Sarah Paulson on playing the other woman in "Carol" and being out in Hollywood - AfterEllen
Aug 25, Lesbian Oscar Contenders Ape the Hetero Hollywood Age Gap. READ MORE: “Danish Girl” Inks Awards Season Release Date It doesn't much matter why, exactly, Carol and Therese get on so well; they are two gay. Mar 13, Carol and age difference Something I really enjoyed in Carol: it doesn't ignore the gap in age between Carol and Therese. It's written and. Nov 19, The young woman is Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara), an aspiring We're never told the age difference between Carol and Therese, but it's enough to part because the rules of intergenerational relationships require that the.
They then decided to approach Haynes. Vachon, Haynes's frequent collaborator, asked if he would be interested, and he received a copy of the screenplay. Two days later he committed to direct, and Vachon joined as a producer. Blanchett, who served as an executive producer through her company Dirty Films,  had been involved with the project for "a long time".
He regarded the story, its historical and social context, and collaborating again with Blanchett, as motivations to get involved. She said that although she loved the script and wanted to work with Blanchett, she had turned it down as she felt exhausted and unconfident.
By the time Haynes came on board she was "in a much different head space" and signing on was then "a no brainer". I feel there was an understanding with them that words and dialogue were never carrying the weight of the story.
He starts with a look book of images that he's compiled over the months and months. He's almost OCD about it.
In a good way. Haynes used their works as a visual reference for depicting a "dirty and sagging" New York. Part of the financing plan hinged upon a co-production deal with Canada, with filming taking place in Montreal, but Haynes joining the production led to a rethink.
Karlsen recalled making a film 27 years earlier in CincinnatiOhiothat was set in s New York. After researching the city, she found that it had not changed much in decades, with Ohio also having one of the best film tax incentives in the U.
The city of Cincinnati was very accommodating to the production, which employed many locals as crew.
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Visual effects VFX were used to remove modern components from backgrounds, with six "key shots" needing extensive VFX. Moving shots were particularly complicated when they were filtered through windows, rain, dust, and other elements, said Haynes, and the CGI details "had to fit exactly into the vernacular itself, with the grain element and level of distress. The producers gave notes on the director's cut, and held some test screenings with friends and acquaintances.
The affair could open a new world for Therese. Here's a scene where the two women meet for lunch after the gloves have been returned. And they have their first real talk. As Therese Belivet So I'm sure you thought it was a man who sent you back your gloves. As Carol Aird I did - thought it might've been a man in the ski department. As Therese Belivet I'm sorry.
As Carol Aird No, I'm delighted. I doubt very much I would have gone to lunch with him. As Therese Belivet Your perfume. As Carol Aird Yes? As Therese Belivet It's nice. As Carol Aird Thank you. Harge bought me a bottle years ago before we were married, and I've been wearing it ever since. As Therese Belivet Harge is your husband?
As Carol Aird Mhmm. As Carol Aird Don't be. And you live alone, Therese Belivet? As Therese Belivet I do. He'd like to live with me. Oh, no, it's nothing like that. I mean, he'd like to marry me.
As Carol Aird I see.
Lurking Historic — Carol and age difference
And would you like to marry him? As Therese Belivet Well, I barely even know what to order for lunch.
That's Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett. Congratulations on the film. Phyllis, let me start with you since the story of this adaptation starts with you. What is the importance of the novel that "Carol's" adapted from? What's its importance in the history of gay and lesbian fiction? And it was written by Patricia Highsmith under a pseudonym and published in Yes, and as far as I am aware, it was the first relatively mainstream lesbian novel to be published that included not only a relatively happy ending, but it did not include the death of one of its lesbian heroines or one of them going to an insane asylum or nunnery.
And it fully embraced the notion that sexuality was a thing that did not in and of itself cause guilt to the people who were experiencing sexuality, as opposed to contemplating it, which a lot of prior lesbian fiction had done.
So it was extremely forward-thinking in that way. So Phyllis, what is the essence of the novel that you most wanted to keep in the screen adaptation? One was the radical way in which Patricia Highsmith addressed the sexuality of the protagonists in the novel as natural as breathing.
