SECRETARY star Maggie Gyllenhaal wears ballet slippers to industry parties and functions because she hates high heels.

The actress admits she always feels awkward in designer shoes and wears them only so she isn't criticised by the fashion police on the red carpet.

She says, "It's so important to wear comfortable shoes... When peter (boyfriend SARSGAARD) was nominated for a Golden Globe, I wore these shoes that were disastrous. They hurt so much, it was actually really difficult to be there for him. I was completely distracted by my feet.

"When I went to the Academy Awards this year (05), I brought a pair of ballet slippers and put them on as soon as we got to the party."