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Maggie Gyllenhaal
A woman in a dress posing for the camera
Gyllenhaal at the 66th Golden Globe Awards
Born Margaret Ruth Gyllenhaal
November 16, 1977 (1977-11-16) (age 32)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1992–present
Spouse(s) Peter Sarsgaard (2009–present)

Margaret Ruth "Maggie" Gyllenhaal[1] (pronounced /ˈdʒɪlənhɑːl/; born November 16, 1977) is an American stage and screen actress. She is the daughter of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal (née Achs) and the older sister of actor Jake Gyllenhaal. She made her screen debut when she began to appear in her father's films. Gyllenhaal later achieved recognition in a supporting role in the indie cult hit Donnie Darko (2001). She made her break-through role in the 2002 sadomasochistic comedy Secretary, for which she received critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination.

Gyllenhaal has appeared in an eclectic range of films, including the indie film Sherrybaby (2006), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe, the romantic comedy Trust the Man (2006) and big-budget films such as World Trade Center (2006) and The Dark Knight (2008). She next starred in the 2009 musical-drama Crazy Heart, for which she received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination. Gyllenhaal has also appeared in theatrical plays, including Closer (2000) and television productions including Strip Search (2004).

Gyllenhaal has been in a relationship with actor Peter Sarsgaard since 2002. In 2006, the two became engaged and Gyllenhaal gave birth to their daughter, Ramona, on October 3, 2006. On May 2, 2009, she married Sarsgaard in Italy. She is a politically active Democrat and, like her brother and parents, supports the American Civil Liberties Union. Prior to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq she participated in anti-war demonstrations. Gyllenhaal drew criticism in 2005 for her opinion that America was "responsible in some way" for the 9/11 attacks.[2] She is actively involved in human rights, civil liberty, and anti-poverty campaigns.

Contents

Early life

Gyllenhaal was born in New York City to film director Stephen Gyllenhaal and film producer and screenwriter Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal (née Achs).[3] Jake Gyllenhaal, her younger brother, is also an actor. Her father was raised in the Swedenborgian religion and is of the Swedish noble Gyllenhaal family; her last purely Swedish ancestor was her great-great-grandfather, Leonard Gyllenhaal, a leading Swedenborgian who supported the printing and spreading of Swedenborg's writings.[4] Her mother is from a Jewish family in New York City and is the ex-wife of Eric Foner,[5] a history professor at Columbia University.[6][7] Her parents, who married in 1977, filed for divorce in October 2008.[8]

Gyllenhaal grew up in Los Angeles and studied at the Harvard–Westlake prep school.[6] In 1995, she graduated from Harvard–Westlake and moved to New York to attend Columbia University, where she studied literature and Eastern religions;[6][9] she graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.[6] After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London,[10] she had a summer job, working as a waitress in a Massachusetts restaurant.[11]

Career

Early work

Gyllenhaal's first films – her feature film debut at the age of 15, Waterland (1992); A Dangerous Woman (1993); and Homegrown (1998) – were directed by her father; the last two also featured her brother, where they had supporting roles as children.[6] With their mother, she and Jake appeared in two episodes of Molto Mario, an Italian cooking show on the Food Network.[12] After graduating from college, she played supporting roles in films like Cecil B. Demented (2000) and Riding in Cars with Boys (2001).[13] Gyllenhaal later achieved recognition in her own right playing her real brother's on-screen sister in the indie cult hit Donnie Darko (2001).[14]

She made her theatrical debut in the Berkeley Repertory Theatre production of Patrick Marber's Closer,[15][16] for which she received favorable reviews.[17][18] Production started in May 2000 and ended in mid-July of that year.[17] Gyllenhaal has performed in several other plays, including The Tempest,[19] Antony and Cleopatra, The Butterfly Project, and No Exit.[20]

2002–2005

Gyllenhaal, attending an event in Barcelona, Spain in 2008

Gyllenhaal's break-out role was in the black comedy Secretary (2002), a film about two people who embark on a mutually fulfilling BDSM lifestyle.[21] New York Times critic Stephen Holden noted: "The role of Lee, which Maggie Gyllenhaal imbues with a restrained comic delicacy and sweetness, should make her a star."[21] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "Maggie Gyllenhaal, as the self-destructive secretary, is enigmatic and, at moments, sympathetic."[22] The film received generally favorable reviews,[23] and Gyllenhaal's performance earned her the Best Breakthrough Performance award from the Online Film Critics Society,[24] her first Golden Globe nomination, and an Independent Spirit Award nomination.[25][26] Secretary was Gyllenhaal's first film role which featured full frontal nudity.[27][28] Although impressed with the script, she initially had some qualms about doing the film, which she believed could deliver an antifeminist message. Yet after carefully discussing the script with the film's director, Steven Shainberg, she agreed to join the project.[29] Although insisting Shainberg did not exploit her, Gyllenhaal has said she felt "scared when filming began" and that "in the wrong hands ... even in just slightly less intelligent hands, this movie could say something really weird."[14] Since then, she is guarded about discussing her role in the film, saying only that "despite myself, sometimes the dynamic that you are exploring in your work spills over into your life."[14]

