Maggie Gyllenhaal Plays A Sex Worker Turned Porn Filmmaker On Your New HBO Obsession

Photo: Paul Schiraldi/HBO.
New York City was a very different place in the 1970s. Times Square in particular was not the glitzy, tourist area we know today. Back then, the street was filled with strip clubs and "peep shows" — the back of sex shops, where patrons could watch live sex workers performing, or watch porn. And sex workers roamed the streets, looking for their next date.
Maggie Gyllenhaal portrays one such worker, Eileen "Candy" Merrell in James Franco's new HBO series, The Deuce. Candy is a full-service sex worker who works in the streets, and she eventually begins working in the porn industry.
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Gyllenhaal visited The Late Show and chatted with Stephen Colbert about her new character. "Is it hard to play a prostitute who is letting themselves be abused in an unregulated industry in order to survive?" he asks the Golden Globe-winning actress. "Well, she has a complicated relationship to all of this," she explains, then notes that her character, Candy, realizes she's an artist when she begins producing porn. "You get to see the misogyny that, I think, is inherent in porn, and you...see the way it turns [Candy] on, it lights her up."
Colbert then her about, what she calls, the "feminist perspective" of the sex trade on the show. Maggie explains that they filmed the show in the summer of 2016 — at the height of the Presidential election's fever pitch. "Even though we didn't know [Trump] was going to be elected, misogyny was on all of our minds...sexist things would happen to me all the time in my life and I'd think, you know, I'm fine, I don't need to unpack that...and after he was elected, I [decided], you know what? I'm not going to take it anymore."
We're looking forward to seeing if she brings that same no-nonsense attitude to her character Candy in the show. You can watch the full interview below.
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