Maggie Gyllenhaal discusses new movie 'The Kindergarten Teacher' and more

The actress talks about her efforts to make women feel comfortable on set by creating the role of an intimacy coordinator.
8:57 | 10/11/18

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Transcript for Maggie Gyllenhaal discusses new movie 'The Kindergarten Teacher' and more
Maggie gyllenhaal is a woman ahead of her time on the second season of the HBO series "The deuce," and a woman struggling with obsession in the new movie "The kindergarten teacher." Please welcome a fabulous woman, Maggie gyllenhaal. ??? So something that most people do not know about Maggie gyllenhaal is she is quite a singer. She and I, last time we saw each other we were on stage doing "Damn Yankees" as a fundraiser for the roundabout. Yeah. It was quite fun. It was like one of the most amazing nights of my entire life, especially because you and I -- I remember us standing in rehearsal in the back of the room with all these, like, for real musical theatre people. Broadway, yeah. We could sing, but, I mean, you know. But we showed up that night. We're like what are we doing here. Do you remember that? Yes. I yes because I thought why do I always end up in this. I always say yes to stuff and then people come out with these voices and I'm like -- Wasn't it actually heaven doing it? It was heaven doing it, it was. I was like being on "The view" is never going to be the same again. So true. Because I know you for real. Yeah. Maggie, I love that you grew up in a show business family. Your mother is a screen writer, your dad is a corrector. Your brother is an actor. I grew up in a political family, wasn't an option not to go into politics. Did you always know you were going to be an actress or in the industry? I don't like to think of it like it was never a enan option. I know what you mean. I did always want to be an actress. I guess I feel like in some ways that also came just from who I am. But yeah, I'm sure of course I was influenced by my family. You're lucky because you wanted to do it too, you know, and you were raised in that, and you are an artist. That's what I love about you. In front of the camera and behind the camera your work is amazing. And you've got a beautiful family. Thank you. Your husband, Peter sarsgaard, two beautiful daughters. We talk so much on the show about what's going on in the country. And a lot of the topics have to do with being a woman and things that women have faced for so many years. Do you guys talk about what's going on to your girls, what's going on in this country? Yeah. One of my daughters is 12 so she's very aware of what's going on, and my other daughter is 6 so it's different kinds of conversations. My daughter, my 12-year-old, is an activist. Yeah. I love that. She is activated. She's a feminist. She ran into somebody recently, a little girl her age, who said she wasn't a feminist. My daughter was astonished. It's hard to imagine, you know, and she came home and cried to me about it. Oh wow. I have a 12-year-old also and they're just so plugged in and connected in ways that I don't think we were. But I just saw your film, your new film, "The kindergarten teacher." It's almost every mother's nightmare that this kindergarten teacher who seems just so incredible and loving goes down a pretty dark path. You've described her situation beautifully I thought as this is what happens when you starve a vibrant woman's mind. Yes. What do you mean by that? Well, I mean that I think at this moment there are so many women that are waking up to the fact that we have been starved and that we've accepted things and twisted ourselves into pretzels and that we shouldn't have accepted and that there are consequences for doing that. I think even though I wasn't sort of able to put words to it when I read the script, I knew that that's what the script was about. So yes, even though you're watching a woman who does some really problematic things, I think at the same time you're watching a woman that you can really relate to. Absolutely. I think we have -- do we have a clip? Yeah, we do. Let's take a look. Down here, look. So if you stay open and if you stay curious, then you can see the world however you want. Can I go back to nap time now? Will you think about what I said? Will you think about it? All right. It's really -- it's really something. There's always been a lot of talk about likable female characters and you've played a number of women like this one who may not be traditionally likable. But I think that people are perhaps looking more for that these days. Well, I think -- look, I think we're being lied to so much these days and I think that -- I think that people are hungry for something human and truthful. And real. I think people are a little tired of seeing fantasy versions of women and men but there's been a history of fantasy versions of women. So yeah, this woman goes real far on the spectrum. She does. Yes, I think, like, I'm interested in putting real human beings on the screen, and I do think that's what I want to see. I don't know, I guess there's a place for the fantasy. Sometimes it feels good to, like, rub up against it but it's not really the movies I love. This is real. Yeah. Your show, "The deuce", is back for a second season. It's a great show. Your character is taking control. She's directing films. I heard that when you came on board the show you came on board as a lead character but you also wanted to be a producer because you wanted to make sure that your voice was heard. How has that impacted things on the show? Well yeah, when I first came on board which was before the first season, there were only three scripts and I had never gotten involved in anything where I hadn't, like, read the script let alone to play a sex worker and have my clothes off half the time. So I was like, I just want to make sure that you want my mind as well as my body because I have something to say. Our show, I really think, is a feminist show. It's about misogyny. It's about imbalance of power in the entertainment industry. It's about kind of what's on everybody's mind right now, and I wanted to be a part of that conversation. So how is it, I mean, you know, I -- Win some, you lose some. True. But also I'm always -- I feel like we're walking a tightrope, and same with the kindergarten teacher. I love projects where you're walking a tightrope where if you veer too much you fall off this side and the other way you fall off that side. I'm constantly in the conversation of how we stay on this tightrope. Wasn't there an intimacy coordinator? I wanted to hear about that as well. I think that was a direct response to time's up, trying to figure out ways too make sure that women who -- on our show in particular there's lots of women and women who come in for one day and have to have their clothes off and have to simulate sex. The truth is if you do a fight, there's always -- There's a stunt coordincoordinator. Always a stunned coordinator. They will not even let me push you without a coordinator but never with sex. This is an intimacy coordinator? They kind of made it up. She's always there. I've done it so many times. I know how to say no, you know. But if it's your first gig or, you know, you're 25, she calls you the night before. She says I know you agreed to this but are you still okay with it? Even if you're not okay once we get on set, that's fine. That's great. It's really great. You know, there are innovative people and there are innovative people. Yeah. Innovative. Just saying. Our thanks to Maggie gyllenhaal. "The deuce" airs Sunday nights on HBO. And make sure to check her out in "The kindergarten teacher" in select theaters and streaming tomorrow on Netflix.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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