She next played a supporting role in the comedy-drama Adaptation. (2002), a film that tells the story of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's struggle to adapt The Orchid Thief into a film.[30] She later appeared in the unauthorized biography Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), part of an ensemble cast that included Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney, and Julia Roberts.[31] The movie grossed $33 million worldwide.[32] That same year, she also had a smaller role in the comedy 40 Days and 40 Nights.[33]

In 2003, she co-starred with Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa Smile in the role of Giselle.[34] In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, she revealed the reason for accepting the role was "to play somebody who feels confident in herself as a sexy, beautiful woman".[35] The film generated mostly critical reviews,[36] with Manohla Dargis of the Los Angeles Times describing it as "smug and reductive".[37] Her next roles were in smaller independent films: Casa de los Babys (2003), a story about six American women impatiently waiting out their lengthy residency requirements in an unidentified South American country before picking up their adoptive babies,[38] and Criminal (2004), a remake of the Argentinian film Nine Queens, with John C. Reilly and Diego Luna.[39] Gyllenhaal played an honest hotel manager forced to help her crooked brother (Reilly) by seducing one of his victims.[39] Gyllenhaal was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2004.[40] She starred in the HBO film Strip Search (2004), where she portrayed an American student in China suspected of terrorism.[41]

In 2004, Gyllenhaal returned to theater in a Los Angeles production of Tony Kushner's Homebody/ Kabul as Priscilla, the Homebody's daughter, who spends most of the play searching for her elusive mother in Kabul, Afghanistan. Kushner gave her the role in Homebody/ Kabul on the strength of her performance in Closer.[42] Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote: "Ms. Gyllenhaal provides the essential bridge between the parts of the play's title."[43] John Heilpern of The New York Observer noted that Gyllenhaal's performance was "compelling".[44] Viewed as a sex symbol, she was ranked in the "Hot 100 List" by Maxim magazine in 2004 and 2005.[45][46]

Gyllenhaal's next film role was in the 2005 comedy-drama Happy Endings, in which she played an adventuress singer who seduces a young gay musician (Jason Ritter) as well as his rich father (Tom Arnold). She recorded songs for the movie's soundtrack,[34][47] calling the role the "roughest, scariest acting ever" and adding she is more natural singing on screen than acting.[47] Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly declared Gyllenhaal's performance "as wonderfully, naturally slouchy-sexy as her character is artificial".[48]

2006–present

Following Happy Endings, she starred in the 2006 films Trust the Man, Stranger than Fiction, Monster House, World Trade Center, and Sherrybaby. In Trust the Man, featuring Julianne Moore, David Duchovny, and Billy Crudup, she played Elaine, who has been dating Tobey, Crudup's character, for seven years and has begun to feel that it is time for her to settle down and start a family.[49][50] The film was critically and financially unsuccessful.[51][52] Ethan Alter of Premiere felt that the performances by Gyllenhaal and Duchovny were "much more at ease" and concluded with "that's probably because they're [sic] played these characters many times before".[53] In Stranger than Fiction, Gyllenhaal played a love interest of Harold Crick, played by Will Ferrell.[54] Her performance in the film received favorable reviews; Mike Straka of Fox News wrote: "Gyllenhaal has never been sexier in any film before and her interplay with Ferrell will propel her to more A-list films, leaving her indie-darling days behind, no doubt."[55] She voiced Elizabeth "Zee" in the computer animated horror film Monster House.[56] Gyllenhaal depicted Alison Jimeno, the wife of Port Authority officer Will Jimeno, in Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, based on the September 11 attacks on the same-title towers of New York City.[57][58] She regarded this as "one of the films she most enjoyed making".[14] The film received favorable reviews and proved to be an international success, earning $163 million worldwide.[59][60]

In Sherrybaby, Gyllenhaal played a young, drug-addicted thief trying to put her life in order after prison so she can reconcile with her daughter. During promotion of the film, she noted of her portrayal of the character: "I think she's in such dire straights [sic] that all she has are these kind of naive, fierce hope. And while I was playing the part I was looking for pleasure and hope in everything, even in these really bleak things. And so it was really mostly after I finished the movie that I felt pain."[61] Her performance in the film was well received: David Germain of the Associated Press wrote, "Gyllenhaal humanizes her so deeply and richly ... that Sherry elicits sympathy even in her darkest and weakest moments",[62] and Dennis Harvey of Variety called her performance "naturalistic".[63] For her work, Gyllenhaal earned her second Golden Globe Best Actress nomination[64] and won the Best Actress category award at the 2006 Stockholm International Film Festival.[65]

Gyllenhaal at the premiere of The Dark Knight in New York City, July 14, 2008.

