More promos and posters from The Dark Knight has been added to the gallery. If you haven’t already seen this movie then go see it, it’s A M A Z I N G!!
Maggie Gyllenhaal was so impressed by the clothes she wore on set of The Dark Knight she stopped concentrating on her lines.
The actress — who stars alongside the late Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Morgan Freeman in the record-breaking film — says her costumes were so great she could not stop thinking about them — even in the middle of crucial scenes.
She explains, “There was this particular jacket I liked. It was a beautiful black jacket with a high collar. It’s in a scene where I’m sitting on the stage with Harvey Dent.
“It’s a moment of chaos and I’m reaching for him and actually all I’m thinking about was wearing this great jacket.”
The Dark Knight, released in the US last week, broke box office records for biggest opening day and biggest opening weekend and also surpassed $200 million in earnings in just five days.
Q HOW did you feel taking over from Katie Holmes?
A SHE’S great, a fine actor, but I don’t think it would have served anyone were I trying to imitate Katie. I saw Rachel as a new woman in this movie.
Q SO how was it having two handsome men, Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent, fighting over you?
A IT was great. But I tried to make it as difficult for myself as I could by desiring both of them equally.
Q THIS is your first big blockbuster. You’re no longer the indie queen – how was the switch?
A IN deciding to do the movie, I was worried about that. I had a three-month-old baby when the script first came to me. I wasn’t looking to work but was a fan of Chris Nolan and it’s hard as an actor not to look at the cast and to take that seriously.
And I did everything I could to say no.
I said I’d only do the movie if she was really smart and interesting and Chris said: “Fine, let’s do it.”
Q BUT you’re a serious actor and the face of Agent Provocateur?
A I SHOULD be able to do both. When my daughter was about three months old a girlfriend told me AP made nursing bras. I’d been wearing sports bras and horrible, ugly nursing ones.
So I went to their store, saw sexy, beautiful, nursing bras, bought one and it made me feel great. Then randomly they asked if I wanted to do their ads.
You can be a thinking person and wear sexy underwear. But I didn’t realise how much scrutiny I was under until recently and I don’t like it.
Q CAN you talk about Heath Ledger and his performance as The Joker?
A WHAT Heath did is so important for an actor. Someone seems all evil then you see glimmers of something kind, sexy, open, hurt in him and that lets the audience have compassion.
If you can do that in a movie, it’s good practice for doing the same in real life. In this film, even the good guys are dark and conflicted.
She was known for playing troubled characters, but as a new mother Maggie Gyllenhaal’s ready for happier roles. By Gill Pringle
As Jake Gyllenhaal, 27, became an overnight teen idol with the big-budget action films The Day after Tomorrow and Jarhead, his big sister Maggie, 30, quietly became the darling of the independent film world, breathing compassion into tender portrayals of disturbed souls.
While the Gyllenhaal siblings are talented, nepotism played a part in their early careers. As a teenager, Maggie made her film debut in 1992, opposite Jeremy Irons in Waterland, directed by her father, Stephen Gyllenhaal. A year later, both siblings featured in Debra Winger’s A Dangerous Woman, again directed by their father, from a screenplay by their mother, Naomi Foner.
But Maggie’s real breakthrough came with 2002′s Secretary – this time without familial assistance. Her portrayal of the masochistic secretary Lee Holloway earned her a Golden Globe nomination. Roles in 2002′s much-honoured all-star drama Adaptation and in 2003′s Mona Lisa Smile opposite Julia Roberts followed. It became clear that the actress is at her best when tackling troubled characters, such as SherryBaby’s Sherry Swanson. Gyllenhaal’s unsentimental portrayal of a recovering heroin addict who, on her release from jail, sets about winning custody of her daughter, earned her a second Golden Globe nomination in 2006.
