46-year-old star bemused.

“It’s just funny. If I was playing someone who had an affair, I think there would be a moment of pause before a journalist said, ‘So how many affairs have you had?'” she told Cover Media at the BFI London Film Festival press conference for the movie. “And I think if I was playing an axe murderer, people wouldn’t necessarily ask me how many people I’d murdered, and so I probably answered in a way that was a bit facetious, to someone who was probably a little bit literal and we misunderstood one another. I mean, look: I don’t read it to be honest – no offence. I’ve been busy, got four kids…”

As Carol is a love story between two women, with men very much the sideline actors, it’s led to suggestions that a new era is dawning for Hollywood actresses. Adding to this is the release of Suffragette, which is also dominated by women, but Cate is tired of the subject being raised.

“Every time there’s interesting, complex roles played by actresses on the screen, someone says: ‘Do you think this is a breakthrough, does this mean that there’s going to be more?'” she said. “We seem to every year find ourselves in the same conversation that somehow it’s remarkable. I think there’s a swathe of great roles for women and certainly a swathe of wonderful female performers. I think it’s time to just get on with it, really.”

This isn’t the only thing the Australian star has little time for. She is also bored of hearing women being described as “strong”, because she thinks it’s lazy.

“I don’t know; what do you mean when you say ‘strong’?” she queried. “I think it’s a shorthand, it’s like saying women are luminous – I don’t really know what it means. It’s probably just a catchall for… I don’t know. What’s it a catchall for? Driving the narrative?”

Rooney added: “Everybody asks the question – ‘Oh, there’s these two incredible female parts in this, do you think it’s changing?’ I think that’s what they mean by strong women. It’s because we had fully realised parts in the movie, it’s somehow strong, when really it should just be normal.”

– Cover Media