She appeared in The Dark Knight (2008), the sequel to Batman Begins (2005), in which she replaced Katie Holmes as Assistant District Attorney, Rachel Dawes.[66][67] Gyllenhaal acknowledged her character was a damsel in distress to an extent, but said director Christopher Nolan sought ways to empower her character, so "Rachel's really clear about what's important to her and unwilling to compromise her morals, which made a nice change" from the many conflicted characters she had previously portrayed.[68] The Dark Knight was a big financial and critical success, setting a new opening weekend box office record for North America. With revenue of $1 billion worldwide,[69] it became the fourth highest grossing film of all time,[70] and remains Gyllenhaal's most commercially successful picture to date. In a Salon.com review of the film, Stephanie Zacharek called Gyllenhaal's character "a tough cookie in a Stanwyck-style bias-cut gown" and stated that "the movie feels smarter and more supple when she's on-screen".[71] IGN film critic Todd Gilchrist wrote, "Gyllenhaal adds real depth and energy to Rachel Dawes."[72]

Gyllenhaal played Yelena in the Classic Stage Company's 2009 Off Broadway production of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya in New York City.[73][74] The cast also included Peter Sarsgaard, Mamie Gummer, Denis O'Hare, and George Morfogen.[73][74] The production, directed by Austin Pendleton, began previews on January 17 and ended its limited run on March 1.[73][74] Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News, was somewhat less enthusiastic with her performance, writing: "Gyllenhaal, who was so dynamic as a druggie in the film Sherrybaby, plays Yelena with a slow-mo saunter and monotonous pasted-on smile that makes it seem as if she's been in Sherry's stash."[75] However, Malcolm Johnson of the Hartford Courant was complimentary towards her, noting that she "ultimately blossoms" as the character.[76]

Gyllenhaal agreed to appear in the comedy film Away We Go, where she plays a bohemian college professor who is an old friend of John Krasinski's character.[77][78] The film generated broadly mixed reviews,[79] with Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly describing Gyllenhaal's subplot as "over-the-top".[80] However, A. O. Scott of the New York Times praised Gyllenhaal and co-star Allison Janney for their performances, writing that "both [are] quite funny".[81] Scott concluded with, "Ms. Gyllenhaal’s line about sex roles in 'the seahorse community' is the screenplay’s one clean satirical bull’s-eye".[81] Her next role, came in the musical-drama Crazy Heart, in which she played journalist Jean Craddock who falls for musician Bad Blake, played by Jeff Bridges.[82] The movie received favorable reviews,[83] with Gyllenhaal receiving praise from critics. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone reported: "Maggie Gyllenhaal is funny, touching and vital as Jean, the decades-younger single mom who might save Bad. The part is conventionally conceived, but Gyllenhaal plays it with a tough core of intelligence and feeling."[84] Her performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.[85] In addition, Gyllenhaal has also signed to appear in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, set for a release in 2010, the sequel to the 2005 film Nanny McPhee.[86][87] The role required her to speak in an English accent.[88] Away from acting, Gyllenhaal is currently the host of the PBS documentary series, Independent Lens.[89][90]

Personal life

Peter Sarsgaard and Gyllenhaal at the New York premiere of An Education in October 2009.

Gyllenhaal has been in a relationship with actor Peter Sarsgaard,[91] a close friend of her brother Jake, since 2002.[34] In April 2006 they announced their engagement.[92][93] They have a daughter Ramona, born October 3, 2006,[94] and live in Brooklyn, New York.[95] On May 2, 2009, Gyllenhaal and Sarsgaard were married in a small chapel in Brindisi, Italy.[96][97]

Gyllenhaal is politically active. At the 18th Independent Spirit Awards, she spoke out against the Iraq war, stating the reason for the invasion was "oil and imperialism".[98][99] Gyllenhaal also took part in Artists United to Win Without War, a campaign started by Robert Greenwald with the aim of advancing progressive causes and voicing opposition to the Iraq war.[10][100] She and her brother Jake filmed a commercial for Rock the Vote and visited the University of Southern California (USC) campus to encourage students to vote in the 2004 U.S. presidential election,[101] in which she supported John Kerry.[102][103] Gyllenhaal supported Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.[104][105] She has campaigned on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an organization her family strongly supports.[106][107]

Besides acting, she has modeled for Miu Miu,[108] Reebok,[109] and Agent Provocateur,[110] and recorded the first unabridged audiobook version of Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar.[111] Gyllenhaal is a supporter of Witness, a non-profit organization that uses video and online technologies to expose human rights violations.[112][113] She co-hosted a benefit dinner with founder Peter Gabriel in November 2007.[114][115] Gyllenhaal helped raise funds for TrickleUp.org, a non-profit organization that helps impoverished people start a micro-enterprise.[116] For one of the fundraisers, Gyllenhaal helped design and promote a necklace that sold for $100; all proceeds from sales went to the charity.[117] In October 2008 she hosted a fashion show event called "Fashionably Natural", which was presented by Gen Art and SoyJoy in Los Angeles.[118][119] The show featured four up-and-coming designers who only worked with all-natural and eco-friendly fabrics and materials.[118][119]

Comments on 9/11 attacks

Gyllenhaal drew criticism for comments on the September 11 attacks made during an interview with NY1 at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival. She remarked, "I think America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way..."[2] In response to the criticism, she issued a statement saying that 9/11 was "an occasion to be brave enough to ask some serious questions about America's role in the world" and that it was "useful as individuals or nations to ask how we may have knowingly or unknowingly contributed to this conflict."[2][120] She pointedly denied saying that the 9/11 attacks were deserved.[2][120] Gyllenhaal later said that she regretted her comments and asserted that film interviews were not the "right place" to discuss politics.[121] Gyllenhaal also said that she had "nothing but gratitude and admiration" for firefighters and that she should have "been more gentle and more thoughtful" in her comments.[122]