Gyllenhaal, who is engaged to the actor Peter Sarsgaard, was in no hurry to return to work after giving birth to her daughter, Ramona, 21 months ago. But the opportunity to work with Heath Ledger and Gary Oldman in The Dark Knight proved irresistible. “I seriously wasn’t looking to work at the time. I had a three-month-old when I was first approached, and she was seven months old when we finally shot.
“And this was a good job to have as a new mom, because I would work for three days, have a week off, work for another day, have another week off, so I was able to manage for myself, in my heart, the time away from her… I’ve barely worked since my daughter was born. I did this and I also made Farlanders with Sam Mendes, but mostly I’ve been with her. Being a mother changes everything and has deepened everything in my life, including my acting.
“I’ve been asked whether I’ll choose things that are safe, that have a more child-appropriate content, and I don’t think I will. I’ll carry on choosing what’s interesting to me. But I do think that it’s really difficult to get me away from my daughter. It’s tough to find a script that’s good enough for me to think, ‘OK, I really need to do this instead of being with my daughter’.
“The thing about motherhood is that it really does crack you open in every way. I never knew that I could be so tired; I never knew that I could work so hard. I never knew that I could love so much or be so patient or be so excited by the tiniest little thing. Everything about it has surprised me,” says Gyllenhaal.
If The Dark Knight marks a change of direction for an actress best known for more complex portrayals, she says she enjoyed playing a strong character: “I now suddenly find myself interested in playing people who are strong and capable and maybe not as broken as some of the other people I’ve played. I feel like that’s sort of what I’ve made a career doing and that this is sort of more unusual, to play somebody who’s pretty together, who I really admire.”
It’s a far cry from a career that has been notable for its controversy. Replacing Kate Moss as the face of Agent Provocateur, she posed for suggestive promotional shots for the lingerie chain just six months after giving birth. All the same, that was a storm in a B-cup compared with the unwelcome notoriety and outpouring of hatred she found in 2005 after being quoted as saying America was “responsible in some way” for the September 11 attacks. Days later, her fan website, maggie-gyllenhaal.net, was shut down after it became overloaded with hate messages and crashed. “I was so surprised by the way it was misunderstood, and the disdain that came back at me was a real shock,” she said later. “I regret what I said, but I think my intentions were good. Neither the red carpet nor an interview about a movie is the right place to talk about my politics. I realise I have to be careful, because it’s very easy to misunderstand a complicated thought in a complicated world,” says the politically active Democrat, who, like her parents and brother, supports the American Civil Liberties Union.
An accomplished stage actress, Gyllenhaal is wise to the benefits of working on the New York stage, enabling her to remain close to her Brooklyn home – and her daughter: “I’ve been reading tons of plays recently because there’s a theatre that I’m thinking about working with. But the thing about doing a play is that, for me, it really has to be good. And because you’re doing the same thing every day, it’s important to be working with people who are extraordinary, otherwise it gets really boring, and it’s awful. So I’m really trying to find something that I feel will sustain me for a long time. There’s no point in doing it otherwise.”
“The Dark Knight” broke records like a disc jockey gone wild this weekend, upsetting former record-holder “Spider-Man 3″ with a best-ever opening that final tallies showed to be $158.4 million.
The industry-record bow naturally yielded a studio high for Warner Bros. and personal bests for director Christopher Nolan and cast including topliner Christian Bale. But no less impressively, it also anchored a three-day weekend boxoffice record of $258 million, according to Nielsen EDI data.
Universal’s star-studded adaptation of the Broadway musical “Mamma Mia!” took second place over the phenomenal frame with a $27.6 million opening built on support from older females. Fox’s animated family comedy “Space Chimps” debuted in seventh place with $7.4 million.
Industrywide, the session’s collective boxoffice bested the $218.4 million weekend performance of July 7-9, 2006, which featured a $135.6 million opening for Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.”
The new industry record made mincemeat of conventional wisdom that a mid-July session could never pack such a punch and restored momentum in a seasonal boxoffice that’s now pulled even with the same portion of summer 2007. Year to date, 2008 still lags behind last year by 1% at $5.21 billion, EDI said.
