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Hillary Swank Talks Devastating Career Fail, And Her Sweet Revenge (watch!)

Hillary Swank recounted her biggest career fail on Conan O'Brien and how it turned out to have a silver lining. (Photo: Getty)

Hillary Swank recounted her biggest career fail on Conan O’Brien and how it turned out to have a silver lining. (Photo: Getty)

Hillary Swank is firmly established as an A-List actress after winning two Oscars by the age of 30. But it wasn’t always that way. She tells Conan O’Brien about a devastating moment in her career and how it had a silver lining.

Swank, now 40, had scored a few small film roles in 1992 film “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and one of the “Karate Kid” movies when she got what she thought was a big break.

She signed a two-year contract in 1997 to play hot MILF Carly Reynolds on the racy television drama “Beverly Hills, 90210.” At the time, the show was going into its eighth season.

“You might have been a Luke Perry groupie and let me just say I was on ‘90210’ during the eighth season when nobody watched it anymore and Luke Perry was long gone,” she said.

Swank, however, lasted just 16 episodes before her character was written out of the show and she was fired.

“I was devastated,” she said, “I’m thinking no one watches the show anymore and I got fired off a show that no one watches.”

Two months later, Swank landed the role of a lifetime in the movie “Boys Don’t Cry,” a true story about a Texas woman who gender identified as a male. When she’s found out, a group of males beat, rape and murder her. Swank won an Academy Award for Best Actress.

“Revenge doesn’t usually come that quickly,” said O’Brien.

“I look at it as a silver lining. Like it’s always such a reminder that when something bad happens there’s always something looming around the corner that’s better,” she replied.

But revenge works, too,” she quickly added.

Swank also talked about working with Clint Eastwood, which resulted in a second Oscar for Best Actress for Eastwood’s 2004 film “Million Dollar Baby.”

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Editor’s note: Hear Hil’s Clint Eastwood impression!

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