Gyllenhaal eventually met with Port Authority officer Will Jimeno and his wife, Allison, whom Gyllenhaal depicted in the 2006 film World Trade Center.[122] She said she would have left the project if the Jimenos wanted, but Allison Jimeno expressed the opinion that she and her husband were comfortable with her and "had no problem with her in [the] movie".[123][124]

Filmography

Maggie Gyllenhaal in 2004
Year Film Role Notes
1992 Waterland Maggie Ruth
1993 A Dangerous Woman Patsy
1996 Shattered Mind Clothes clerk TV
1998 Homegrown Christina
The Patron Saint of Liars Lorraine Thomas TV
1999 Resurrection Mary TV
2000 The Photographer Mira
Cecil B. Demented Raven
2001 Riding in Cars with Boys Amelia Forrester
Donnie Darko Elizabeth Darko
2002 Confessions of a Dangerous Mind Debbie CFCS Award for Most Promising Performer
Adaptation. Caroline Cunningham CFCS Award for Most Promising Performer
40 Days and 40 Nights Sam
Secretary Lee Holloway BSFC Award for Best Actress
CFCS Award for Most Promising Performer
NBR Award for Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress
OFCS Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Nominated – Empire Award for Best Actress
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2003 Mona Lisa Smile Giselle Levy
Casa de los Babys Jennifer
2004 Criminal Valerie
Strip Search Linda Sykes TV
2005 The Great New Wonderful Emme
Happy Endings Jude Nominated – Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
2006 Stranger than Fiction Ana Pascal Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actress
Trust the Man Elaine
Sherrybaby Sherry Swanson Stockholm International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Nominated – ALFS Award for Actress of the Year
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated – Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Paris, je t'aime Liz Segment "Quartier des Enfants Rouges" only
World Trade Center Allison Jimeno
Monster House Elizabeth "Zee" Voice only
Nominated – Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
2008 The Dark Knight Rachel Dawes Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble
People's Choice Award for Favorite Cast
Nominated – Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Nominated – Saturn Award for Best Actress
2009 Away We Go Ellen "LN"
Crazy Heart Jean Craddock Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated – Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
2010 Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang Mrs. Green post-production

References

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  82. ^ Wolf, Jeanne (July 7, 2009). "Maggie Gyllenhaal: All Moms Do 'The Best They Can'". Parade. http://www.parade.com/celebrity/celebrity-parade/archive/maggie-gyllenhaal-on-motherhood-090707.html. Retrieved July 8, 2009. 
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  85. ^ Duke, Alan (February 2, 2010). "'Avatar,' 'Hurt Locker' lead in Oscar nods". CNN: Showbiz/Movies. http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Movies/02/02/oscar.nominations/?hpt=Sbin. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
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  88. ^ Lawrence, Will (September 21, 2009). "Maggie Gyllenhaal: interview for Away We Go". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/6188982/Maggie-Gyllenhaal-interview-for-Away-We-Go.html. Retrieved September 24, 2009. 
  89. ^ "About Independent Lens". Public Broadcasting Service. http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/about.html. Retrieved January 11, 2010. 
  90. ^ Barnhart, Aaron (October 18, 2009). "TV's best new drama, 'White Collar,' is on cable". The Kansas City Star: F10. "The host for this season of Independent Lens is Maggie Gyllenhaal". 
  91. ^ Mock, Janet. "Maggie Gyllenhaal Biography". People: p. 2. http://www.people.com/people/maggie_gyllenhaal/biography/0,,20164968_10,00.html. Retrieved July 18, 2008. 
  92. ^ Associated Press (October 4, 2006). "Maggie Gyllenhaal has a baby girl". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2006-10-04-gyllenhaal-baby_x.htm?POE=LIFISVA. Retrieved November 18, 2008. 
  93. ^ Hamm, Liza; Mark Dagostino (April 11, 2006). "Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard Expecting Baby". People. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,1181971,00.html. Retrieved November 18, 2008. 
  94. ^ Hamm, Liza (October 9, 2006). "Gyllenhaal, Sarsgaard Have a Girl". People. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,1541965,00.html. Retrieved September 7, 2008. 
  95. ^ Adams, Cindy (February 27, 2007). "Actress seeks safety in B'klyn". New York Post. http://www.nypost.com/seven/02272007/gossip/cindy/actress_seeks_safety_in_bklyn_cindy_cindy_adams.htm. Retrieved September 27, 2008. 
  96. ^ Wihlborg, Ulrica (May 4, 2009). "Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard Get Married". People. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20276175,00.html. Retrieved May 5, 2009. 
  97. ^ Smith, Lori Spencer (May 4, 2009). "People: Dolly Parton says "You starve or get fat"". The Denver Post. http://www.denverpost.com/celebritybuzz/ci_12285554. Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  98. ^ Madigan, Nick (March 24, 2003). "Oscars Show Goes On, But Mood Is Subdued By the Fighting in Iraq". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C02E5DF1530F937A15750C0A9659C8B63. Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
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  100. ^ Murphy, Dean E. (March 20, 2003). "Threats and Responses: California; Approach of War Reveals An Alienation in California". The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9802E4DB1031F933A15750C0A9659C8B63&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all. Retrieved October 13, 2008. 
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  106. ^ "Maggie: No longer looking for trouble". The Belfast Telegraph. August 1, 2008. http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/entertainment/film-tv/maggie-no-longer-looking-for-trouble-13925721.html. Retrieved October 8, 2008. 
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Further reading

