Rooney Mara Was ‘Terrified’ to Share Screen With Cate Blanchett in ‘Carol’

Oscar nominee says she was intimidated to meet her idol, but “she’s much different than I had in my head”

Rooney Mara seems like an actress up for anything, as evidenced by her Oscar-nominated performance in “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”

Physical violence, gun fights and endless piercings couldn’t shake her. What does? Cate Blanchett.

The buzzy period film film “Carol” sees Mara play the young paramour to Blanchett’s title character — two performances already getting awards attention along with the work of director Todd Haynes. But when Mara was first cast, the idea of meeting Blanchett was “obviously terrifying.”

“I remember the first time I saw Cate, in ‘Elizabeth.’ I think I was 13. I went to our little local theater with my mom, and I was like, ‘Oh, my God, who is that woman?’” Mara said in the November issue of Interview magazine, where she chatted with musician St. Vincent.

“She’s just so incredible. It was pretty easy to pretend to be enamored by her. And she’s quick and witty and funny. She’s very confident. It’s amazing.”

When it came to meeting one of her heroes, Mara had an experience that disproves the cliche.

“Usually it’s not that great to meet your idols and work with them; it’s kind of a letdown. This definitely wasn’t. She’s much different than I had in my head, but kind of better, in a way,” she said. Check out her Peter Lindbergh-shot cover below.

The Weinstein Company’s “Carol” opens in limited release on November 20. 

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