How do I adore Cate Blanchett? Let me count the ways. One: Her Bob Dylan impression beats all other Bob Dylan impressions. Two: She is simultaneously the embodiment of earthly queen and faerie queen. Three: She's a straight-shooting BAMF. Sticking to her character as a triumphant tea-spiller, Cate Blanchett talked about relationships with women in a recent interview with Variety. She also did so in a way that emphasized you shouldn't be having a cow over it.
(Update: At a Cannes press conference for Carol, Blanchett clarified the statement she made during her Variety interview saying, "From memory, the conversation ran, 'Have you had relationships with women?' and I said, 'Yes, many times.' If you mean I’ve had sexual relationships with women, the answer’s 'No.' But that obviously didn’t make it into print... But in 2015, the point should be 'Who cares?'")
Blanchett sat down with Variety's Ramin Setoodeh to discuss her role in the upcoming Todd Haynes–directed flick Carol (premiering May 17 at Sundance). The Oscar-winning actress plays a married woman who falls for a department store shopgirl, played by Rooney Mara. When Setoodeh asked Blanchett if this role "is her first turn as a lesbian," Blanchett retorted, "On film — or in real life?" Setoodeh described her reaction to his queries as follows:
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."
Like the true class act we know her to be, Blanchett handled this question in the best way possible. Though she's dated men (she's married to one, in fact), it sounds like she's also explored other types of humans. She answered openly and honestly, but doesn't treat it like a HUGE admission of some juicy detail.
I admire the way that Blanchett's aloof frankness acknowledges that having both same-sex and heterosexual relationships is normal. Culture often seeks to define sexuality in the most rigid terms possible, ignoring the fluidity of human attraction. But with Blanchett and other figures in pop culture addressing this, (Miley Cyrus recently intimated that some of her relationships haven't been heterosexual, and plenty of other female celebs have dated women) hopefully our culture will become less rigid about labeling sexual orientation.
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