On Monday, the first day of this exciting journey, reassurance of my life’s choices came by way of a tweet. In response to the Good News – as in, have you heard about it – a fellow Carolhead hit the @ and relayed two bits of crucial information. One, that she was, to her knowledge, the only person to see the first and last screenings of Carol, and two, that she held an Oscar voter’s login information hostage until he – an acclaimed director – agreed to vote for Carol. “A hero,” I whispered aloud, and asked for an interview. Here today is @OfficialMaggieL with her story.
Erin: Hi, Maggie, are you ready?
Maggie: Take me to bed. (Yes.)
Erin: Hahaha. I’d like to start by thanking you for sliding into the DMs with this prized Carol information.
Maggie: It’s my pleasure. We need to keep this film alive.
Erin: Is it safe to say you’re a Carolhead?
Maggie: I think that’s a fair assessment. I saw the first public screening in NYC at the Angelika and the last screening at the Paris, and I think 14 times in between.
Erin: Fourteen times. Incredible. You originally said to me that you were the “…only person to see the first and last screenings in New York.” I’ll start with my most pressing question: what does that mean?
Maggie: As far as I know, I saw the movie the first time it was shown in NYC to a paid audience at the Angelika Film center on the day it was released. And on its final day in theaters, I saw the latest screening of it at the Paris theater. Since there were only a couple of other people in the theater at that final screening, I think it’s safe to assume that none of them were at the first one.
Erin: I see. Yes, I was curious about the words “first” and “last”, because to me they imply an independent element to the experience. So, you weren’t actually in the theater watching Carol on the big screen by yourself just, I don’t know, running laps or screaming into a bag?
Maggie: I was in the theater watching it, but not alone. Just assuming that the three or four in the theater in March probably weren’t in the theater at the Angelika the previous November.
Erin: Describe the mood of the first screening.
Maggie: ELECTRIC. I went in knowing very little about the text. I knew it was a book I should read, but I hadn’t read it yet. I’d seen the trailer and yelled “OH FUCK” when Carol said “I like the hat.”
Maggie: It was also a total cruising space, I’ve never seen so many gathered lesbians outside of Pride. We were all so ready to experience this together.
Erin: I am inspired all over again.
Maggie: It was a festival of plaid.
Erin: A batch of butches.
Maggie: Those early screenings were especially great because of how raucous the audience was. We all wanted this so much. But also – it’s a really funny movie, and I think we forget that until we watch it together.
Erin: Agree. Now, you were an assistant to [famous director] of [equally famous movies].
Maggie: That’s correct.
Erin: He was also apparently a voting academy member, and you said you denied him his login information until he agreed he would vote for Carol.
Maggie: Yep, he couldn’t remember his password and didn’t know how to retrieve it, so I sat calmly and said that I could retrieve it as soon as I knew for sure that he would nominate Carol in every category for which he’s a nominator. It was my version of standing up in the lawyer’s office.
Erin: A bold move of a pioneer. What was his response?
Maggie: He laughed in a nice way and promised me that he would. He loved the film and was actually offered it before it made its way to Todd.
Erin: Do you think he did?
Maggie: He says he did! This was just nominating, not voting, since it wasn’t nominated for best picture. But I do believe he did nominate it. We often spoke of how beautiful it was.
Erin: In this way, do you feel partially responsible for the success of The 2015 Oscar Nominated Film Carol™?
Maggie: I think I am fully responsible.
Erin: Thank you.
Maggie: I’ve also devoted my life to evangelizing, even making a Facebook live video the day it was put on Netflix to show my friends how to search “C-A-R-O-L” and press play. I’ve had multiple straight friends alert me when they finally decide to watch it, and now I know how a missionary must feel.
Erin: We owe you so much.
Maggie: All I need is a kiss from Cate.
Erin: If at the end of this 30 day run Cate reaches out, I will relay this message. Do you identify as a Carol, a Therese, or an Abby?
Maggie: I say that I’m a Carol/Therese switch. Most of my queer friends describe me as “such a Carol” because I’m a 6’1″ strawberry blonde with a deep-ish voice and I’m super femme, but inside I’m a big anxious mess.
Erin: So, essentially, you’re the best of both worlds. Is there anything else you’d like people to know regarding your connection with Carol?
Maggie: Oh! [Famous director] also tried to make me meet Cate! I was a seat filler at the Tony Awards and she was there, and he told me that I needed to go tell her hello from him because then we would have to talk. But I was too scared.
Erin: MAGGIE. It’s not that we’re mad, we’re just disappointed.
Maggie: I walked so close to her that my dress touched her but I was about to pass out. I would have ruined it.
Erin: Do you realize that Cate Blanchett would have 100% hugged you? Without you asking? Just immediately gone in?
Maggie: My time will come! I imploded from pressure that night, but I’m peripherally close enough to enough people who are close to her that I know it will happen in the future.
Erin: I will light a candle for you. And I hope when you finally meet her, you snap a selfie with her and send it to my email with the subject: FUUUUUUCK YOUUUUU.
Maggie: I promise I will. When she made her broadway debut, I sent her a bottle of her favorite vodka and a note. I heard through the grapevine that she was excited that someone special ordered her favorite brand, and that she drank it every night.
Erin: How and what.
Maggie: Also, when she presented at the Tonys, I was sitting on the front row directly in front of her, and we made it into a shot together on national television. So I guess you could call me a co-star.
Erin: This is all incredible.
Maggie: I also want everyone to recognize our national holidays, December 21st, January 1st, and April 17th. April 17th is Rooney’s birthday, the day they shot Waterloo (I think? or the other kissing scene?), and the Oak Room. I go to the Palm Room at the Plaza every year and have a martini, since the Oak Room is only a special event space now. They have tea at the Palm Room at some point in the book.
Erin: AND SO IT IS. December 21st, January 1st, and April 17th.
Maggie: We can take off work. It’s allowed.
Erin: I’ve already quit all my jobs. Wow, thank you. For this and everything.
Maggie: For the most precious of gifts? Of course.
Erin: Keep spreading the good news my friend in Carol.
Maggie: Absolutely. Glad Carol tidings to you.