Despite handicaps including a nearly 2 1/2-hour running time, the rapturously reviewed “Dark Knight” muscled aside previous record opener “Spider-Man 3,” which Sony opened to $151.1 million in May 2007. The latest “Batman” sequel dwarfed a previous pairing of Nolan and Bale on “Batman Begins,” which unspooled on a Wednesday in June 2005 to gross $72.9 million over its initial five days including a first-weekend haul of $48.7 million.
“This is a career-capper for anybody who works on a film like this in our business,” Warners distribution president Dan Fellman said. “It’s a great ride, and it’s just beginning, Most of the big summer films have already come out, so we have a great play time ahead of us.”
“Dark Knight” was produced in association with the Wall Street-funded Legendary Pictures, which co-financed half of the $180 million-plus production.
Although it also bowed big in more than a dozen foreign territories this weekend, most of the initial focus for “Dark Knight” was on its domestic performance. Industry officials now assume the film will be the summer’s biggest grosser, with some suggesting a domestic run of $350 million is assured simply on the basis of its first weekend.
Audience demographics for “Dark Knight” were ideally broad. Males represented 52% of patrons, with ticket-buyers evenly split between those under 25 and older moviegoers.
Grosses included $6.2 million from 94 Imax screens, which completely sold out throughout the weekend. The giant-screen haul solidly outpaced a previous Imax record of $4.7 million in Imax sales for the first weekend of “Spider-Man 3.”
“We sold out every single ticket in the country at every show,” Imax Filmed Entertainment president Greg Forster said. “We’re certainly sold out throughout (the weekend), and the majority of our theaters have sell-outs into next weekend and beyond. Our Web site has shut down multiple times.”
Nolan shot 30 minutes of the film using an Imax camera, stoking interest in the giant-screen version of “Dark Knight.”
Yet perhaps the biggest buzz-inducing element of the film’s pre-release marketing was its emphasis on the Heath Ledger’s role as Batman’s nemesis, the Joker.
Jack Nicholson played the character in 1989′s “Batman,” which starred Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader. But in keeping with the grim tone of Nolan’s Batman films, Ledger brought a darker, more brooding approach to the character, and there’s talk he could be rewarded with a posthumous Oscar nomination for his success in pulling off the role.
Tim Burton’s original “Batman” fetched $251.2 million. For 19 years, that’s been a franchise-best domestic run, but now the tally is simply another record to be shattered by “Dark Knight.”
Friday was the sunniest day for “Dark Knight,” with an industry-record haul of $67.9 million brightened by thousands of midnight showings and even highly unusual showtimes such as 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. in many markets. Saturday brought in an estimated $48.1 million, and Warners penciled in roughly $39 million for Sunday.
Prior to the weekend, Universal execs feared a record performance by “Dark Knight” might limit grosses for “Mamma Mia!” but the film ended up on the high end of pre-release projections in mounting a record opening for a musical. Assuming its weekend estimate holds up, “Mamma Mia!” outpaced previous record-holder “Hairspray,” a New Line release that bowed last July to $27.5 million.
Holdover films seemed a bit lost in the “Dark Knight” tsunami despite the record weekend boxoffice, though some films made out better than others.
This weekend will feature two more wide openers, and it will bear watching how “Dark Knight’s” second weekend, guaranteed to be a strong one, affects their performances.
MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL has banned her daughter from becoming an actress – because she’s convinced Hollywood isn’t healthy for children.
The Secretary star gave birth to daughter Ramona with her boyfriend, actor Peter Sarsgaard in 2006.
And the Brooklyn-based mum admits she’s already apprehensive about her daughter’s career path as she approaches her second birthday.
Gyllenhaal says, “I kind of try to keep her out of this kind of (showbusiness) stuff. It’s not really good for kids. I know it’s like such a cliche… I really hope she does something else. I love what I do but I don’t want to bring her around all of this stuff.”
