Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal in ‘Hysteria’. Photo: Liam Daniel, courtesy of Sony Photographs Classics

Maggie Gyllenhaal has been in little, indie flicks (Secretary), Oscar bait (Crazy Heart), and blockbusters (The Dark Knight), but Hysteria is the very first time she’s been in a film about vibrators. The story follows a Victorian-era doctor as he comes up with a device to help ladies, and ironically he’s not the one particular who is deemed a menace to society—instead, it’s Gyllenhaal’s character, Charlotte Dalrymple, the outspoken crusader for women’s and children’s rights. With her own household growing—her second youngster Gloria was born final month—Gyllenhaal sat down with ELLE.com to speak about how becoming a mother has affected her alternative in films, and why she’s not turned on by most film sex scenes.

ELLE: This isn’t the initial time you are starring in a film that offers with female sexuality. What’s the draw for you?
Maggie Gyllenhaal: I assume everybody’s interested in sex and sexuality. I assume it’s a portion of being human, and film is an interesting spot to explore that, specifically since I think sex has been explored in film in a way that is quite unreal and very a lot based in fantasy. When I see sex scenes in movies that are real and totally free, like my personal encounter of sex, they’re so a lot sexier. I guess it’s a nod of subtle feminism to be able to express it from a woman’s points of view what true sex is like—where it is not like you are wearing a black demi-cup Victoria’s Secret bra and it’s lit perfectly and you are arching your back—it’s not like that!

ELLE: What was your initial reaction when you initial heard about Hysteria?
MG: I was curious. It came to me through the producer of Crazy Heart, and it was right after we had completed all the Oscar stuff and we had been about each and every other a lot. I trusted her since we had a great knowledge together on that movie, and she says, “This is a wonderful script, and it takes place to be about the invention of the vibrator—which happened to take location in 1880s London.” And I thought, “Oh it did? That was when the vibrator was invented?” The script itself I believed was excellent—really, actually intelligent and actually nicely-crafted.

ELLE: Did you relate to Charlotte at all?
MG: Absolutely everyone keeps asking me would I have been like Charlotte if I lived back then. And the truth is, no, I wouldn’t have. I would have loved to picture that I would have been like her, but it wouldn’t have been attainable. You wouldn’t have been in a position to survive. Would I have been okay in a Victorian prison? No, almost certainly not!

ELLE: Is it tough to discover films with genuinely fantastic, powerful female leads?
MG: It is so funny, there are so handful of excellent films being produced these days, so when there’s a excellent 1, everybody wants to do it. Believe about the actresses who you assume are excellent so a lot of of them play strong, female, sexual, fascinating characters. And all of us are like, “I’ll do that a single!” Since there are so handful of. But I do discover that there are a few actresses who are my age who I genuinely respect and admire. I find as I get older, even although there’s some level of competition, it gets divided up fairly evenly. Like, “Oh that one particular she’s gonna do, and this a single I’m gonna do.” You go through diverse phases of being far more wanted or less wanted, but I uncover it type of goes up and down and shifts and [is] based on items that are type of out of your control!

ELLE: Have you gotten pickier about the roles you take now that you have a family members?
MG: Not in terms of, oh, I wouldn’t do Sherrybaby now simply because I have youngsters and it would be inappropriate. But I do think that it’s not worth it to take my family to Romania to do some thing [just] okay. Whereas perhaps if I had no children, I’d go, I can do some thing with this. My daughter’s in kindergarten now if a person asked me to go to Romania, I’d have to place her in school or take a tutor. I mean, you have to send your kid to first grade! I do take into account now how it functions with my life and how it functions with my husband’s life and career. But each of us want to support each and every other to do issues that are genuinely fantastic, you know? I do assume that there’s one thing about becoming 25 and thinking, I’m just going to be as hardcore as I can possibly be.

ELLE Dispatch