No particular thought given to what sexuality means to these women, but also an insistence on ignoring, more or less, the naysayers, which was another aspect of the novel that was profoundly radical. The second part of the thing that I think makes the novel really resonate even today is Highsmith's particular view of motherhood and what makes a good mother ultimately.
In the case of Carol Aird, she has some decisions to make about what will be best for her life going forward and her child's, and her decision involves choosing her own mental health as a means to be a good mother. Which, frankly, I think is still quite a forward-thinking maneuver even today. And not denying her nature in order to You've got to be the best possible version of yourself before you're the best possible version of a mother. That seems very radical for the time and would've been very radical in a movie of its time too.
Sarah Paulson on playing the other woman in “Carol” and being out in Hollywood
So before I bring Todd into the conversation, Phyllis, I'm going to ask you to describe the two main characters in "Carol. Well, the two main characters in "Carol" are Therese Belivet, a young aspiring photographer in the film, an aspiring theatrical set designer in the novel. She is at a stage in her life - early 20s - where she is searching for the keys to her future.
She's a bit reticent. She's immensely curious, a bit like a sponge, and responds to everything with an alarming honesty, much like Pat Highsmith herself, whom I knew. Carol Aird is older, married and she is a melancholy creature.
Todd Haynes, let me bring you into the conversation. You directed the new film, "Carol. Rooney Mara is the young woman who's, like, working-class.
Carol dresses, like, elegantly. Rooney Mara's character, Therese, doesn't really care much about clothes and doesn't dress particularly fashionably at all. They also, it seems to me, have really different acting styles in the movie. The Cate Blanchett character of Carol, she has this really, like, modulated, breathy kind of voice and speaks in a way that actresses speak, especially in '50s movies. You know, in this, like, musical way.
And Rooney Mara's character is much more, like, naturalistic, almost like Natalie Wood just stepped into the movie in the s, laughteryou know? And I'm wondering if you saw it that way at all as, like, two different acting styles representing two different types of women, two different types of actresses, two different types of styles.
Certainly there's, you know, sort of defining differences between these two women, which begins with their age differences and their class differences. And the fact that - and this begins in the novel the way Therese is so enthralled by what kind of woman, the kind of depiction and representation of femininity that Carol represents to a degree that she says I myself could probably never achieve.
And there's something, as Phyllis so perfectly describes, in Carol the character. There's something unhappy, there's something mercurial about this woman. There's - she's sort of disinclined toward happiness or spontaneity. But I think, you know, what we have the opportunity to see in a character like Carol is the facade, the alluring surfaces of this woman that immediately draws and attracts Therese, and then the sort of layers begin to fall away and you start to see a very complicated and conflicted person underneath that.
And you see her taking a curious leap - both of them, out of their worlds to the other, you know, almost against all logic. And I think there's something so lovely about that being the way love often begins - in the most irrational, inexplicable sort of circumstances where you put yourself out there and you keep going, what am I doing, where am I, why am I here?
But you keep going back. Well, since, as you pointed out, there's this kind of, like, layer of artifice that surrounds Carol because of her clothes and her mink coat and her kind of affected style of speaking even though she's very vulnerable underneath that, whereas the Rooney Mara character of Therese is very honest but isn't very talkative. Like, Carol's always saying to her, what are you thinking? You've gone - you know, like, you've gone quiet.
What are you thinking? I'm always asking you that. So what advice did you give each of the actresses about how you wanted them to portray these characters? Well, you know, this is largely seen through Therese's point of view. At least a good portion of the film, we're filtered through Therese's experience. And so I think both actresses had to sort of have as much awareness of sort of whose point of view was being favored at what time in the story.
And I find that to be such a remarkable part of what Cate does in this performance because she's - there are times in the film where she can't give away too much.
Carol (film) - Wikipedia
She still knows she's portraying sort of Therese's image of her, and she has to see sort of be very careful and thoughtful about how she reveals the Carol of different layers beneath that. And I just find that to be a phenomenal, nuanced part of that performance.
So I think they both knew that. That said, I think Carol's neuroses and disquiet as a woman is quite clear early in the film, where she's nervous about smoking in the department store, she's nervous about not finding her compact in her purse when she pulls up to the party and she's nervous about going to the party with - you know, there are - we see clues that this facade is not everything it seems to be.
My guests are Todd Haynes, the director of the new film, "Carol," and Phyllis Nagy, who wrote the screenplay. We'll be back after a break.
