Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Rachel Dawes in the latest Batman flick, The Dark Knight, a film that is transforming the film industry’s concept of the term blockbuster hit.
The movie has already generated over $455 million in ticket sales since it was released on July 18, 2008. (editor’s note: Answers.com reports that the worldwide gross had reached over $1 billion as of November, 2010.)
That pushed it to third on the US all time money making list for blockbuster films.
Gyllenhaal’s character, Rachel Dawes, grew up with Bruce Wayne, Batman’s alter ego, and in this film we find her in the district attorney’s office as a lawyer fighting crime .
The film’s plot pits super hero and crime fighter, Batman, played by Christian Bale, against the Joker, a super criminal played by the recently deceased Heath Ledger.
Because much of the film manifests the adversarial relationship between Batman and the Joker along with displaying all of their remarkable “gadgets,” the equally remarkable Gyllenhaal receives much less screen time than she deserves.
Although slightly shy of 31 years of age, Maggie tallies an impressive number of movies and TV shows to her credit. She can thank her father, director Stephen Gyllenhaal, for that since he directed her in her first six films beginning with Waterland in 1992.
She believes in performing in films that make a statement, either politically or intellectually, which explains why she chose to star in SherryBaby in 2006.
Said Maggie, “I do seem to have a bit of a predilection for movies that say something transgressive…I find myself more and more interested only in roles which move the world forward.”
Her role in SherryBaby bears the quintessence of the roles that she seeks. She stars as Sherry Swanson, a young mother who has recently returned from serving three years in prison.
Maggie’s character, Sherry, a recovering heroin addict, desperately tries to reestablish her mother-daughter relationship with her daughter, Alexis, played by Ryan Simpkins.
Maggie’s portrayal of the ex-convict, Sherry, lays bare for all to see the monumental hurdles that an ex-con must surmount to return to motherhood and society.
Maggie has said, “I want roles that challenge people to question where they are in life,” which certainly explains why she jumped at the opportunity to play Sherry Swanson in SherryBaby.
At the same time Maggie’s appetite for roles and films that send a message engenders the question, why did she opt for the Rachel Dawes role in The Dark Knight, which clearly bears the entertainment movie tag?
Perhaps she made a strategic decision to nudge her personna into the lime light. Blockbuster movies will sometimes spiral actors’ salaries into the stratosphere. Considering Dark Knight‘s success, logic dictates that Gyllenhaal will discover juicier roles passing her way more frequently now.
That may just motivate Ms. Gyllenhaal to settle for an entertainment flick every now and then.
The following video is the trailer for “SherryBaby” starring Maggie Gyllenhaal:
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