Maggie Gyllenhaal is in London filming the sequel to Nanny McPhee, and she had a good long chat with Martyn Palmer of The Daily Mail to talk about being a mom, having friends outside Hollywood, and her secret career aspirations.
Nanny McPhee? Maggie Gyllenhaal? Whaaa? Yeah, she explains it, sort of. Read on.
On being a mom to (almost) three year old Ramona:
‘Oh, motherhood is all-consuming…I remember people saying, “Believe me, everything in your life is going to change…” And I thought, “Why? That’s such a bourgeois way of thinking.” And then you have a child and yes, everything changes. It affects the way we live, what we do and where we go – everything. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.’
On working with Emma Thompson on Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang:
‘Early on, Emma gave me a couple of notes. And she’s not directing me, she’s acting with me! If some other actor started giving me notes I would tell them to “**** off” – there is not one other actor I would allow that from. But they were fantastic notes – clear and totally helpful. I just thought to myself, “She’s teaching me and I’d be an idiot not to accept it.” And Emma’s what, 50? It would be silly of me not to acknowledge that she knows more than I do.
On what she really hopes to get out of being in this movie:
‘I’m really hoping that doing Nanny McPhee will bring me good nanny karma! I would like a nanny who would stay with me for five years through another child, a nanny I could trust, who would travel with me. Actually, Emma has been sharing her wonderful nanny with us while we’ve been here, which has been incredibly helpful.’
On balancing work and motherhood:
‘Ten or 15 years ago there was this idea that women could do everything, and that they should be able to have these great careers and be mothers too. And I think that was a very helpful way of looking at things for a while.
‘But now, with my generation, I think that there’s a sense of, “I can’t do everything, and nor should I have to. I need help and I need a husband and another set of hands, and even then I still might need help with babysitting.” Working and mothering is extraordinarily difficult. So that’s a big part of my character in Nanny McPhee – she can’t do everything.’
On maintaining friendships with non-Hollywood types:
‘I do know people who make movies, obviously. But my two best girlfriends are nothing to do with it. One is an academic and the other is a photographer. They will come with me to a premiere and know that I’m barely going to be able to talk to them, and they don’t hold it against me. They know that they are there to hold my hand as opposed to be taken to a party, and they are cool with it. They see through the silliness of it all.’
On what she’d like to do if she weren’t an actor:
‘When you are at college you think you can do anything. I really liked school and I still have a fantasy of being an English teacher. I’m sure any teacher reading this would say, “This woman has no idea how hard it is!” but I think about the teachers who engaged me, and they changed my life. That’s a great thing to do.’
This is all very touching, but I am still not sure about this whole children’s movie thing. Maggie, please don’t be losing your edge! Anyhow, you can read the whole interview here.
[ Images by Patricia Schlein / WENN.com ]
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