30 Days of Carol: Day 23 – Carol Miscellanies

click for all 30 Days of Carol

I tell you what, hinging my personal brand on The 2015 Oscar Nominated Film Carol for two years and solidifying it with this series has been a trip. I’ve learned so many things – not just about the movie and its peripheries, but about life. Myself. Other people. About connection.

I wanted to make sure I shared all of it with you before 30 Days of Carol ends and I retreat into the ocean.

Rooney Mara was invested in the accuracy of the theatrical poster.

According to an anonymous source, Rooney Mara was concerned about the inclusion of Therese’s pearl earrings on the official Carol poster because they aren’t featured until Carol and Therese meet at The Ritz at the end of the movie, and the picture of Carol is from their second date. Her concerns were apparently overlooked!!!!

The character of Carol seems to be based on a combination of three people, and the hotel room recording was real.

Patricia Highsmith is said to have based Carol on Virginia Kent Catherwood, whom Highsmith met in 1944 in New York and who apparently lost custody of her child after “a recording made in a hotel room and exposing a lesbian affair was played in court”; Kathleen Senn, whom Highsmith met while working in retail at Bloomingdale’s; and a psychoanalyst named Kathryn Cohen, who was “beautiful, intelligent, melancholy, monied, and married.”

Therese brushing her teeth in the kitchen sink in on purpose.

From Carol production designer Judy Becker: “In Therese’s kitchen — I modeled it in my mind after some pre-war tenant flats that all had the bathtub in the kitchen. In Therese’s apartment, I put the bathtub in the kitchen with the lid, and that’s where she develops her photography.”

Carol was shot in 34 days.

Sixteen hour shoots at a time.

The script had been floating around for 15 years before being made.

Phyllis Nagy wrote the Carol screenplay in 1997 a year after Patricia Highsmith’s death in 1996.

Cate Blanchett had a hand in finally getting the film made.

Cate was introduced to Highsmith’s work through her role in The Talented Mr. Ripley and followed the Carol script until eventually involving her production company, Dirty Films Ltd.

Mia Wasikowska was on track to play Therese after Rooney Mara turned the initial offer down.

via shutter stock

A “What If” for the ages.

Cate sought to ruin everyone’s lives on the Carol press tour. (JK)

When asked by reporters if this was her first crack at a lesbian she responded with: “On film — or in real life?”

Rindy is played by twins.

The Mary Kate and Ashley of our time.


This fact has changed me as a person.

Carol’s car was a loaner.

The 1949 Packard Super 8 Deluxe was loaned to production by a man who had named the car “Ethel”.

This video of actresses being charmed by Cate Blanchett set to Britney Spears’s “Womanizer” exists.

I love this more than most things in life.

The premise behind the horror trailer cut of Carol was a running joke on set.

After posting this trailer on Twitter, someone who worked as a stand-in on Carol informed me that this is what the cast and crew joked the movie was really about.

Carolheads are amazing (and extremely gay).

From Autostraddle commenter @Ally: “The night after my girlfriend of four years and I broke up, we decided the only way to process our feelings was to rewatch Carol together. It’s truly a film for all occasions.”

Carol is officially a conversation-stater among queer people in the UK.

From Autostraddle commenter  @Remainflexible: “30 days of Carol is a solid conversation-starting topic in pubs up and down the UK, even in the preppiest pubs in London, as I can testify after Saturday night. Good work. Think of the potential relationships this can be starting.”

Carol can improve your life in practical ways.

I’ve gotten date offers out of it. I’ve made friends. I’ve found out my ride or dies. I’ve learned who’s gay in a room just by wearing this shirt. I’ve worried co-workers. I’ve hitched a wagon to the moon.

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Los Angeles based writer. Let's keep it clean out there!

Erin has written 208 articles for us.


  1. Carol’s car was a loner.

    Maybe Ethel was just waiting for the right woman to come along.


    Neighbours described Ethel as a car that kept herself to herself, when questioned by journalists after she’d gone on a serial killing rampage.

      • After diary queen yesterday and loner car today I’m strongly suspecting you’re scattering them so liberally for a reason.

