Maggie Gyllenhaal Wants More Female Imperfections in Film

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Maggie Gyllenhaal. Photo: Corbis

At last night’s Gracies Awards, Maggie Gyllenhaal accepted the award for Outstanding Female Actor for her performance in The Honorable Woman and spent a good part of the night talking about how great Charlize Theron is in Mad Max: Fury Road. What she found most gratifying about Theron’s performance as Furiosa, she said in her acceptance speech, were her character’s imperfections — like her bloodshot, swollen eyes. “If I were in that desert for ten minutes, my eyes would be super bloodshot,” Gyllenhaal said. “There are the really hot girls whose eyes are not bloodshot, who are wearing bandages and looking really beautiful and lovely, but my heart went out to the imperfect one, the one who showed us herself, her humanity, that sense of being ourselves.”

Speaking to the Cut before the gala, Gyllenhaal reflected that it’s still rare for her to see depictions of women in film and television that she finds credible. “I can’t tell you some of the weird parts I’ve been offered to play, that I can’t recognize as any human being I’ve ever come into contact with,” she said, adding: “People really like to see fucked-up crazy women, and really perfect powerful women.” However, she said that she’s optimistic that things are changing. “I felt so, so thrilled watching Charlize Theron in Mad Max,” she said. “It was astonishing.”