Maggie Gyllenhaal on playing the kindergarten teacher "that’s all f**ked up”
Maggie Gyllenhaal, star of HBO’s “The Deuce,” opened up on “Salon Talks” about Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation and the danger of ignoring women, particularly in the art world, which she ties into her Netflix thriller “The Kindergarten Teacher,” out October 12.
In the film, Gyllenhaal plays Lisa, an educator who develops an obsession with one of her students, five-year-old Jimmy, who she believes is a poetry prodigy. Lisa takes extreme, desperate attempts to nurture his talent, regardless of the wild consequences at stake.
But for Gyllenhaal, the film is less about the kid and more about her character’s own untapped writing talents and her yearning to be recognized as an artist. “It’s about the consequences of when you starve a vibrant woman’s mind,” Gyllenhaal told SalonTV’s D. Watkins. “It’s less about her [Lisa] nurturing the talent of the little boy than it is about her struggling with and dealing with the fact that nobody gives a f**k about her own work.”
Gyllenhaal filmed “The Kindergarten Teacher,” directed by Sara Colangelo, in between playing Candy on season 1 and season 2 of HBO’s “The Deuce.” Gyllenhaal says she sees a common thread in both roles— “starving” women who are after something much more than the obvious paths that their lives present.
“I like it when the art I make, in general, just challenges things. I like playing a kindergarten teacher that’s all f**ked up. I like playing a porn director who totally has her eye on the prize and is clear and amazing. I love that those two things are out at the same time,” she said.
Watch the video above to hear more about why Gyllenhaal is speaking out on Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation and encouraging others to speak their minds on politics, and how her perspective on sex work changed after starring in “The Deuce.”
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