We threw a lemon and Maggie made lemonade

The Brooklyn Paper
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We asked her to hit us with her best shot — and, boy, did she ever.

“This is terrible!” said movie star Maggie Gyllenhaal last week when a Brooklyn Paper reporter handed her a copy of a highly controversial front page our newpaper.

The Paper spawned a hullabaloo last year when it ran a racy photo from the 2002 film, “Secretary,” that featured a naked Gyllenhaal covered only slightly with a delicately placed fur shawl. The accompanying story was about Gyllenhaal and fiancé Peter Sarsgaard buying a townhouse in Park Slope. It ran with the headline “Hello Neighbor!”

The story generated weeks’ worth of antagonistic letters to the editor, but never a response from the starlet herself — until this week, when The Brooklyn Paper caught up with her at a public school fundraising event.

“I hate that photo,” Gyllenhaal exclaimed when we presented her with a copy of the issue. “This is terrible!” [The photo had been supplied by the movie company.]

Then Gyllenhaal went back to serving lemonade and cookies at the charity event in Cobble Hill.

Before ending the interview, Gyllenhaal told The Paper that she is loving life in Park Slope now that she and Sarsgaard have finally moved in to the Sterling Place brownstone they bought last year.

“We’re crazy about Park Slope,” Gyllenhaal said. “But we’re new to the neighborhood, so we’re still figuring everything out.”

One thing they’ve already figured out, she said, is how to get a table at Al Di La Trattoria, an exclusive, albeit low-key, Italian eatery on Fifth Avenue at Carroll Street, a few blocks from their $1.75-million townhouse.

Gyllenhaal also said she’s been branching out and exploring the surrounding neighborhoods.

“I’ve been hanging out a lot in Fort Greene,” she said. “I have a friend who lives over there and I love BAM.”

Life has settled down for the celebrity couple now that their daughter Ramona Sarsgaard is a 1-year-old, and Gyllenhaal says she wants to give back to the community.

“Now that my daughter is older and I have more free time, I want to spend as much of it as possible helping people who don’t have all the advantages I have,” Gyllenhaal said.

The actress was in Boerum Hill to raise money for the city’s public school system at an event at Acorn — a toy store where she shops for her daughter. Gyllenhaal said she eagerly participated after Caroline Kennedy, daughter of President Kennedy and vice chair of the Fund for Public Schools, asked her to.

“It’s not fair that only kids whose parents have money should have access to the things everyone should have access to,” she said.

For more information, to donate or volunteer for the Shop for Class program, e-mail

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Reader Feedback

tonchell says:
Let them live somewhere else. Who lives in a 1.75 million townhouse anyway? Who cares if she likes the shot or not, she made the movie.
Oct. 29, 2007, 1:19 pm

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