Hilary Swank has returned to acting after a three-year hiatus with the same smoldering intensity that earned her two Best Actress Oscars. And, now she also new causes. She’s championing the movement against sexual harassment and helping abandoned children.
The 43-year-old actress believes the #MeToo movement against sex assault and sexual harassment in the workplace is the biggest platform for women to speak out since the early 20th Century suffrage movement.
“This is the most exciting moment since women got the vote in 1921,” she told a audience at three-day event in Mexico, hosted by Liberatum, a cultural organization.
“In Mexico and around the world, we now have a platform that they gave us,” she said. “All the women of the world are united.”
Swank won her first Best Actress Oscar for her role as Brandon, a transsexual, in “Boys Don’t Cry, the 1999 biographical film directed by Kimberly Peirce.
She won her second Best Actress Oscar in the 2004 Clint Eastwood film “Million Dollar Baby.” She plays a waitress from a Missouri town who shows up in Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a professional boxer.
“When I was a little girl I thought, ‘OK, I want to be an actress, I want to do this,’ and I never said ‘no,'” she told the Mexican magazine Quien.
“I didn’t want to go to Hollywood to win an Oscar. I wanted to go to Hollywood and act. I wanted to tell the same stories that inspired me as a child,” she added.
Swank’s latest movie “What They Had” deals with a family crisis that has similar parallels to her own family and the crisis she faced over father Steve’s illness.
After he fell seriously ill in 2014 and received a lung transplant, Swank took time off from acting to manage his convalescence. He moved into her LA home and she became his primary caregiver.
They still live together.
“It’s been an incredible journey and definitely life-enriching in many ways,” she tells the latest issue of LA Confidential magazine. “It’s a reminder about what’s important in life, you know?”
Her new movie, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in January, is about a brother and sister who must convince their father their mother suffers from Alzheimer’s and must be institutionalized.
“It’s a story about what it means to be faced with a parent who has a life-threatening illness, and how it reminds you of the priorities in life, how fleeting it all is,” she tells the magazine.
During her hiatus, Swank founded a charity, Hilaroo. It helps abandoned children go through rehabilitation using pet therapy
She also founded Mission Statement, her high-end “luxe leisure” clothing line.
She says she’s learned “there’s a lot of beauty in sitting and not always moving.”
Hair by Sascha Breuer. For the full LA Confidential interview, click here.