After scoring an Oscar nomination for Crazy Heart and starring in the third highest grossing film of all time (The Dark Knight), seeing a few familiar faces in the audience of an intimate off-Broadway theater should be no trouble for Three Sisters’ Maggie Gyllenhaal, right? Not so the actress tells Broadway.com.
“Opening nights are always sort of funny because everyone you love and know is always there, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easier,” Gyllenhaal said on opening night of the Classic Stage Company production of the Chekhov drama. “Sometimes it’s even harder to show what’s really in your heart in front of people you love. I would actually prefer to always perform in front of people I don’t know.”
Luckily for Gyllenhaal she doesn’t have to worry about husband Peter Sarsgaard watching her from the audience…instead he’s right on stage with her. Sarsgaard agrees with his wife’s sentiments: “Your relatives tend to laugh before anything is even funny,” he cracked.
During regular performances, in which Gyllenhaal doesn’t know as many audience members, she’s just thrilled to perform works of Anton Chekhov. “It’s so still true about the way human beings behave,” she says of the classic author’s writing. “I don’t know if I’ve every played anyone that I’ve related to more than [middle Prozorova daughter] Masha,” she says of her character.
And yes, one handsome, familiar face was in the house that night, Gyllenhaal’s heartthrob brother, Jake. We’re pretty sure he gave his sis a thumbs-up.