See, that’s what the app is perfect for.
And if you're just joining us, my guests are Todd Haynes, the director of the new film "Carol," and Phyllis Nagy, who wrote the screen adaptation from the Patricia Highsmith novel. Patricia Highsmith wrote it under the name Claire Morgan.
Patricia Highsmith was not out when she wrote this novel in the early s. Was Highsmith afraid that if she used her own name that she would be outed and that it would ruin her career? Phyllis, this one's for you. No, she actually was about as out as anyone could be at that time. It was a well-known that she was a lesbian. In fact, she wouldn't have minded publishing it under her own name.
But first her - the publisher of "Strangers on a Train," they asked her to consider getting another publisher for "The Price of Salt. It was not the Highsmith brand. She agreed to do it. The Highsmith brand was a crime novel at that point? Crime novel, which of course "Carol" is not a crime novel, but it does have elements of criminal in it. So it was still a Highsmith novel had they thought about it. There is a gun. There is an air of menace. There is paranoia - all of those things.
So what impact did it have on her career to have this book published under a pseudonym? And I know from Marijane Meaker's book, who wrote a memoir about having had a two-year affair with Patricia Highsmith, you know, in the gay bar that they went to and the lesbian bar they went to, everybody knew that she had written "The Price of Salt" under the pseudonym.
And that's what she was famous for in this bar, not for, you know, "Strangers on a Train" laughter. Well, I think that Highsmith was very surprised by the impact that "The Price of Salt" had on publication and even in the years - four or five years following its publication. She would receive the most amazing letters from people - of course they were addressed to Claire Morgan - but talking about how the book had touched them profoundly, changed their lives.
Certainly no one was going to say that "Strangers on a Train" changed their lives in quite that way - or even "The Talented Mr. But honestly she felt that "The Price of Salt" was such a personal novel to her that it was difficult for her to take ownership of it as a writer for many years. I don't think she would publicly say she didn't rate it as one of her better efforts, but I was never sure if that meant she just didn't like it or if she was so personally attached to the novel that she couldn't afford psychically or psychologically to claim ownership of it until the late-'80s.
So when she finally did come out as the author of "The Price of Salt" - which also I think meant coming out in a more public way. People who knew her probably knew she was out. I'm not sure the reading public knew that she was out.
I interviewed her in Judging from the questions I asked her, I didn't know she was out. Or maybe I knew that she was a lesbian but thought it was something that she wouldn't want to talk about at that time on the air. So what was the impact of claiming this novel as her own on her life? Well, by that time, she knew that she was ill. It was the beginnings of the illness that eventually claimed her life in the mid-'90s. So I don't think she felt she had anything left to hide, to lose.
She had everything to gain. She was gaining more respect and recognition in the United States, which was something that had eluded her to a large degree until around the time you interviewed her. And that must have been for the publication of "Found in the Street. Yes, and that was around the time that I met her and got to know her. And she was very happy to finally have what she felt were mainstream literary critics saying that she was actually a pretty good writer.
And so crowning that at the end of the '80s was claiming "Carol" - "A Price of Salt" and renaming it "Carol. Phyllis, how did you get to know Patricia Highsmith? And the editors of World of New York wanted to commission a crime writer or a mystery writer to do a walking tour of Green-Wood Cemetery.Therese & Carol - When I Saw You
And she agreed to go. So the editors sent me to accompany Pat Highsmith to the cemetery, which was quite a strange trip through, you know, the rain and Pat being reticent and very Therese-like, poking sticks at graves and only exclaiming when she saw the grave of Lola Montez. I guess that was one of her faves.
And this trip culminated in a gruesome tour of the crematorium at Green-Wood, where we were repeatedly asked to put our hands in warm ovens and look at blenders full of bones. And at the end of this horrible tour - it was about 11 a. And we went outside, and Pat produced a hip flask from her trenchcoat and said, I don't know about you but I need a drink. And she held this flask out to me like a challenge. And I thought, well, what the hell, and I took it, and it was scotch at 11 a.
And from then on in, we became first incredible correspondents - no email then, and so we wrote letters. Later, when I moved to Europe, I saw her much more frequently.
But that's how it all came about. So did Patricia Highsmith know that you were a lesbian?