I don’t know anyone who has a bad word to say about Maggie Gyllenhaal. Sometimes we, the viewing public, can be unkind about ladies in the spotlight, but, for some reason, she isn’t a target. Is it that funny look in her eye that suggests she is in on the joke? Is it how, in pictures of her at premieres, even when she is dressed in a fabulous frock, her hair often looks as if she has come straight from the gym? Is it because she has a fit brother?
Whatever the reason, every boy I know seems to want to sleep with her and every girl I know seems to want to have a cup of tea with her. I have high hopes for our lunch, which is taking place at Nobu, in downtown New York. I’m secretly thinking we could become friends.
Gyllenhaal is late, so I use the time to slip off to the ladies and splash my face. (It’s stinking hot outside.) I get back and she is there, sitting at the table, smiling widely, taking my hand and saying, “Haven’t I met you somewhere before?” Yes! No.
She is wearing black short shorts by Isabel Marant — an NY-hipster staple this summer — which make her pale legs look paler, with a green string vest she says she has had since she was a teenager. Her hair is fluffy, as if she really has come from the gym. She chose this particularly chichi restaurant because she liked the thought of “a nice lunch on someone else’s dime”, but isn’t actually that hungry. She and her fiancé (the actor Peter Sarsgaard) have had a bug all week (although not their two-year-old daughter Ramona: “Thank God”) and it’s her first meal out.
We do the preliminaries, then talk about the new Batman film, The Dark Knight, Gyllenhaal’s first blockbuster. It sees her make the transition from indie queen to multiplex goddess. It’s brilliant, partly because of Gyllenhaal, of course, and partly because it stars Heath Ledger as the Joker, who is so good that posthumous Oscar nominations are already being discussed — sometimes by people who haven’t even seen the film yet.
Gyllenhaal, 30, plays the female protagonist and love siren, Rachel Dawes. She replaces the anodyne Katie Holmes and her perma-cute “Oh”s. Gyllenhaal’s Dawes doesn’t do “Oh”. She is far more complicated and accomplished than that. Rather like the woman who is sitting here, watching me expectantly over her menu. A quote I’d read comes back to me: something about someone asking her little brother, Jake, to say five words about her and him replying, “Can I have six?”, and then saying, “She is not as she seems.” Well, he should know.
Indeed, she is charming, articulate and twinkly — yet rather distant. When the waiter interrupts four, five, six times with random questions and the offer of complimentary film-star treats, she says, “Great. Thank you very much.” In reality, she is miles away.
In common with many A-listers who are more luvvie than pay-per-view show pony, Gyllenhaal is a prolific interviewee (“I don’t like it, but I’m happy to do it if I have an interesting project to talk about”), but one who specialises in not actually revealing much. You have to earn her trust. So when I ask her what she enjoys doing when she isn’t working, she tells me that she focuses a lot on her relationship and spending time with her two closest girlfriends. “And going to the theatre, films . . .”
The movie that got boys fancying her was Secretary, a black comedy about a self-harming ingénue, whose S&M relationship becomes a sexual awakening that turns out to be her salvation. Gyllenhaal expected outrage of the “old-school feminist” kind for her portrayal of a submissive female with a taste for spanking, but received only plaudits. In retrospect, it could only have been that way: she would never play that kind of sex object. She is well-read on feminism and gender politics and says the worst thing that ever happened to her was a male television presenter telling her he had fast-forwarded to the sexy parts of Secretary. The advertising campaign she did for Agent Provocateur last year made the same point: the expression on her face, as she sat there in a basque, brushed off the idea that frothy underwear is for male pleasure only.
So The Dark Knight will make her globally famous — more famous than the famous she already is. Which is possibly more famous than she would like to be. It is well documented how disgusted she is by all the paparazzi attention. In one incident, they photographed her breast-feeding. In another, they tried, outrageously, to flush her and her baby out of their home (a 3,600 square-foot, four-storey townhouse in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with — or so I read in a newspaper snippet — “seven marble fireplaces and a charming, delightful, well-established garden”) by calling the fire brigade. She and Sarsgaard are contemplating a move out of town. “I don’t court it [the attention] at all. I don’t like it at all. I don’t want it at all,” she says. “I hope that if I talk about it enough, it will go away. I’m very protective of my life.”
