Speaking at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday to promote the lesbian romance Carol, Cate Blanchett said her recent comments about past relationships with women were taken out of context.
“From memory, the conversation ran: ‘Have you had relationships with women?’ And I said: ‘Yes, many times. Do you mean have I had sexual relationships with women? Then the answer is no.’ But that obviously didn’t make it,” Blanchett said during the press conference.
On Tuesday, Variety ran an interview with Blanchett where she briefly discussed her personal life in relation to the film, which stars Blanchett and Rooney Mara as two women in love in the 1950s.
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.
Variety‘s New York film editor, Ramin Setoodeh, conducted the interview with Blanchett. On Twitter, he stood by the quote and story.
But despite the back and forth, Blanchett said she felt her ultimate response to Setoodeh’s question was irrelevant.
“In 2015, the point should be: who cares? Call me old fashioned but I thought one’s job as an actor was not to present one’s boring, small, microscopic universe but to make a psychological connection to another character’s experiences,” she said. “My own life is of no interest to anyone else. Or maybe it is. But I certainly have no interest in putting my own thoughts and opinions out there.”