Rooney Mara: Chemistry has to be real

Actress Rooney Mara believes on-screen chemistry is impossible to learn.

The 30-year-old beauty stars as Therese Belivet, a naive shop worker, in new movie Carol. Cate Blanchett takes on the title character, with the film following the love story between the pair. That meant the women had to be believable as a couple, with Rooney explaining how easy she found it to play her role.

“People keep asking about this,” she said at Carol’s London press conference. “My opinion is that chemistry isn’t something you can create, it’s very much the same way in real life – you either have chemistry with someone or you don’t. A director can create it in post (production) but it’s not something you can work on, you either have it or you don’t. I felt lucky in that it was easy for me to feel chemistry towards Cate not only because she’s… Cate but because my character spent much of the film just sort of in awe of this woman and enamoured with her and that was very easy for me to embody.”

Cate agreed with her co-star, adding that the plot made it effortless for the pair to be believable in front of the camera. The story is set in the 1950s and sees the women coming up against many problems as they realise they want to be together, with the Oscar-winner finding it easy to put herself in Carol’s shoes.

“Both characters are quite isolated,” she explained. “Not only because their feelings for one another set them apart from the worlds they inhabit but the gap in their ages. They go through a lot of processing these volcanic feelings independent of one another, so frankly it was a relief to do the scenes with Rooney, ‘Finally, we get to be together.'”

– Cover Media


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