One of our most under-appreciated actors working today, Maggie Gyllenhaal has spent the last two decades placing herself in the shoes, skin, and teeth of women who don’t bother with things like tradition or the status quo.

Whether she is accepting punishment as a form of pleasure, stripping herself of the elegance she naturally carries, or leaving the dirty, rotten streets of 70s New York City behind to pursue her passion, Gyllenhaal is an actor who elevates every scene and production that is honored to have her name attached to it.

As she embarks on her latest challenge, directing a feature film, we should all take some time to appreciate the less talked about and more independent Gyllenhaal sibling. This is a woman who makes her choices not in pursuit of trivial statues (though she certainly deserves the one she currently owns), but to investigate fully the characters she plays.

Watch Now: Mona Lisa Smile, co-starring the one and only Maggie Gyllenhaal.

If you loved our video on the great Maggie Gyllenhaal, then stick around and celebrate some of the amazing women who make cinema the wonderful art form it is! Check out our videos on Ava DuvernayJane CampionMichelle Yeoh, Brie Larson, and Greta Gerwig.