Maggie Gyllenhaal: Being a parent is a 'complicated experience'

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Maggie Gyllenhaal at the Critics Choice Awards credit:Bang Showbiz
Maggie Gyllenhaal at the Critics Choice Awards credit:Bang Showbiz

Maggie Gyllenhaal says being a parent is a “very complicated experience”.

The 44-year-old actress is mother to Ramona, 15, and Gloria, nine, and has said being a parent isn’t as straight-forward as people might think, as people only ever talk about a “very narrow” part of parenthood.

She said: “I love my children, but it’s a very complicated experience. And mostly, if it doesn’t fit inside this very narrow space that we’ve agreed we’re allowed to talk about, then they say something’s wrong with you. But in fact, how can you be a parent as anything other than a beginner, right?”

Maggie also said parenting can be an isolating experience, and wants to encourage others to talk about feelings of “terror, real anxiety, and despair” that can come with being a parent.

She added: “If we can include terror, real anxiety, despair, along with the heart-wrenching ecstasy on either sides of the experience that we’re allowed to talk about, I think it’s comforting to sort of go, ‘You’re not the only person that ever had these feelings.’ ”

The star’s new movie, ‘The Lost Daughter’ – which serves as her directorial debut – touches on sides of parenting that Maggie doesn’t believe society accepts, and she hopes people will be able to relate to the film.

Speaking during an appearance on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’, she said: “I think, when we’re little, our survival depends on our parents. Our fantasy that they want nothing more than to take care of us - because our actual survival depends on it.

“When in fact, they’re us. They, like, also want to have a drink sometimes, and they also want a night with their husband or wife, and they also want to work, and they want many things like we do.”

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