Todd Haynes Q&A: ‘Carol’ director
"This was really about a grittier reality, but it meant that Carol's glamour and elegance and style would really stand out amid the more tired, distressed world," explains director Todd Haynes during our recent interview about his new film "Carol." Set in 1952 New York City the film tells the story of a married woman (Cate Blanchett) who enters into a forbidden relationship with a young shop girl (Rooney Mara).
Haynes adds, "It is a stylish period, but based on the research I was doing of early 50s New York, it was a city that was in transition out of the war years, so there was kind of a distressed quality about New York City. I like that as well, but it was very different from the high style, oppressed style of my earlier film 'Far From Heaven', which was really the sound stage version of America."
While Haynes usually writes his own screenplays, he happily took on this project written by Phyllis Nagy with Blanchett already attached. He had worked with the actress before on "I'm Not There" (2007), which brought her an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress. Of this experience of directing another person's script, he says, "What I realized is whether someone else has written the script or whether you wrote the script, you kind of have to let the script go at a certain point as the director as you move into the production. Each stage of the film, you've gotta let the last stage go, or you're stuck. You're stuck in expectations and things you've imagined that you didn't really fulfill."
Haynes was nominated at the Academy Awards and Golden Globes for his screenplay of "Far From Heaven." Do you think he will receive his first ever Oscar nomination as Best Director this year?