Nanny McPhee Returns star Maggie Gyllenhaal was pretty much clueless when it came to motherhood. The 32-year-old actress, who had her daughter, Ramona, three years ago with husband Peter Sarsgaard recently spoke with the Orange County Register about how unsure she was in the beginning. “I don’t think that’s something you can know,” she said. “There’s no way to prepare for the challenges, the immense joys, the surprises, the disappointments and the shocks. Your heart just rips open.”
Though she may not have had a clue as to how to prepare for her child, she did admit she’s gotten better at the whole “mom” thing in the past three-and-a-half years. Motherhood has even had a positive effect on her career–Gyllenhaal stated that she’s a better actress now than she was before giving birth, though she did admit she probably can’t credit all of it to being a mom.
“Part of it is just getting older,” she said. “I might be a better actress now because of that. From 28 to 32 are important growing years.” Regardless of the reason, she brought this new maturity in her work to her role in Nanny McPhee Returns, and she definitely thinks being a mom contributed to it.
“Because I am a mom, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about children and what they’re thinking,” she said. “I think that it happens naturally. Before, I wasn’t interested in those things, and now I am. It’s not that I wanted to make a movie that my daughter could see. It’s just more appealing to me.”
And, as a bonus, Gyllenhaal thinks the movie sends a great message to moms everywhere. “It teaches you how to manage the unmanageable, and accept that you can’t be a perfect mother all the time,” she said. “If you try, it will bring you to your knees.”
Photo: Bob Charlotte/PR Photos