Hilary Swank: Priorities & Critics
We talk with the uber-talented star about priorities, celebrity, her inspiration, and living in NYC.
“My schedule is so packed,” she explains almost apologetically, “I’m booked up the rest of the day and I fly out tonight.” I feel lucky that she made time for this interview as she was flying home to New York to appear on The Late Show with Jay Leno later that evening. I don’t know how she does it. She must be one of those rare people who can survive — and still be articulate — on next to no sleep.
Urbanette Magazine: How do you deal with critics and the public’s opinions?
Hilary Swank: “I think that any time you start concerning yourself with what people think you’re going to fail, because you’re never going to please everybody. If you try to make everybody happy you might as well quit. I think that what I have to do — and what I remind myself of constantly — is love what I’m doing because I care so much about it and I put so much into it that I need to be able to respond to it.”
Urbanette: Do you ever get hounded by paparazzi?
Hilary: “You know, I think that’s just part of the job. I’m not a scandalous person so it’s not like they’re searching for me left and right to catch me doing something bad ’cause I guess I’m just so boringly clean.”
Urbanette: How did your life change after you won the Oscar for Best Actress?
Hilary: “What’s interesting is that my life didn’t really change. When I watched the Oscars I used to always say ‘God, I bet their lives will never be the same.’ But you’re still the same person and you still have to do the laundry and walk the dog–you know, you’re the same person. My job opportunities have changed, that is a positive change.”
Urbanette: Did you have a trick or method that helped you to play Brandon Teena so convincingly in your breakthrough film, Boys Don’t Cry?
Hilary: “I tried to find the humanity that transcended gender. I didn’t play Brandon as an alter male ego. I didn’t think it was a gender that I was playing – it was something deeper than that, a quality that we all have as humans.”
Urbanette: When you’re immersed in a role and doing a movie do you find that you’re cut-off from your friends and life outside of the industry?
Hilary: “For sure, especially when I went off to do Boys Don’t Cry; I told everyone that I’m not going to call anyone and I’m just totally unreachable for this amount of time because you just have to totally immerse.
For The Affair of the Necklace I was a bit more available. I flew my grandfather and mother in to visit. My best friend visited as well and brought her kids. So you try to keep those avenues open although you can’t be as available as you’d like to be as a family member or wife or friend. But it’s one of those things you choose when you choose your career. There’s pros and cons of everything, I mean, if you choose to be a lawyer you may have to work long hours as well. It’s one of those things you have to just weigh.”