Maggie Gyllenhaal talks to Time on how to be human, her views on Obama and why she won’t talk about the Middle East.
Watch the video and say whether the statements below are true or false. The activity is suitable for Advanced students.
1 Maggie Gyllenhaal has released a new series.
2 Maggie Gyllenhaal is reluctant to express her opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
3 Maggie Gyllenhaal has an immovable position on the conflict.
4 Maggie Gyllenhaal is disappointed with Obama.
5 Nessa, Maggie Gyllenhaal's character, is idealistic.
6 Maggie Gyllenhaal thinks everybody should try and live a full life.
Your new series, The Honorable Woman, is about, was centered on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I know you gonna get this question a lot but do you take a side in that conflict?
I feel like the show I made, the piece of art I made, does articulate really beautifully so many things I feel about the conflict better than I could say in three sentences to you now and I'm trying to keep my personal politics out over the press about it at least until people have seen the show. I also feel like this particular conflict, in my opinion, it’s very difficult for me to have a hard and fast, immovable position on it, how I feel and how I think shifts all the time... by small degrees I do believe in compassion. I believe in the possibility of reconciliation. I am hopeful even in times when it seems impossible, I don't know what else we have. And I think the show takes a similar position.
I'm from Time magazine so I have to ask... you have said that Obama has broken your heart, would you like to say why?
I really believed in him and I'm not sure what he believes in anymore. I thought, probably naively but there's certainly an element of me that is naive, I still, somewhere, I, I root for him, I hope for him one day I think he’s gonna come out and stand up for all the things he promised he was gonna stand up for but I feel a little hopeless right now.
Was there a little... particular decision or event that kinda pushed you over the edge?
I feel really disappointed with the way he's handled the NSA stuff and...
Too aggressive, not aggressive enough?
Not aggressive enough.
Nessa sleeps in a really crazily secure panic room, do you... you know, you’re a celebrity, you've got a famous husband, do you relate to that kind of fear?
I really took panic sometimes, I mean, I think one of the things that's happening with Nessa is that she is going from being somebody who performs herself all the time and feels that she has to be extraordinary and remarkable and pushes out the human flawed sides of herself, to somebody who, you know, is actually a human being.
Are you saying that some of the performative aspects of being an actress...
Well, look, I think it maybe it’s an occupational hazard of being an actor more than other people but I think that's something that all human beings can relate to: performing themselves, thinking they're supposed to be a kind of fantasy of what they imagined they were gonna be when they were twenty, you know, and then like, look, I'm 36, I feel like so much of my thirties has been having to... that performance just not working anymore and so then you have two choices, either you can slowly die or you can come alive and be in the river and be a human being and like do the best you can.
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