External links


Maggie Gyllenhaal
File:Maggie Gyllenhaal Golden Globes
Gyllenhaal at the 66th Golden Globe Awards
Born Margaret Ruth Gyllenhaal
November 16, 1977 (1977-11-16) (age 33)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress
Years active 1992–present
Spouse Peter Sarsgaard (2009–present)

Margaret Ruth "Maggie" Gyllenhaal[1] (pronounced /ˈdʒɪlənhɑːl/; born November 16, 1977) is an American stage and screen actress. She is the daughter of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal (née Achs) and the older sister of actor Jake Gyllenhaal. She made her screen debut when she began to appear in her father's films. Gyllenhaal later achieved recognition in a supporting role in the indie cult hit Donnie Darko (2001). She made her break-through role in the 2002 sadomasochistic comedy Secretary, for which she received critical acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination.

Gyllenhaal has appeared in an eclectic range of films, including the indie film Sherrybaby (2006), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe, the romantic comedy Trust the Man (2006) and big-budget films such as World Trade Center (2006) and The Dark Knight (2008). She next starred in the 2009 musical-drama Crazy Heart, for which she received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination. Gyllenhaal has also appeared in theatrical plays, including Closer (2000) and television productions including Strip Search (2004).

Gyllenhaal has been in a relationship with actor Peter Sarsgaard since 2002. In 2006, the two became engaged and Gyllenhaal gave birth to their daughter, Ramona, on October 3, 2006. On May 2, 2009, she married Sarsgaard in Italy. She is a politically active Democrat and, like her brother and parents, supports the American Civil Liberties Union. Prior to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq she participated in anti-war demonstrations. Gyllenhaal drew criticism in 2005 for her opinion that America was "responsible in some way" for the 9/11 attacks.[2] She is actively involved in human rights, civil liberty, and anti-poverty campaigns.

Contents

Early life

Gyllenhaal was born in New York City to film director Stephen Gyllenhaal and film producer and screenwriter Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal (née Achs).[3] Jake Gyllenhaal, her younger brother, is also an actor. Her father was raised in the Swedenborgian religion and is of the Swedish noble Gyllenhaal family; her last purely Swedish ancestor was her great-great-grandfather, Leonard Gyllenhaal, a leading Swedenborgian who supported the printing and spreading of Swedenborg's writings.[4] Her mother is from a Jewish family in New York City and is the ex-wife of Eric Foner,[5] a history professor at Columbia University.[6][7] Her parents, who married in 1977, filed for divorce in October 2008.[8]

Gyllenhaal grew up in Los Angeles and studied at the Harvard–Westlake prep school.[6] In 1995, she graduated from Harvard–Westlake and moved to New York to attend Columbia University, where she studied literature and Eastern religions;[6][9] she graduated in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.[6] After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London,[10] she had a summer job, working as a waitress in a Massachusetts restaurant.[11]

Career

Early work

Gyllenhaal's first films – her feature film debut at the age of 15, Waterland (1992); A Dangerous Woman (1993); and Homegrown (1998) – were directed by her father; the last two also featured her brother, where they had supporting roles as children.[6] With their mother, she and Jake appeared in two episodes of Molto Mario, an Italian cooking show on the Food Network.[12] After graduating from college, she played supporting roles in films like Cecil B. Demented (2000) and Riding in Cars with Boys (2001).[13] Gyllenhaal later achieved recognition in her own right playing her real brother's on-screen sister in the indie cult hit Donnie Darko (2001).[14]

She made her theatrical debut in the Berkeley Repertory Theatre production of Patrick Marber's Closer,[15][16] for which she received favorable reviews.[17][18] Production started in May 2000 and ended in mid-July of that year.[17] Gyllenhaal has performed in several other plays, including The Tempest,[19] Antony and Cleopatra, The Butterfly Project, and No Exit.[20]

2002–2005

, Spain in 2008]] Gyllenhaal's break-out role was in the black comedy Secretary (2002), a film about two people who embark on a mutually fulfilling BDSM lifestyle.[21] New York Times critic Stephen Holden noted: "The role of Lee, which Maggie Gyllenhaal imbues with a restrained comic delicacy and sweetness, should make her a star."[21] Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: "Maggie Gyllenhaal, as the self-destructive secretary, is enigmatic and, at moments, sympathetic."[22] The film received generally favorable reviews,[23] and Gyllenhaal's performance earned her the Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress award from the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures,[24] her first Golden Globe nomination,[25] and an Independent Spirit Award nomination.[26] Secretary was Gyllenhaal's first film role which featured full frontal nudity.[27][28] Although impressed with the script, she initially had some qualms about doing the film, which she believed could deliver an antifeminist message. Yet after carefully discussing the script with the film's director, Steven Shainberg, she agreed to join the project.[29] Although insisting Shainberg did not exploit her, Gyllenhaal has said she felt "scared when filming began" and that "in the wrong hands ... even in just slightly less intelligent hands, this movie could say something really weird."[14] Since then, she is guarded about discussing her role in the film, saying only that "despite myself, sometimes the dynamic that you are exploring in your work spills over into your life."[14]