          • These [typos] are all clues right ? Erin’s Pendulum

            Gosh that sounds dirty all of a sudden

            *This is where my comment should have gone, damn you system failure*

    • Maybe Ethel Is Christine, the 1958 Plymouth Fury apparently possessed by supernatural forces from the Stephen King book (and movie)

  2. Who else has the feeling after watching that video that Rooney Mara spends her time looking for other opportunities to work with Cate, checking social media to see what she’s up to, rereading the handful of messages on her phone from Cate and wondering if it would be weird to send a cute/funny follow-up to one of them, and telling herself that Cate and she shared a real connection, but Cate is just extremely busy (whilst she opens a bottle of wine/ jar of icecream/ new box of tissues and rewatches certain scenes with Cate for “acting research”).

    • Once in a while, when they happen to be in the same town, they go out for coffee and R pretends that her whole world doesn’t hinge on these couple of days out of the entire year. Nothing spectacular ever happens, but then it takes her months to get Cate‘s laugh out of her head, the way the wind catches in her hair out of her mind, and just when she thinks she‘s over it, there‘s another gala, another awards show, and there she‘ll be again, with the gait of a lioness in 6 inch heels, towering above everyone else, lighting up the entire room, and it is during those times, that R wonders if life isn’t just a wonderful and terrible merger of art and reality.

      • She’s automatically defensive when the subject of Cate comes up, insisting that they have a casual, great friendship, and feel so comfortable and relaxed when they see each other. At 3 a.m. however she finds herself angrily asking questions to a blank wall like “Why did you suggest going out for coffee to continue our conversion and then turn up with Todd? Why didn’t you respond when I sent you a heartfelt message of support on the day your headache prevented you filming? Did you even really have a headache?”

        And then she feels guilty, because after all Cate’s a really good friend who just needs the support of friends who care and get her.

        And then she stays awake for the rest of the night, trying unsuccessfully not to think at all.

        • *Conversation, not conversion, although honestly I think that was her subconscious speaking.

  3. So what you’re saying is I should ask the cute girl at the grocery store what she does on Sundays.

  4. “More mashed potatoes Carol ?” Eeeeeeeek !

    Well done Erin.

    (Either this or the sexting article crashed AS, I’m glad you’re back ! I promise to behave – signed, The-girl-who-blames-herself-for-everything)

  5. I had never seen that womanizer video before and now I feel like I’ve found the purpose of life. (Or at least the purpose of my life on this particular day.)

    Also, if Mia Wasikowska had been cast, what would fan fiction have done with two blondes and no brunette?

  6. It’s the most wonderful time of the year,
    When Therese is telling,
    The dolls they are selling, so listen here,
    It’s the most wonderful time of the year

    It’s the hap-happiest season of all,
    With those meet-cute greetings and gay lunch meetings,
    When Carol comes to call,
    It’s the hap-happiest season of all

    There’ll be parties for hosting,
    And men for roasting,
    And Carol out in the snow,
    There’ll be road trip stories,
    And tales of the glories of,
    Leaving men long, long ago

  7. These were very cool facts! Thank you for delivering on that womanizer video. I almost don’t mind that I had to listen to Britney Spears to look at that fabulous video!

    • As a person who changes the station almost immediately when Britney Spears comes on; I also cannot believe that I was willing to listen to the song in its entirety just for that video. Oh well I guess some sacrifices have to be made for fabulousness.

  8. Harge: Dammit! I put nothing past women like you, Carl.
    Carl: You married a woman like me.

    I am forever changed by Carl.

  9. “Virginia Kent Catherwood, […] who apparently lost custody of her child after “a recording made in a hotel room and exposing a lesbian affair was played in court””
    Amongst all these fun facts this is genuinely heart breaking.

  10. Since Cate’s production company was involved in the making of Carol we can call Carol one of Cate Blanchett’s dirty films.

  11. Omg, 46 seconds into the Womanizer video Cate Blanchett is wearing a dress with a pocket that is amazing

  12. I wasn’t at home all day and while I did enjoy myself, in the back of my mind throughout the day, I kept thinking about how I wasn’t able to read or comment on today’s 30 Days of Carol post.

    And now I’m home and I’ve read it and it was perfect, thank you. And I think I also have a t-shirt to buy.

  13. Oh, and my favorite part of the Womanizer video is when Rooney helps Cate put her coat on.

  14. 30 Days of I’m Learning So Much!!! A bathtub in the kitchen? How did I miss this after (I’ve lost track) times of seeing this? Welp, will have to watch again!

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