Maggie Gyllenhaal is stepping behind the camera for her directorial debut with an adaptation of a dramatic Elena Ferrante novel, she told TheWrap Saturday at its studio at the Toronto Film Festival.
Gyllenhaal — who stars on HBO’s show “The Deuce” about the rise of porn in New York City — says she was inspired to direct her first film thanks to her character, a call girl turned adult film director named Candy.
“Playing Candy on ‘The Deuce,’ who becomes a director — and, in part, becomes a director in the storytelling because that was something that was important to me — inspired me to direct myself,” Gyllenhaal told TheWrap.
“When I was starting out, if you were a lover of movies and somebody who was a storyteller — at least for me — I was like ‘Yeah, I’m an actress, and I’m going to put my storytelling and my ideas and my thoughts into my projects through my acting,'” she continued. “It’s only pretty recently that I’ve felt that I’ve sort of broken down a wall in myself where I kind of went, ‘No, I think I’d like to direct.”
Although Gyllenhaal doesn’t say which of Ferrante’s novels she’s working to adapt, the Italian author is best known for her Neapolitan novels, a four-part series following the lives of two girls, Elena Greco and Raffaella Cerullo, from childhood to adulthood and old age.
The series includes “My Brilliant Friend,” “The Story of a New Name,” “Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay” and “The Story of the Lost Child.”
It was announced in March 2017 that HBO was teaming up with RAI to produce an Italian-language drama series based on “My Brilliant Friend.” The show will premiere in November.