Inspiring Women

Hilary Swank: Priorities & Critics

We talk with the uber-talented star about priorities, celebrity, her inspiration, and living in NYC.


Urbanette: Is it hard to keep your priorities in tact when you’re constantly busy working and on set?

Hilary Swank: Priorities & Critics

Hilary: “I think that we always need to be questioning what it is we want to be doing with our lives and making our priorities very clear. I think that after Sept. 11th I certainly reevaluated my priorities, I was always talking about my priorities and now I’m really trying to live my priorities. You live once and you have to hopefully learn before it’s too late what your priorities are. I ask myself often to make sure that I’m doing what I want to be doing and living the life that I want to be living and that I’m in check. All those important questions I think everyone should ask themselves.”

Urbanette: What inspires you to pursue theater when you are being offered so many movie roles?

Hilary: “I started my career doing local theater. I think you just have to be happy with what you’re doing and even though I’m getting this opportunity as an actress to work in film, I want to make sure that I’m doing theater too because that’s what’s inspiring to me. Unfortunately it seems like I’m doing a movie every time that the play comes along that I think I could be a part of, but I believe in fate — I really think it’ll work out. I really love LOVE theater. It’s a totally different feeling; it’s just so different.”

Hilary Swank: Priorities & CriticsUrbanette: You seem to be choosing a lot of interesting but lower-budget movies than most Oscar winners. Do you prefer working on lower budget films as opposed to blockbusters?

Hilary: “You choose to do a film because you’re drawn to it one way or another and I’m lucky that I don’t have to make career choices because of money. If a blockbuster movie came my way and I loved the story and I wanted to be a part of it then I would hope that I would gain whatever I was supposed to from that creatively. But with lower budget movies like Boys Don’t Cry, you get a certain artistic collaboration that doesn’t necessarily happen on that level when you work on a bigger budget movie. With blockbusters you get more money and have more time to explore camera angles or different takes but on smaller budget films you don’t have that. So there are pros and cons to both.”

Urbanette: You live in New York. Does living outside of LA affect the roles you’re offered and you’re involvement in the industry?

Hilary: “When I moved, a lot of people said ‘Aren’t you afraid to move away from LA where there are all these opportunities for you?’ I do think that once you get to a certain place [in your career] you don’t necessarily need to be in a town or a certain area and I’m really blessed and lucky for that because I love my lifestyle living in New York. I also want to do theatre and I have this wonderful new place in which to expand those career opportunities as well, and that’s really exciting.”

Pages: 1 2 3

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 87 Comments

  1. Eloise Ferris

    Already shared this article with my mom, she’s such a fan of Hilary Swank just like myself.

    • Christine Wiggin

      My sister and I watched Boys don;t cry together and we liked it so much. We became fans ever since.

  2. Genie Mackenzie

    Being a celebrity can be a privilege. But living as a celebrity is not all about glam and money. They have to live with all the extras that come with it, especially the critics. All eyes are on you wherever.

    • Hillary Williams

      I have read a lot of celebrities going mad about paparazzi taking pictures of them wherever they go. Truly annoying!

  3. Mona Murrell

    Such an amazing article about Hilary Swanks!

  4. April Henry

    I can imagine how much pressure was put on her when she finally got the role in Boys don’t cry considering hundreds of other actors who tried to steal the role And then they proved everyone she was the perfect choice when she was praised and got the Oscar award.

    • Deanna Woods

      Pressure when she was auditioning and more pressure when she needs to play the part of the character,

  5. Diane Roth

    She was selected among the 300 other actresses who auditioned for the role, that was big! Then, she won her first Oscar, that was even bigger.

  6. Jenni Wilson

    Talent, hard work, and dedication, these are what bring her to the top of her career!

  7. Brandy Hood

    For a model like me who likes to succeed in the field of Fashion, I really got inspired by this article as it shows how talent and hard work can bring someone on top even without pulling some strings.

  8. Susan Rice

    Wow! Her preparation for the Million Dollar Baby movie was extreme. Her dedication is unquestionable.


      I do not think I can drink raw egg whites. She was amazing!

  9. Ida Reeves

    Celebrities love paparazzi because whether they took bad or good pictures, it will always be a publicity for their career. Part of the drama, I must say.

  10. Jossen Row

    When she said that she is boringly clean, I was like, “what?”, okay, I hope so.

Load 10 more comments

Join in the Conversation! Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Urbanette moderates and edits comments for grammar and to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Please use your full name. Moderators can only approve comments written in English.
All content is strictly copyright. Contact us for permission.