Plainly, this is because Gyllenhaal grew up in Hollywood (scriptwriter mother, director father) and is ambivalent about the attention. She knows the deal: how you can be smokin’ one minute and a nobody the next. She is quite practical about it all. I think she has worked very, very hard to get where she has. “There is only room for five people at the top,” she says. “Mainstream Hollywood makes a few good movies a year, and in order to be in one of those, you have to be one of five people.”
Hence Batman, over which she wrestled with her conscience.
“I do want the power that comes with celebrity, because I have good intentions,” she says. “I feel as if I could do something good with that power.” But also, there is the big question: if you’re a mother, how far do you take it? “My fiancé is so supportive. I was thinking of doing a film on an island off Tasmania, and he said, ‘Great, I’ll come and take care of our daughter.’ ”
Jake says she isn’t as she seems. She is a scruff today, but she scrubs up beautifully. She can work the silk blouse, pencil skirt and heels look with the best and can transform herself into a proper grown-up movie star — the one you see in these pictures. But being a bit of a mystery doesn’t give her a get-out-of-jail-free card for the paranoia that comes with the job.
“I’ve been lucky to have escaped the worst of it,” she says. “But it would be doing everyone a disservice to say that I feel good about myself all the time and that I never think I look bad or that my hair looks awful. If you think you’ve got bad hair, try going on a month-long press tour with it!”
We have almost finished our blackened cod, and I think she might be hoping that we’ve covered everything. (“Are you done?” asks the waiter for the umpteenth time. “Yes,” says Gyllenhaal. “Not quite,” I say. “Okay, no,” she says.) Anyway, we haven’t.
Batman is a knockout film and it belongs to one man: Ledger. We know that. The film company, Warner, knows that. The cast know that. However, Warner has explained how understandably less than keen the cast are to discuss him. It must be particularly difficult for Gyllenhaal — her brother was nominated alongside Ledger for an Oscar for Brokeback Mountain. I do it anyway.
“Heath . . .” (Ouch.)
Long pause. Gyllenhaal swallows. She looks stricken. She hates me. Eventually she says, carefully and looking down: “He was a fantastic actor, and he was great to work with.”
Another silence. “Is that the time? I should go. Thank you so much for this. It’s been great.” A grin, a wave — and it’s as if she was never here.
The Dark Knight is released on Friday
MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL had to limp down the red carpet at Monday’s (14Jul08) THE DARK KNIGHT premiere, after breaking her toe.
The actress, who stars opposite Christian Bale and the late Heath Ledger in the new Batman movie, suffered the fracture after whacking her foot against some furniture at home.
She blames the accident on her nerves ahead of the film’s big release, telling TV talk show host David Letterman on Wednesday (16Jul08), “I’m like this indie actress, and I have this big movie, and all of a sudden I have a broken toe. I think it was because I was nervous about all this stuff. This big, huge movie all of a sudden, and I just walked across the room and I broke my toe.”
But the star reveals she was too stunned to feel any pain from the break, musing: “I guess it hurt. My boyfriend (actor Peter Sarsgaard) was impressed with how broken it was.”
Maggie Gyllenhaal has signed on to play the lead in Scott Cooper’s upcoming music-based film Crazy Heart. According to Variety, both Jeff Bridges and Robert Duvall have also come aboard the CMT Films project.
Cooper adapted the screenplay from Thomas Cobb’s debut novel of the same name. The story revolves around a struggling alcoholic country western singer that is only able to get his career back on track through his relationship with a female reporter. Bridges is set to play the bummy musician, while Gyllenhaal will star as his muse. T. Bone Burnett is set to produce the music for the film.