She next played a supporting role in the comedy-drama Adaptation. (2002), a film that tells the story of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman's struggle to adapt The Orchid Thief into a film.[30] She later appeared in the unauthorized biography Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002), part of an ensemble cast that included Sam Rockwell, Drew Barrymore, George Clooney, and Julia Roberts.[31] The movie grossed $33 million worldwide.[32] That same year, she also had a smaller role in the comedy 40 Days and 40 Nights.[33]

In 2003, she co-starred with Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa Smile in the role of Giselle.[34] In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, she revealed the reason for accepting the role was "to play somebody who feels confident in herself as a sexy, beautiful woman".[35] The film generated mostly critical reviews,[36] with Manohla Dargis of the Los Angeles Times describing it as "smug and reductive".[37] Her next roles were in smaller independent films: Casa de los Babys (2003), a story about six American women impatiently waiting out their lengthy residency requirements in an unidentified South American country before picking up their adoptive babies,[38] and Criminal (2004), a remake of the Argentinian film Nine Queens, with John C. Reilly and Diego Luna.[39] Gyllenhaal played an honest hotel manager forced to help her crooked brother (Reilly) by seducing one of his victims.[39] Gyllenhaal was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2004.[40] She starred in the HBO film Strip Search (2004), where she portrayed an American student in China suspected of terrorism.[41]

In 2004, Gyllenhaal returned to theater in a Los Angeles production of Tony Kushner's Homebody/ Kabul as Priscilla, the Homebody's daughter, who spends most of the play searching for her elusive mother in Kabul, Afghanistan. Kushner gave her the role in Homebody/ Kabul on the strength of her performance in Closer.[42] Ben Brantley of The New York Times wrote: "Ms. Gyllenhaal provides the essential bridge between the parts of the play's title."[43] John Heilpern of The New York Observer noted that Gyllenhaal's performance was "compelling".[44] Viewed as a sex symbol, she was ranked in the "Hot 100 List" by Maxim magazine in 2004 and 2005.[45][46]

Gyllenhaal's next film role was in the 2005 comedy-drama Happy Endings, in which she played an adventuress singer who seduces a young gay musician (Jason Ritter) as well as his rich father (Tom Arnold). She recorded songs for the movie's soundtrack,[34][47] calling the role the "roughest, scariest acting ever" and adding she is more natural singing on screen than acting.[47] Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly declared Gyllenhaal's performance "as wonderfully, naturally slouchy-sexy as her character is artificial".[48]

2006–present

Following Happy Endings, she starred in the 2006 films Trust the Man, Stranger than Fiction, Monster House, World Trade Center, and Sherrybaby. In Trust the Man, featuring Julianne Moore, David Duchovny, and Billy Crudup, she played Elaine, who has been dating Tobey, Crudup's character, for seven years and has begun to feel that it is time for her to settle down and start a family.[49][50] The film was critically and financially unsuccessful.[51][52] Ethan Alter of Premiere felt that the performances by Gyllenhaal and Duchovny were "much more at ease" and concluded with "that's probably because they're [sic] played these characters many times before".[53] In Stranger than Fiction, Gyllenhaal played a love interest of Harold Crick, played by Will Ferrell.[54] Her performance in the film received favorable reviews; Mike Straka of Fox News wrote: "Gyllenhaal has never been sexier in any film before and her interplay with Ferrell will propel her to more A-list films, leaving her indie-darling days behind, no doubt."[55] She voiced Elizabeth "Zee" in the computer animated horror film Monster House.[56] Gyllenhaal depicted Allison Jimeno, the wife of Port Authority officer Will Jimeno, in Oliver Stone's World Trade Center, based on the September 11 attacks on the same-title towers of New York City.[57] She regarded this as "one of the films she most enjoyed making".[14] The film received favorable reviews and proved to be an international success, earning $162 million worldwide.[58][59]

