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Secretary: A Breakthrough Role?

In the new film, "Secretary," actress Maggie Gyllenhaal gives what many critics are calling a breakthrough performance, as a self-abusing young woman looking for self esteem, but finding much more at the hands of her demanding new boss.

Gyllenhaal visits The Early Show to discuss the controversial Lions Gate film that was a 2002 Sundance Film Festival winner.

"Secretary," billed as a black comedy, is loosely based on a short story from Mary Gaitskill's fictional collection, "Bad Behavior." Gyllenhaal's character, Lee Halloway, lands a job working as a secretary for E. Edward Grey (James Spader) in his small-town law firm. She slowly engages in a sadomasochistic relationship with her boss and abandons her fiancée.

Gyllenhaal next project will be in Spike Jones' movie about writing a film called "Adaptation." She will also be seen in John Sayles' "Casa de Los Babys."

Facts About Maggie Gyllenhaal

  • Maggie Gyllenhall was born in New York City on Nov. 16, 1977
  • She attended Havard-Westlake School in Los Angeles, Calif., from grades 7-12
  • She attended Columbia University in New York and majored in literature and eastern religion (B.A.), graduating in 1999
  • Gyllenhaal once bussed tables in an upscale Massachusetts restaurant
  • She played the sister of her real-life brother in "Donnie Darko" in 2001
  • In 2001, she had small role in Drew Barrymore film "Riding in Cars with Boys"
  • In 2002, she had a supporting role in "40 Days and 40 Nights" starring Josh Hartnet and Shannyn Sossamon

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