Maggie Gyllenhaal: ‘I Like Big Shoulder Pads’ #TCA14

‘Honorable Woman’ star says she’s inclined to play characters that are both strong and vulnerable
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In Sundance TV’s forthcoming miniseries The Honorable Woman, Maggie Gyllenhaal plays a woman-on-the-edge type of character—and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I like big shoulder pads, but I don’t just want to play powerful women, because I don’t buy that,” the actor said Friday at the TCA Summer Press Tour. “There are moments in my life when I feel very powerful and moments in my life where I really don’t.”

Gyllenhaal took questions onstage alongside series writer and director Hugo Blick, producer Greg Brenman and co-star Janet McTeer.

Highlights from the panel included:

— Blick said he could not predict that his show, set against the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, would come to air at a time when that conflict is hitting a historic peak. “It is cyclical,” Blick said of the conflict. “And it has now tragically become this hot spot yet again. It will abate, and then it will happen again. And the idea of this cycle was something that I was engaged in,” when writing the series.

— Asked to compare the number of quality roles for female actors in television to that in film, McTeer said, “Of course, you still watch movies and you see 1,700 parts for the guys and we women all have that’s slightly irritating.” She added, “That’s called British understatement. It’s really quite annoying.”

--“It’s such an interesting time in the TV industry at the moment,” Brenman said when asked about time shifting. “I guess because of serial shows, and because of distributors like Netflix and people like Sundance, who compliment each other well.”

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