In an interview with Movies Online, Maggie Gyllenhaal, 33, discussed her new movie, Nanny McPhee Returns. In the movie her character is distraught from running the family farm and also working at a part time job. She is taking care of five children alone because her on-screen husband, Ewan McGregor, is fighting a war and has been missing for months. She is overwhelmed and in obvious need of Nanny McPhee, played by wonderful veteran actress, Emma Thompson.
Maggie is married to actor Peter Sarsgaard, 39, and they have one child, daughter Ramona, 3. When asked whether she ever got so distraught in her real life she replied,
“I have one child. I don’t know. If I had to take care of five children, alone, and try to make a farm run, and work at a general store for some extra money, while my husband is maybe dead, I think it’s possible that it could get that crazy. Yeah. Don’t you think?”
She was also asked what she would want her own daughter to learn in her future and Maggie replied, “I think it changes as she changes and I think it will continue to change. I don’t think there’s an overreaching one. I think when I get to the end I’ll be able to say, “Oh that’s the lesson I was trying to teach in all of this.”
The film has a great cast but Maggie discovered the challenge of acting with five kids, a horde of real and animated animals and shooting scenes in copious amounts of mud. When asked how she felt about working with so many children she said that she really bonded with them and they cried when she left the set.
It was both just liking them because they’re great kids and also that was part of my job to make a relationship with them that felt real. Also, when you’re working with kids, it’s different than grown-ups. Emma and I would be on our knees behind the camera making fart noises or saying a line over and over again fifteen different ways to get different reactions from them.”
Maggie’s next film, Hysteria, is also being filmed in England. She said that it is a film for children but also, “gratifying for adults” and added that she is, “interested in children’s minds and children’s hearts. I have one. I probably wasn’t quite as interested before I had one.”