Maggie Gyllenhaal stars in Nanny McPhee Returns (which opens this Friday) as Mrs. Green, who is trying to run the family farm while her husband is away at war. Gyllenhaal shared with babycenter.com about how she could use Nanny McPhee’s help, how she can relate to her character, and how she swore she “would never do that” as mother – but is. Here’s the interview with babycenter:
If Nanny McPhee came to visit your house what would she be helping you with?
God, what would she be helping me with? I mean, you know, I guess I feel like it’s changing all the time what I’m struggling with as a mother, as a working mother because there’s, I do believe that there’s always something that I’m struggling with, you know. And I kind of get a handle on things for a while and, you know, sort of get better at things as my daughter grows and then something else will come up that’s, you know, equally difficult to manage.
In what ways are you like your character Mrs. Green?
What I love about Mrs. Green that she’s, you know, she’s a really loving mother who is doing her very best, but she’s…clearly flawed and overwhelmed, which I think is the situation that every mother is in at some point.
Mrs. Green starts out, you know, thinking that she doesn’t need any help. I mean when she so clearly does. And I was that way. I sort of thought I don’t need a nanny. I can do everything. I’m gonna be fine and I can manage all this and I can do it beautifully. I’ve learned that I do need help and I do have a nanny who I cherish, you know. And I do need to ask for help from my friends, from women who know more than me, from men who know more than me, from my mom, you know. That thing about Mrs. Green at first saying, you know, we’re actually we’re managing fine here, you know, while her child is like swinging from the chandelier in they background. [LAUGH] I can relate to that although that’s obviously a very exaggerated version.
Is there anything you do as a mom that you swore you’d never do, but find yourself doing?
Yes, [LAUGH] like so many things. I mean I think it’s funny when people have like six month olds that, even like that age where babies just lie still and let you dress them, you know. And then all of a sudden the kids start, I mean, ‘cause my daughter’s almost four, but I just remember, I see people who have a six month old are so judgmental, you know, like I will never lose my temper, you know. [LAUGH] I will, you know, or I’m only going to feed them organic food and then you’re on an airplane and it’s delayed and there’s just not anything, but like whatever they have on the airplane…yes, there are so many things. [LAUGH] I mean I can’t even, I don’t even want to talk about it, all the things that I swore that I would never do, but I do do.
Photos by FAME