Mom Maggie Gyllehnaal says that her latest film Crazy Heart is the first big project she’s felt up to tackling since she welcomed her daughter Ramona in 2006. The hard work was well worth it – she garnered herself an Oscar nomination for her performance.
“I had about five movies that came out while I was pregnant and, although I was nauseous at the beginning, I was able to promote them,” Maggie tells The Herald Sun. “Then Ramona was born and I couldn’t even pick up the phone to do an interview. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Having an infant is so hard and complicated. It’s very intense.”
Her husband Peter Sarsgaard is also an actor, and though she’s trying to keep things as “calm and laid-back as possible” for Ramona, Maggie admits she worries about how their lifestyle affects their daughter.
“If [Peter and I] were Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, we could say, ‘Oh yes, I’ll make that movie, but it must be in New York and it must be filmed before midsummer break,’ but we’re not,” she says. “If Martin Scorsese calls and tells me I need to be in Nova Scotia for six months, then I probably need to do that. So we’ve travelled around a lot with Ramona and, while there are some wonderful things about that, what a young child really wants is stability and routine; she wants a sense of home. We’ve been trying to protect that and it’s one of our biggest challenges.”
As for striking the right motherhood-family balance, Maggie says she’s still working on it.
“I’m thinking about it all the time. I love my work – I love finding a brilliant project and getting lost in it, and getting dressed up for awards ceremonies and the like – but I also love my daughter and family. And the amount of work it takes to be a mum is greater than anything else; it brings you to your knees. I can’t do all of it perfectly by any means.”