Carol Producer Christine Vachon Tells Us About Building a Career On Her Own Terms


Anyone who knows anything about the film industry knows that Christine Vachon, co-president and founder of Killer Films (which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year), is one of the greats.

Alongside producing partner Pamela Koffler, Vachon has become an icon of queer cinema, producing Oscar-nominated Far From Heaven and winners Boys Don’t Cry, and Still Alice as well as all of director Todd Haynes’s projects (including I’m Not There and Mildred Pierce). When Vachon came to the Jezebel office on Tuesday, she was amidst a week of press for Killer and Haynes’ latest contender, Carol.

Carol, directed by Todd Haynes and based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel The Price of Salt, depicts the relationship between Rooney Mara, a department store counter girl, and Cate Blanchett, a sophisticated housewife. That duo and premise alone is enough to make it my favorite movie and to think very, very hard about whether I want to remain in the hetero relationship in which I am currently a participant.

The film, which opens in limited release on November 20, received a standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival, at which Mara also won best actress.

In our conversation, Vachon told me why she was so determined to make Carol (“It was oddly exhilarating and adventurous”) and how Killer Films has managed to exist for so long (by staying small and going after projects they love). She also weighed in on the Hollywood pay gap discussion, noting it hadn’t actually affected her all that much, mostly because she had built her career on her own terms, but she had seen discrimination in terms of getting studios to finance movies starring and about women.

“I’ve experienced the difficulty in trying to make character-driven, female-driven films and how little confidence a lot of the studios have in those films.”

Watch the interview to hear all of the above, plus how Carol finally got made and which Real Housewives series she refuses to fuck with.

Read Jezebel’s review of Carol here:

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