I was in Los Angeles when the New York press day for Don Roos’ nice new film Happy Endings took place, so I missed it when one of the reporters asked Maggie Gyllenhaal about her comments on 9/11 – which prompted Maggie’s publicist to whisk her the fuck out of the room.
Gyllenhaal, who lives on New York’s Lower East Side (which is relatively near the World Trade Center site), made some comments when being asked about her film The Great New Wonderful, which is set against the backdrop of the immediate days after 9/11 – which any New Yorker can tell you were some of the scariest, weirdest and most stressful days in history. And which of course means they’re great dramatic fodder. At any rate, this is what Gyllenhaal said to local news channel New York 1:
"I think what’s good about the movie is that it deals with 9/11 in such a subtle, open way that I think it allows it to be more complicated than just, ‘Oh, look at these poor New Yorkers and how hard it was for them.. Because I think America has done reprehensible things and is responsible in some way and so I think the delicacy with which it’s dealt allows that to sort of creep in."
So what got people all pissed off was the idea that maybe America didn’t get totally suckerpunched, and that maybe 9/11 was another horrible moment in a long continuum of violence and hate. I know, I know, that kind of talk is crazy talk! Fuck causality, I heard it hates America!
So where am I getting with this long ass intro? It seems that while Maggie’s publicist doesn’t want people asking her 9/11 questions, the actress herself is trying to force the issue. She’s signed on to star in the new 9/11 film from Oliver Stone*.
Gyllenhaal will star alongside Mario Bello as wives of two Transit Authority police officers who were trapped in the collapse of the World Trade Center and who were miraculously rescued. Nicolas Cage and Michael Pena have been cast as the cops. The movie is expected to start shooting in the fall, here in lovely New York City.
So will she do any press for this thing? I mean, the first question out of everyone’s mouth is going to be about her 9/11 statements. What’s annoying is that everyone will ask that question no matter how many times she has answered it. Like she’s going to give a different answer to you.
*It should be noted that I have been watching the director’s cut of Alexander for review on this very website, and Stone’s commentary reveals a man who has been defeated. The new cut has been crafted not to make the film better but to answer criticisms, a terrible idea for any artist. What will this new, crushed Stone bring to this 9/11 movie? I was hoping he would be able to elevate it above schmaltz, but after listening to that commentary, I have my doubts.