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'Carol' star gets key to city, loves Cincinnati

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Posted at 10:06 AM, Nov 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-19 10:06:29-05

CINCINNATI -- As the excitement builds to the release of “Carol,” the film’s star is reminiscing about her time shooting the film in Cincinnati.

Cate Blanchett spoke about her time shooting the movie in a YouTube video released this week promoting the film.

The A-list star had nothing but glowing statements to say about the Queen City.

“It’s been phenomenal shooting in Cincinnati actually,” Blanchett said.

Cate Blanchett (L) and John Cranley (R)

Cate Blanchett (L) and John Cranley (R) - Courtesy of the City of Cincinnati

It turns out that the city loved her back. Mayor John Cranley awarded a key to the city to Blanchett, her co-star Rooney Mara and to a film producer during a visit.

Blanchett said she’s not quite sure what she’s meant to do with the key before gushing about the city’s architecture in the video.

“The resurgence in downtown and the Over-the-Rhine district, … There are so many buildings that haven’t been [bourgeoisied] up or gentrified in the 70s or 80s where you’ve got to unpick all that stuff,” Blanchett said.

She went on to talk about how everyone in the city has been cooperative. She called special attention to the police and fire departments.

“I don’t think we would have been able to do what we’ve done in New York where the film is set,” Blanchett said.

Rooney Mara (L) and John Cranley (R)

Rooney Mara (L) and John Cranley (R) - Courtesy of the City of Cincinnati

The filmmakers were attracted to Cincinnati for several reasons including architecture that allows the city to work as a stand-in for 1950s New York and other locations. Certain tax rebates given to Hollywood have helped as well.

"Carol" began filming in mid-March 2014, and spawned multiple sightings of Mara and Blanchett in such locations as Eden Park and Downtown.

The movie, which centers on a love affair set in 1950s New York between a wealthy socialite (Blanchett) and a young department store clerk (Mara), received Oscar-worthy reviews after its screening at the Cannes Film Festival in France earlier this year.

While the film opens Friday to a limited number of theaters in the nation, it will premiere in Cincinnati on Dec. 12.