In Sherrybaby, Gyllenhaal played a young, drug-addicted thief trying to put her life in order after prison so she can reconcile with her daughter. During promotion of the film, she noted of her portrayal of the character: "I think she's in such dire straights [sic] that all she has are these kind of naive, fierce hope. And while I was playing the part I was looking for pleasure and hope in everything, even in these really bleak things. And so it was really mostly after I finished the movie that I felt pain."[60] Her performance in the film was well received: David Germain of the Associated Press wrote, "Gyllenhaal humanizes her so deeply and richly ... that Sherry elicits sympathy even in her darkest and weakest moments",[61] and Dennis Harvey of Variety called her performance "naturalistic".[62] For her work, Gyllenhaal earned her second Golden Globe Best Actress nomination[63] and won the Best Actress category award at the 2006 Stockholm International Film Festival.[64]

in New York City, July 14, 2008.]] She appeared in The Dark Knight (2008), the sequel to Batman Begins (2005), in which she replaced Katie Holmes as Assistant District Attorney, Rachel Dawes.[65][66] Gyllenhaal acknowledged her character was a damsel in distress to an extent, but said director Christopher Nolan sought ways to empower her character, so "Rachel's really clear about what's important to her and unwilling to compromise her morals, which made a nice change" from the many conflicted characters she had previously portrayed.[67] The Dark Knight was a big financial and critical success, setting a new opening weekend box office record for North America. With revenue of $1 billion worldwide,[68] it became the fourth highest grossing film of all time,[69] and remains Gyllenhaal's most commercially successful picture to date. In a Salon.com review of the film, Stephanie Zacharek called Gyllenhaal's character "a tough cookie in a Stanwyck-style bias-cut gown" and stated that "the movie feels smarter and more supple when she's on-screen".[70] IGN film critic Todd Gilchrist wrote, "Gyllenhaal adds real depth and energy to Rachel Dawes."[71]

Gyllenhaal played Yelena in the Classic Stage Company's 2009 Off Broadway production of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya in New York City.[72][73] The cast also included Peter Sarsgaard, Mamie Gummer, Denis O'Hare, and George Morfogen.[72][73] The production, directed by Austin Pendleton, began previews on January 17 and ended its limited run on March 1.[72][73] Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News, was somewhat less enthusiastic with her performance, writing: "Gyllenhaal, who was so dynamic as a druggie in the film Sherrybaby, plays Yelena with a slow-mo saunter and monotonous pasted-on smile that makes it seem as if she's been in Sherry's stash."[74] However, Malcolm Johnson of the Hartford Courant was complimentary towards her, noting that she "ultimately blossoms" as the character.[75]

Gyllenhaal agreed to appear in the comedy film Away We Go, where she plays a bohemian college professor who is an old friend of John Krasinski's character.[76][77] The film generated broadly mixed reviews,[78] with Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly describing Gyllenhaal's subplot as "over-the-top".[79] However, A. O. Scott of the New York Times praised Gyllenhaal and co-star Allison Janney for their performances, writing that "both [are] quite funny".[80] Scott concluded with, "Ms. Gyllenhaal’s line about sex roles in 'the seahorse community' is the screenplay’s one clean satirical bull’s-eye".[80] Her next role, came in the musical-drama Crazy Heart, in which she played journalist Jean Craddock who falls for musician Bad Blake, played by Jeff Bridges.[81] The movie received favorable reviews,[82] with Gyllenhaal receiving praise from critics. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone reported: "Maggie Gyllenhaal is funny, touching and vital as Jean, the decades-younger single mom who might save Bad. The part is conventionally conceived, but Gyllenhaal plays it with a tough core of intelligence and feeling."[83] Her performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.[84]

In 2010, Gyllenhaal appeared in Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, the sequel to the 2005 film Nanny McPhee.[85][86] The role required her to speak in an English accent.[87] Away from acting, she is currently the host of the PBS documentary series, Independent Lens.[88][89] In addition, Gyllenhaal will star in another Anton Chekhov production Three Sisters, and will be reunited with Uncle Vanya director Austin Pendleton. The production is scheduled to begin in 2011.[90]

Personal life

and Gyllenhaal at the New York premiere of An Education in October 2009.]]

Gyllenhaal has been in a relationship with actor Peter Sarsgaard,[91] a close friend of her brother Jake, since 2002.[34] In April 2006 they announced their engagement.[92][93] They have a daughter Ramona, born October 3, 2006,[94] and live in Brooklyn, New York.[95] On May 2, 2009, Gyllenhaal and Sarsgaard were married in a small chapel in Brindisi, Italy.[96][97]

Gyllenhaal is politically active. At the 18th Independent Spirit Awards, she spoke out against the Iraq war, stating the reason for the invasion was "oil and imperialism".[98][99] Gyllenhaal also took part in Artists United to Win Without War, a campaign started by Robert Greenwald with the aim of advancing progressive causes and voicing opposition to the Iraq War.[10][100] She and her brother Jake filmed a commercial for Rock the Vote and visited the University of Southern California (USC) campus to encourage students to vote in the 2004 U.S. presidential election,[101] in which she supported John Kerry.[102][103] Gyllenhaal supported Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.[104][105] She has campaigned on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an organization her family strongly supports.[106][107]

Besides acting, she has modeled for Miu Miu,[108] Reebok,[109] and Agent Provocateur,[110] and recorded the first unabridged audiobook version of Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar.[111] Gyllenhaal is a supporter of Witness, a non-profit organization that uses video and online technologies to expose human rights violations.[112][113] She co-hosted a benefit dinner with founder Peter Gabriel in November 2007.[114][115] Gyllenhaal helped raise funds for TrickleUp.org, a non-profit organization that helps impoverished people start a micro-enterprise.[116] For one of the fundraisers, Gyllenhaal helped design and promote a necklace that sold for $100; all proceeds from sales went to the charity.[117] In October 2008 she hosted a fashion show event called "Fashionably Natural", which was presented by Gen Art and SoyJoy in Los Angeles.[118][119] The show featured four up-and-coming designers who only worked with all-natural and eco-friendly fabrics and materials.[118][119]

