Maggie Gyllenhaal almost turned down a role in new movie CRAZY HEART for the sake of her young daughter - until a text message from Emma Thompson convinced her to stop feeling guilty about juggling work with motherhood.
The Dark Knight actress admits she has limited her workload since giving birth to Ramona in 2006 and marrying the child's father, Peter Sarsgaard, in May (09), in a bid to spend as little time away from her family.
But she learned to find a balance between her career and her home life after her Nanny MCPhee and the Big Bang co-star Thompson insisted it was fine to "drop the ball" on occasion.
She tells USA Today, "When I was a newlywed, I had no nanny and I was working on (Crazy Heart) she said, 'You have to let yourself drop the ball. Human beings do that. If you don't some really important part of you won't survive'. I think about it all the time!
"When I got this script, I was in this state of wanting something for me, selfishly, after having sacrificed a lot of things. I felt really hungry - I felt like I'd spent two years mostly focused on my daughter, which was amazing. It changed everything in my life."
Gyllenhaal admits she isn't the perfect mother but she has learned to accept she can't get everything right: "I'm very protective, and I try to keep (Ramona) out of this Hollywood stuff. But I make mistakes. I have that tug of wanting things that feel good to me and trying to figure out in what ways I have to sacrifice and what ways she has to sacrifice. I haven't been perfect at that."