A media storm has swirled around the Varietyarticle where classic two-time Oscar-winning happily-married actress Cate Blanchett has talked about her past relationships with women.
Although she wasn’t explicitly using the B-word, the media are portraying her statements as confirming her bisexuality. There even have been stories about how the interviewer Ramin Setoodeh was surprised at Blanchett’s frank acknowledgement and didn’t push it. Of course, some cynics have called the whole thing a publicity stunt because her most recent film role is also a bisexual character.
The admonition came around rather simply. They were talking about the movie Carolwhere she plays a bisexual New Yorker who in 1952 embarks on a passionate love affair with another woman.
Was this her “first turn as a lesbian”? That was the question.
“On film or in real life?” responded the actress.
Had she ever had a relationship with another woman?
“Yes, many times.”
The actress doesn’t like labels, like her character.
“I never thought about it, I don’t think Carol thought about it,” Blanchett said. She studied banned erotic novels of the period and added, “I read a lot of girl-on-girl books from the period.”
The 46-year-old actress has been married for 18 years to Andrew Upton and have four children.
In her new movie that is debuting next week at the Cannes Film Festival, she portrays a married woman named Carol who falls for a shopgirl named Therese (Rooney Mara). Directed by Todd Haynes, who has had bisexual characters in “Far From Heaven” and other films, he cast Blanchett who also starred in the bisexual-themed “Talented Mr. Ripley” written by the same author, Patricia Highsmith. The author was lesbian in her life, but wrote about her longing to have children.
Arguably, Blanchett’s Best Supporting actor Academy Award win for “The Aviator” playing Katharine Hepburn was also a bisexual character. Blanchett is the third actress to win a Best Actress (for “Blue Jasmine”) Oscar after winning a Supporting Actress honor (Jessica Lange and Meryl Streep also did it).
During the interview with Variety magazine, it wasn’t Blanchett’s intention to draw attention to her sexuality. She was very matter-of-fact about the whole thing, and said that is how it should be.
Mike Szymanski has written about bisexual issues since 1989 and has one of the longest-running regular bisexual columns as the National Bisexuality Examiner. He came out as bisexual in a cover story of Genre magazine, which resulted in more than 50 television appearances, including Ricki Lake, Phil Donahue Show and 20/20. Szymanski won the Lambda Literary Award in 2007 for co-authoring an informative humor book “The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways.” Write him at [email protected]