As both a mom and an actress, Maggie Gyllehaal says she sometimes feels torn in two very different directions.
“Being a mother forces me to be so responsible. I’m very protective, and I try to keep (Ramona) out of this Hollywood stuff,” Maggie tells USA Today. “But I make mistakes. I have that tug of wanting things that feel good to me and trying to figure out in what ways I have to sacrifice and what ways she has to sacrifice. I haven’t been perfect at that.”
The 32-year-old actress, whose daughter Ramona is 3, calls her decision to sign on to her latest film, Crazy Heart, selfish – but is quick to add that she doesn’t regret it.
“I was in this state of wanting something for me, selfishly, after having sacrificed a lot of things. I felt really hungry – I felt like I’d spent two years mostly focused on my daughter, which was amazing. It changed everything in my life. And then I got this surge of really strong desire to work and do something for me… I knew I had to do it.”
In her quest to balance work & family, Maggie says she tries to live up to the example set by another famous mom: Her Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang co-star Emma Thompson.
“Emma was the one who said to me – when I was a newlywed, I had no nanny and I was working on this movie – she said, ‘You have to let yourself drop the ball. Human beings do that. If you don’t, some really important part of you won’t survive.’ She wrote it to me in a text. I think about it all the time.”
Maggie makes her home in Brooklyn with her husband Peter Sarsgaard and daughter Ramona.