Adam of Club Silencio here with a look at my favorite actresses and their distinguishing claims to fame.
I've no reason to believe Maggie Gyllenhaal got where she is today because of anything other than talent. She's got a wisdom and savvy well beyond her years and a cool ease on camera. Maggie's one of the finest of her acting generation, and she's worked hard to get to get to that level.
In fact the entire Gyllenhaal family's got baffling levels of talent and sex appeal, not to mention all sorts of other awesome connections. Maggie's tied down Peter Sarsgaard and her brother Jake's godparents are none other than legends Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest. How much better are they than your family?! It's probably a favorite topic of dinner conversation in the Gyllenhaal house...
Still, Maggie seems pretty modest about her envious position off-screen. On-screen it's a completely different story... Her most beloved performances (Lee in Secretary, Sherry in Sherrybaby and Jude in Happy Endings) tell of characters struggling to transcend their place and limitations -- trying to find a way out of their emotional funk. Each of them cutters, recovering addicts and karaoke singers, looking for a way to get ahead in this often cold and cruel cinematic world. Apparently all it takes is some light bondage and feigning an interest in Tom Arnold.
Sex can be painful, humiliating and, at least in the case of Maggie's characters, a means for survival. Maggie says the sexuality in her roles is a layer unto itself, "In my life and in my work, I'm interested in sex as a way of communication, I'm not interested in the fantasy version of a sex scene where everything's like a softcore porn movie. I'm interested in, why communicate things through sex? Is there no other way to communicate this thing? It's another way of talking, for some people now, it's the way they communicate."
Sex opens doors to job promotions, getting back the custody of your child, and bigger and better karaoke venues. Take it from Maggie: communication is key.
(P.S. Jake, let's talk. )