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Maggie Gyllenhaal: From ‘SherryBaby’ to Golden Globe Nominee, Baby

Maggie Gyllenhaal may be a new mom having a hard time tearing herself away from her daughter, but she and fiancé Peter Sarsgaard are definitely hiring a sitter for Jan. 15 so they can attend the Golden Globes. Gyllenhaal has been nominated for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama for her role in SherryBaby, and Hollywood.com caught up with her on her first night out on the awards season circuit.

Hollywood.com: Your performance has been singled out by critics, and especially the Golden Globes, as one of the best of 2006. Were you as pleased with your own work on SherryBaby?
Maggie Gyllenhaal:
I’m really, really proud of it. I guess I feel like it really stretched me. I play one of the people who’s really, really troubled, and I think my challenge in it was to find a way to love her, despite how really troubled and hurtful she can be. And I really fell in love with her. So, that’s that’s why it was really special. I mean, it’s easy to fall in love with someone who’s got it together, and changes the world for the better. She’s doing fine, and she’s not hurting anybody. But Sherry in SherryBaby, it’s harder to love her. And I really fell for her.

HW: Are you an old hand at the kind of awards circuit, having gone through before yourself? And you’ve got a lot of family that have been involved in these kinds of things. Has everybody kind of gotten you up to speed on how to handle yourself?
: I went to the Golden Globes with Secretary, and I went when Peter [Sarsgaard], my fiancé, was nominated for Shattered Glass. So I’ve been before. And both those times were very, very different. Completely different experiences. When I went with Secretary it was like, I’d never been to anything like that before. I was such a real, real newbie, you know? And when I went with Peter, that was kind of great, too, because I was just his date, and I could hang back a little bit. I was really proud of him. And this time I feel… I don’t know… I feel thrilled in a completely different way, because the movie that I’m nominated for is so teeny and we worked so hard on it for so long. I’m just thrilled to see it nominated and, you know, to get to put on a really fancy dress and celebrate it. And to be nominated with the people I’m nominated with. I mean, I know everybody says that, but if you think about who I’m nominated with–I mean, it’s, like, kind of amazing.

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HW: Did you have any inkling that this movie would break through and garner this kind of attention and acclaim? Or did you think, “This is just a part I really want to play, and I hope somebody goes to see it?”
Well, that’s how it is, you know. I never think about that stuff when you’re starting a movie. And in this case, especially because it was so tiny. It was such a little movie. I mean, we made it for nothing. It was definitely surprising to be honored this way. But you know, these are the kinds of movies that really need nominations like that. Because then, because of it, they re-opened our movie for a couple weeks, which is great! And they sent DVDs out. Things like that. And that’s what a movie like this needs. Otherwise, it sort of disappears into obscurity, even if it’s good.

HW: And the parties and award shows are really fun, but you kind of have the best reward at home, with your new baby daughter. Is it hard to kind of tear yourself away and get out to hit the awards circuit?
It is hard, it is. And you know, this kind of stuff is… it’s work. It’s not just going out to a party. I’m coming to work. It is hard. I would really love to be home with her. But at the same time, you know, sometimes it’s fun to go out and get dressed up and have a glass of champagne. Haven’t been doing very much of that.

HW: And have you picked out your dress for the Globes, or are you still looking?
I have a couple I’m thinking about, but they’re all pretty extraordinary. [Laughs]

HW: You always make very specific and interesting fashion choices. Do you have a theme in mind? Are you kind of going in, or are you just waiting for that one dress to kind of speak to you?
Yeah, I think I’m just looking for something I think is beautiful. Yeah. But I’m really excited about it. I love getting dressed up

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