Why Cate Blanchett Was Afraid To Make The Oscar-Nominated Carol

Entertainment is a weird business. Performers want to enjoy the work they’re doing, and entertain lots of people while they do it. They also need movies to make money. Awards are great, but they don’t pay the bills. Cate Blanchett now admits that she was afraid that Carol wasn’t going to be a very successful film because she perceived it’s audience as very small. Luckily, however, she turned out to be wrong.

The two Oscar-nominated co-stars of Carol, Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett, recently sat down for an interview to discuss the making of the film. Blanchett confessed to Variety that she was hesitant to make the film because she didn’t expect it would be of interest to a large part of the normal film audience.

I think my fear was that this was somehow going to be as a film that would only interest women. And the response from men, [which] I’ve found really heartwarming, is [that] it has that universal quality not only because of an audience’s sexual persuasion but also because of the gender.

It’s a perfectly reasonable fear to have. When we watch movies, we have a natural tendency to try and relate to the characters. In a film which is a love story between two women, there is, at least, the potential for men to have difficulty doing this. According to Blanchett, the film has been getting a strong reaction from men, so the fact that it’s a story solely about women, or solely about gay women, is not affecting the film’s reception.

Part of the reason for this, according to Rooney Mara, is that the film, while dealing with a controversial subject, does not focus on the politics behind it. She views the film simply as a love story, not that different from any other on film. In this case the gender of the two characters may be different than in most movies, but the story itself is the same. This may be part of why general audiences are enjoying the film. While not everybody can necessarily relate to the characters, pretty much everybody who’s ever been in love can still relate to the story. Check out their complete comments below.

Carol also appealed to Oscar voters as it’s been nominated for six Academy Awards in total, including a Best Actress nomination for Blanchett and Best Supporting Actress for Rooney Mara. At the end of February, we’ll see how many members of the Academy loved Carol as much as everybody else.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.