Shooting will start next month in and around Santa Fe, New Mexico.
FOR MAGGIE Gyllenhaal, it’s tough being a working mom, but not because of the demands of her and fiancée Peter Sarsgaard’s 21-month-old daughter, Ramona. It’s the interest the new baby draws.
“The paparazzi were just really awful to us,” she says. “I mean, they called the fire department and told them there was a fire in our little, tiny building in the West Village so that we would have to come outside with a 5-day-old baby. So all of that was happening and I was trying to navigate my way through that when this offer [to play Rachel Dawes in 'The Dark Knight'] came. And so I thought, ‘It’s going to push that stuff further probably.’ But what am I going to do? I’m going to hide and not do things that are appealing to me? I’m an actress.”
Immediately preceding the film’s release, no one’s crying fire as Gyllenhaal nibbles a papaya and sips a pot of green tea during breakfast in the restaurant at Santa Monica’s Casa Del Mar. But the 30-year-old indie darling’s fears are nevertheless well-founded as she dives into the publicity campaign for the biggest film she has appeared in to date — and one rife with tragedy and complexity.
When it comes to the most difficult of these — her costar Heath Ledger’s death a mere two months after the film wrapped — Gyllenhaal speaks with candor about the actor’s mental state while playing the sociopathic Joker. “For every actor, you can get to this special place with a character where nothing you can do is wrong, where you just are living that person,” she says. “That’s what happened with Heath. And I would say it’s difficult to be that good in a movie that big, where it’s about a lot of other things aside from the acting. So he really accomplished something amazing. You know, I couldn’t really watch him and when I first saw him on screen I felt very emotional.”
Signing onto the film also sparked a minor media circus, since Gyllenhaal was taking over the role from Katie Holmes, who had dropped out months earlier due to “scheduling conflicts.” Speculation ran wild that Holmes was ousted from the franchise for bad reviews or possibly her status as Mrs. Tom Cruise.
But Gyllenhaal was committed to making the character her own from the very first time she read the script — at her brother Jake’s house with a man standing guard in the driveway to make sure that she wouldn’t run off with the franchise’s secrets. “When [director and co-writer] Chris Nolan gave me the script, he said, ‘She’s not quite finished yet,’ ” Gyllenhaal says of the character. “So I read it, and I had a lot of ideas about ways that I thought that she could be stronger. And he was very open and collaborative and interested. In that first preliminary conversation, a lot of things that we talked about ended up in the movie. It was really trying to find a way that I was absolutely in love with Harvey Dent and absolutely in love with Bruce Wayne, the ways I found them both honorable, ethical, moral men and the ways that I had problems with their ethics and morals.”
Gyllenhaal has earned two Golden Globe nominations — for roles as the masochistic new hire in “Secretary” and the heroin-addicted mother in “Sherrybaby” — and appeared in bigger budget fare like “Stranger Than Fiction” and “World Trade Center.”
“When I started acting [in 2000], you could make an independent movie for $5 million and pretty easily get it financed with one sort-of-known actor in it,” she recalls. “That is not true anymore unless you’re making broad comedy or thriller or horror films. I’ve been thinking about how to get the things that are interesting to me made. So at the moment, I’m getting interested in what I guess you would call producing.”
Rather than struggling to strike balance in her life as a new mother and an actress, she’s integrating the two. She recently wrapped another high-profile project, director Sam Mendes’ “Farlanders,” a comedy about a couple in search of the perfect place to raise a baby. “I got to set my first day and I thought, ‘I haven’t worked in a long time. I’ve just been with my daughter,’ ” Gyllenhaal says. “And in the scene, I was acting with a 4-year-old and an 11-month-old. So there were two 11-month-old twins, and they were hysterical the entire day. And so I ended up mommying. You know, the calming, the baby bouncing, giving the baby its pacifier.”
She smiles, calm and a little sleep-deprived. “If I weren’t a mom, I never would have been able to do it.”