Comments on 9/11 attacks

Gyllenhaal drew criticism for comments on the September 11 attacks made during an interview with NY1 at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival. She remarked, "I think America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way..."[2] In response to the criticism, she issued a statement saying that 9/11 was "an occasion to be brave enough to ask some serious questions about America's role in the world" and that it was "useful as individuals or nations to ask how we may have knowingly or unknowingly contributed to this conflict."[2][120] She pointedly denied saying that the 9/11 attacks were deserved.[2][120] Gyllenhaal later said that she regretted her comments and asserted that film interviews were not the "right place" to discuss politics.[121] Gyllenhaal also said that she had "nothing but gratitude and admiration" for firefighters and that she should have "been more gentle and more thoughtful" in her comments.[122]

Gyllenhaal eventually met with Port Authority officer Will Jimeno and his wife, Allison, whom Gyllenhaal depicted in the 2006 film World Trade Center.[122] She said she would have left the project if the Jimenos wanted, but Allison Jimeno expressed the opinion that she and her husband were comfortable with her and "had no problem with her in [the] movie".[123][124]

Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1992 Waterland Maggie Ruth
1993 A Dangerous Woman Patsy
1996 Shattered Mind Clothes clerk TV
1998 Homegrown Christina
The Patron Saint of Liars Lorraine Thomas TV
1999 Resurrection Mary TV
2000 The Photographer Mira
Cecil B. Demented Raven
2001 Riding in Cars with Boys Amelia Forrester
Donnie Darko Elizabeth Darko
2002 Confessions of a Dangerous Mind Debbie Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Performer
Adaptation. Caroline Cunningham Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Performer
40 Days and 40 Nights Sam
Secretary Lee Holloway Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actress
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Performer
Directors' Week Award for Best Actress
Florida Film Critics Circle Pauline Kael Breakout Award
Gotham Award for Breakthrough Artist
National Board of Review Award for Best Breakthrough Performance by an Actress
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Paris Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Empire Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Newcomer
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
2003 Mona Lisa Smile Giselle Levy
Casa de los Babys Jennifer
2004 Criminal Valerie
Strip Search Linda Sykes TV
2005 The Great New Wonderful Emme
Happy Endings Jude Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
2006 Stranger than Fiction Ana Pascal Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
Trust the Man Elaine
Sherrybaby Sherry Swanson Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Milan International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Prism Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film
Stockholm International Film Festival Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — London Film Critics Circle Award for Actress of the Year
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama
Paris, je t'aime Liz Segment "Quartier des Enfants Rouges" only
World Trade Center Allison Jimeno
Monster House Elizabeth "Zee" Voice only
Nominated — Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production
2008 The Dark Knight Rachel Dawes Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble
People's Choice Award for Favorite Cast
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Acting Ensemble
Nominated — Saturn Award for Best Actress
2009 Away We Go Ellen "LN"
Crazy Heart Jean Craddock Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Nominated — Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress
2010 Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang Mrs. Green

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Further reading

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Maggie Gyllenhaal (born 1977-11-16) is an American actress and the older sister of Jake Gyllenhaal.

Sourced

  • I'm not the youngest person at the table anymore. I'm not the young precocious one. I feel like I'm engaging with people in a different way now. I am a woman. I'm treated with respect, as an equal.
    • On being 30 years old, Marie Clare (2008)
  • He hit it in the entire performance [in Batman]. It's so difficult to do that in a huge movie like this and much easier to do in the tiny movies. That's why those are always the people who win Academy Awards. Heath was [amazing]; it's so unusual, and it happens really rarely even for the best actors, that you just hit this stride in a role and you're totally free.
  • I feel it's OK if not everybody agrees with me or likes me. The weird thing was it turned into people thinking I said we deserved it. I didn't say that - but Americans do need to look at their behavior in the world. It's easy to say, "That was awful," and hard to ask, "Is there a way I can amend?"
  • The truth is nobody finances tiny movies anymore. I mean there are so many movies I like that I hope will get their money together. It's a different world than it was when I first started making independent movies. Something is really wrong right now. I was a part of it and things are so different now. You can't make a movie for three million dollars with a kind of known actor. It's impossible. I think in general it has to do with the financial state of the country. It's tough for everybody in every business, but the independent movies have really suffered I think…they would never have made Secretary. They never would have financed Secretary with an unknown actress and James Spader. There's just no way.
  • When I first saw it the first time, when I first saw him I felt... I felt upset. He's so good in the movie. He's incredible in it. It's so difficult to talk about. It's not an easy thing to sum up. I think he's great. Being around someone, acting with someone like that, is really inspiring and fun. It's very difficult to talk about. This isn't really the place where you open your heart up.
  • Although it takes place in Gotham City and fundamentally it is a movie about Batman, Chris wanted us to play everything for truth. The actors he chose for this movie are into realism.
    • On The Dark Knight, 2008-07-16, Youngstown Vindicator

External links

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