When two-time Oscar-winning actor Hilary Swank asked to visit an animal rescue centre in Adelaide’s south earlier this month, she was regretfully told no.
A case of unfortunate timing meant Minton Farm Native Animal Rescue Centre owners Glenn and Beverley Langley would be away and unable to open their not-for-profit facility for the superstar.
However the animal-loving US actor was determined to get up close and personal with some of the centre’s 300 orphaned and injured animals so her assistant rescheduled the visit for yesterday.
In Adelaide to film Australian sci-fi thriller I Am Mother — a futuristic film about a generation of humans raised by a mother robot following the extinction of mankind — the 43-year-old and her partner took time out from their busy schedule to spend about 90 minutes at the Cherry Gardens-based facility.
“We went into the hospital and I showed her all the injured animals in there and the way we rehabilitate them,” Mrs Langley said.
“She was very grateful for allowing her to come here, because we’re not open to the public and (she was) very supportive of the work we were doing.”
But it was the emus that captured the Hollywood actor’ heart during the visit.
“I don’t think her and her partner had ever seen (emus) before,” she said.
“They sat with them a while and fed the babies, which were about three feet tall now.
“She got to give them a hug.”
Mrs Langley described Swank as “very down-to-earth and natural”.
“It was really low key — it was just like a normal person walking around,” she said.
“There was no fuss, no bother.”
Swank is best known for her Oscar-winning roles in Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don’t Cry.
I Am Mother is directed by Western Australia director Grant Sputore and backed by the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), Screen Australia and Screen West.
It is primarily being film in the SAFC’s Glenside studios.
Mrs Langley said Swank also threw her support behind the centre’s campaign to win a $25,000 State Government grant, which will be awarded based on public votes.
The centre wants the money to build a specialist rehabilitation facility for birds of prey.