Todd Haynes & Christine Vachon: Carol

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Director Todd Haynes and producer Christine Vachon are longtime friends and collaborators. They first met as students at Brown University in the 1980's, and together they've made films including Safe and Far from Heaven, as well as the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce.

When they joined us in the studio, we talked about one of their first projects, Superstar, the 1987 biopic of singer Karen Carpenter. The short film used Barbie dolls to tell the story of the singer's rise to fame and struggle with anorexia that led to her death at the age of 32.

Many years and many movies after Superstar comes Haynes and Vachon's newest collaboration, Carol,a love story that stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, Oscar-nominated, respectively, as best actress and best supporting actress.

Before Vachon and Haynes got involved, Carol was already many years in the making. Screenwriter Phyllis Nagy, now Oscar nominated, first wrote an adaption of the Patricia Highsmith novel on which the film is based in 1997. Producers, directors and cast members came and went.

Finally, in 2013, British producer Elizabeth Karlson -- who had labored for years to pull the project together -- thought she might be close to success. She had Blanchett attached to play the lead but suffered another setback when she lost her director. Karlson just happened mention her troubles to her friend, Christine Vachon. Simply commiserating, Vachon said her director friend Todd Haynes also had just a project fall through, and suddenly, they had the perfect team.




Kim Masters


Kaitlin Parker