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Stars in the City: Maggie Gyllenhaal of HBO’s ‘The Deuce’

Category Broadway

|by Jeryl Brunner |

The actress and producer shares her passion for New York City

A talented actress and producer, Maggie Gyllenhaal has played a variety of roles on film, television, on Broadway and beyond. An Oscar nominee for Crazy Heart, her film and television credits include Secretary, Happy Endings, Sherrybaby, Stranger Than Fiction, The Dark Night, Frank, The Honourable Woman and The Kindergarten Teacher. Gyllenhaal currently stars with James Franco in the HBO series The Deuce, which she also produces. The series centers around the evolution of the adult film industry during the 1970s. Off-Broadway, Gyllenhall played Yelena Andreevna in the Classic Stage Company production of Uncle Vanya. In 2014, she made her Broadway debut in The Real Thing with Ewan McGregor. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, Peter Sarsgaard, and two daughters. Last month, Gyllenhaal helped host the Josh Cellars pop-up event at Grand Central Station.

Maggie Gyllenhaal at the Josh Cellars pop-up event in June (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Josh Cellars)

Maggie Gyllenhaal at the Josh Cellars pop-up event in June (Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Josh Cellars)

What keeps you living in New York City?
Maggie Gyllenhaal: What keeps me in the city is the art, food and my children's school. We also see a lot of theater. My daughter is really interested in dance, and we see lot of dance now because of her. Or we’ll take the train to see the Hilma af Klint exhibit.

Is there something you wish you could tell yourself when you were just starting your career?
MG: That is an interesting question. It's funny, I was just thinking about this. I don't do this, but I have some friends who tell their younger selves things. I think that’s an interesting way to live. They tell me how they will walk by the apartment where they once lived. They really don't believe that time is linear.

I think of the times I have taken jobs because I thought they would get me somewhere. But one lesson I learned is that a job only works for me when I'm excited and inspired by it. It doesn't work any other way. I know it would probably be easier for me otherwise, but it doesn’t work that way for me.

You have performed on and off Broadway over the years, in The Real Thing and Three Sisters. Would you like to do more theater?
MG: I am less interested doing Broadway then doing more Off-Broadway. But then I saw the Tonys the other night. I know Anaïs Mitchell, the composer of Hadestown, a little bit, who is amazing.

Is there a part you're aching to play?
MG: I’m a real Chekhov fan, and have done a lot of Chekhov. I played Masha. I played Yelena. I was just thinking, am I too young to play Madame Ranevskaya in The Cherry Orchard? It's on my mind. She is usually played by an actress who is a little bit older than me. But I think she's probably not meant to be older. I'm 41 and interested in that part. She reminds me a little bit of my mother.

I’ve heard that your husband has a special talent as a gardener.
: My husband (Peter Sarsgaard) is an excellent, knowledgeable gardener. You know how orchids are often given as gifts, but they die? My husband has sometimes gotten orchids to come back to life. And he was just realizing what they need, that they don’t want to be potted.

For more of the best of New York this season, check out our list of the Top Shows in New York in July 2019.

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