Ehle, who won a best actress Tony award for her performance in Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing" two years ago, was excited that she, too, might gain a lesbian following from playing the bisexual Christabel.
"Oh, really!" she smiles with British restraint.
Did Ehle have to do any same-sex research or make her new husband don a wig?
"No, I didn't really do that or do much research at all. I read some [Christina] Rossetti and I knew some Dickinson already. But I personally don't know how to [take] all the research that everyone says they always do and use it in my scenes."
As for whether she saw any difference between portraying a lesbian and a heterosexual, Ehle shrugged.
"In the book, the relationship with Blanche is a little bit more ambiguous than I think it comes across in the film. To me, it's not ambiguous. I have no doubt that they were lovers. But it's like playing anyone's lover. It didn't seem different because they were both women or any of that, because their relationship seems to have very clear dynamics. Blanche is needier. Perhaps the sexual side of the relationship and the emotional side mean more to her than to Christabel. Christabel loves Blanche dearly, but maybe she isn't in love with her. There was plenty to play in there without thinking, 'Oh, they're two women.'
But let's say this film is a hit and you do become a lesbian icon. Would you consider riding on a float in a Gay Pride parade, possibly in a gigantic Victorian skirt that billowed over the whole vehicle?
"I don't know. Maybe," Ehle laughs. "I can't imagine that would happen. But it sounds nice. In fact, it sounds like you might want to do it yourself."
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
PlanetOut: "Possessing Gwyneth, Jennifer and Neil"
An older article, with a rather queer spin on Possession.