Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Hilary Swank interview...

A new challenge for Hilary (This time, she's active behind and not before the cameras)
By Raymond de Asis Lo, L.A. Correspondent (The Philippine Star) Updated May 15, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments

In Something Borrowed, the new romantic-comedy that opened this week, the audiences are presented with the story of two best friends — the shy and plain-looking Rachel and the hot and gregarious Darcy. The women are fighting over the affection of one man. Readers of the similarly titled best-selling novel written by Emily Giffin, which Something Borrowed was based on, should already know who gets the man in the end but for those who have no clue whatsoever, be rest assured that this writer will not spoil the movie for you.

And neither will Hilary Swank.

The two-time Oscar-winning actress, who was stunning in Versace shorts the morning she chatted with this writer, will never reveal the ending nor would she even take sides or categorically state who between Rachel and Darcy accurately represents the women of America today.

“I think both of them,” she thoughtfully offered. “I think that Darcy is ultimately just protecting her vulnerabilities and how we protect ourselves is different for everybody yet we all have our own insecurities and, I think, if you ask women in general, most people would probably say, ‘I’m a Rachel,’ but I think that there’s a mix of both and that’s what’s great about the world.”

And she’s neither a Rachel nor a Darcy herself, she would later add.

Hilary was present during the junket for the movie at the chic Hotel Casa Del Mar located just a few steps from the beautiful sands of the famous Santa Monica Beach, not as a star of the movie, but as one of the producers of Something Borrowed and the excitement in her voice when she talks about her current project was not only tangible but nearly infectious — it was as if she was talking about her very first movie!

“I was happy to be entering into my next decade. I felt like my 20s were successful and I achieved a lot and I was ready to break in to the next part, the next chapter of my life,” she happily shared before quipping, “but every woman that I know says mid-40s are the best; I have another decade until that — we’ll see!”

“I didn’t enter this business to win an Academy award. I wanted to be an actor,” she said. “I wanted to tell stories that moved me and helped me grow not just an artist but as a human being. The best part of what we get to do is to collaborate and create with other talented people and how their talent helps you grow, become richer and vice versa. I just want to continue to challenge myself and it’s a beautiful by-product of creating something with people.”

The lovely actress, who spent the past decade and a half wowing critics and fans alike with her indelible performances in movies such as Boys Don’t CryMillion Dollar Baby and last year’s Conviction, has ventured into the more challenging aspect of the business: Developing and producing films for other actors, a task her fellow Hollywood superstars like Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt and Leonardo Di Caprio have already found great success.

Hilary Swank (standing beside mannequin) on the set of Something Borrowed which she isco-producing

But unlike Brad, who formed his production company Plan B as his, yes, “plan B” should his acting career falters, Hilary formed her production company, 2S Films, more as a response to the dearth of really good romantic comedies in the marketplace.

“I can’t find any good romantic comedies to be in so I have to create them as a producer,” she ruefully disclosed. “I’ve been looking to do a romantic comedy as an actor for a really long time and I get sent a lot of them that were just, like, ‘No way!’ There’s a place for that if you just want to be entertained but I’d rather be entertained and have something stick with me and think about it.”

The 36-year-old star has previously been credited as executive producer for a few of her movies, but Something Borrowed is the first project that she personally developed. She was there from the early stages of developing the story to the casting process, during post-production and eventually in the marketing of the movie.

“You know that old adage? You don’t really know how challenging it is for someone else unless you step into his or her shoes!” she said, adding that her experience working as a producer made her discover a new perspective on the movie-making process that she didn’t understand but was totally curious about before.

When told that it would be interesting to know how she handled the part of rejecting those actors who failed their auditions now that she’s behind the camera, she replied: “With the same kindness that people did with me. It’s tough because I do know what it’s like to be at the receiving end of not getting a role.”

As a producer, she could have cast herself as one of the lead characters but she opted for Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin instead. “I didn’t read it and say, ‘I see this for me,’” she humbly remarked. “I didn’t want to hurt the integrity of the story by forcing myself into something. I saw other people in it. And it happens, you know, I get offered a script and I see somebody else.”

That revelation, the unmistakable modesty, was not really something that would surprise anybody who is familiar with Hilary’s storied start in Hollywood which included sleeping in her mother’s car because they couldn’t afford rent. She struggled in the beginning but everything changed for her in 1999.

“I never saw it coming,” she brightened while candidly recalling the movie that changed the course of her career — and her life. “With Boy’s Don’t Cry, I was in this little movie that could. I made three thousand dollars and I never thought that that would have happened!”

Hilary is one of the very few actresses to have won two Best Actress Oscars. After winning the Oscar in 1999 for her gritty turn in Boys Don’t Cry, she won another five years later in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby and Oscar talk swirls about whenever she has a new movie coming out.

With her success came a few setbacks. Her marriage to actor Chad Lowe collapsed and nothing has been heard about her love life again; she never made it public anymore. With her love life in the backseat, she focused on her career and kept acting. She kept working.

“Nothing ever is for sure,” she remarked. “Having an Academy award doesn’t solidify anything. As an actor, I still fight for things that I want to be a part of. I am just a fighter by nature. I fought for everything.”

“The last thing I want to do is rest on my laurels. I want to work hard. I like to scare myself and I like to challenge myself.”

Something Borrowed is released locally by Pioneer Films.

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