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Maggie Gyllenhaal: Motherhood Impacted Role

Maggie Gyllenhaal has someone to thank for her exquisite, Academy Award-nominated performance in Crazy Heart – her daughter Romana, age 3. While she’s played mothers before, Gyllenhaal believes her being a real-life mother affected her portrayal of Jean Craddock, her character in Crazy Heart.

Gyllenhaal — who married Ramona’s father Peter Sarsgaard in May — made the movie when Ramona was two, and felt that urge to focus on herself as a professional and a woman, not just as a mother.

She said in a recent interview: “I’ve played mothers before I was a mother and, I think, successfully — sometimes anyway. I’ve also played heroin addicts and have not been a heroin addict.”

But in Crazy Heart, she felt differently:

“My state as a mother … is a huge part of the movie for me. It’s also a huge part thematically of what happened to Jean.”

Regarding her desire to work:

“My daughter was almost two when I made this movie, and I was having that feeling that parents must have intermittently throughout their children’s lives. I had it for the first time, like I had been focused almost completely on my daughter, on being a mother, and I had this surge of a feeling that I needed to do something for me. I was also a woman and an actress and not just a mother. I worked.”

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