One thing she did last year: show serious skin in a campaign for luxe lingerie label Agent Provocateur.
Gyllenhaal was a fan of the line, especially after Ramona's birth left her "a good 20 pounds heavier" and in need of a confidence boost.
"They make nursing bras, and I went right in there and bought three pairs of matching bras and underwear that made me feel so good about myself. All of a sudden, to have a hot-pink something peeking out from my shirt a little bit — it made me feel so good," she says.
And then, the British label asked her to pose in their racy campaign, which made its debut in September.
"I found myself, six months after having a baby, in my underwear, getting my picture taken. How did I get here?" says Gyllenhaal, smiling. "It was like playing a character. They're sexy, but they also have a little bit of irony in them. I love that."
But, like with "Dark Knight", the scope of the project — and the attention she'd get for it — didn't really register with Gyllenhaal until later.
"I didn't know how scrutinized I'd be. My brother called me and said, 'I'm in Heathrow, and there's a 12-foot picture of you upside down in a negligee.' People are really rough on you when you do things like that. But I had a good time."