Cate Blanchett said she approached a sex scene with her female co-star Rooney Mara in the 1950s lesbian romance Carol, the same way she would with a man.

The Aussie actress talked to media in Tokyo, Japan about the one sex scene between herself and Mara which she said she approached just as she would have with a male co-star, except "the bits are different."

"The fact that the women are the same gender isn't important ... it becomes an epic love story just like Romeo and Juliet and that's the way we thought about it. It's love, love is love no matter who it is between," she said.

The movie, which has been a critical smash since it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May last year, is up for six Academy Awards, including best actress for Blanchett and best supporting actress for her co-star Rooney Mara.


"It's an extraordinary honour. Many, many people from the film have been nominated, which is a wonderful thing. It's always wonderful when your peers recognise your work," Blanchett said at a press event on Friday evening before the movie's Tokyo screening.

Based on Patricia Highsmith's 1952 novel The Price of Salt, Carol stars Blanchett as the title character - a married but separating woman with a child - while Mara plays Therese, a timid department store clerk infatuated with Blanchett's Carol.

In the film, Carol and Therese are irresistibly drawn together, but the women must cloak their surging affection for one another in subtle, hidden gestures, keeping their love private in a conservative, male-dominated world.

Also at the event was Japanese actress Shinobu Terajima, who asked Blanchett what challenging role she'd like to take on next.

"Probably the life story of a sumo wrestler," Blanchett replied.

"You have to gain weight for that," said Terajima.

"Yes. An anorexic sumo wrestler," Blanchett said.

- AP