Categories Articles & Interviews Movies

Why Oscar-Winner Hilary Swank Agreed To Fight A Robot On Netflix

Oscar-winner Hilary Swank is known best for Million Dollar Baby and Boys Don’t Cry, but she’s taken to wearing a few somewhat surprising hats in the last few years. She tried on indie, madcap comedy in 2017’s Logan Lucky; in 2018, she graced the small screen as one of the Gettys in FX’s Trust. Next, she is trying dystopian sci-fi on for size in a thriller that Netflix scooped up at 2019’s Sundance Film Festival.

I Am Mother, on Netflix June 7, attempts to figure out what would happen if someone pressed the reset button on humanity and tried to start from scratch. Oh, and in this scenario, that someone is a master race of robots convinced that they can genetically engineer the perfect human and, through that perfect person, start a better version of the human race. Also Swank fights a robot voiced by Rose Byrne. Just a simple, light summer movie, for a casual Friday afternoon Netflix session, right?

Of course, fans of Swank’s work have come to expect tough, thought-provoking projects from the actor, so — robot fight and all — this new role is sort of a return to form. Swank plays the lone survivor of the original human race, Woman (she and the other two characters, Clara Rugaard’s Daughter and Byrne’s Mother have no names in the film). She finds her way to robot overlord Mother’s human hatchery, where she attempts to convince Mother’s child-created-in-a-lab, Daughter, that her robot parent isn’t telling her the whole truth.
Continue reading Why Oscar-Winner Hilary Swank Agreed To Fight A Robot On Netflix

Categories Articles & Interviews Movies

Hilary Swank on Her Humble Beginnings, Loving Dogs and ‘Wiping Out the Human Race to Start Over’

The first time Hilary Swank walked onto the set of her new sci-fi thriller she recalls that she was floored by the authenticity and attention to detail of the futuristic bunker where much of the action takes place.

Swank, a two-time Oscar winner best known for Million Dollar Baby and Boy’s Don’t Cry, clearly delves into her role of “Woman” in the futuristic and thought-provoking Netflix film, I Am Mother.

The movie, written by Michael Lloyd Green and directed by Green and Grant Sputore, is about alienation, technology and family relationships. The collaborators wondered what it would be like to be raised without parents, to actually be brought up by technology. They pondered the questions, “What would Artificial Intelligence prioritize? “And what would be important?”

In the wake of humanity’s extinction, a teenage girl “Daughter” (Clara Rugaard) is raised by a robot called “Mother” (voiced by Rose Byrne), designed to repopulate the earth.

Their unique bond is threatened when an inexplicable stranger (Swank) arrives with some alarming news that calls into question everything “Daughter” has been told about the outside world and her mother’s intentions. Continue reading Hilary Swank on Her Humble Beginnings, Loving Dogs and ‘Wiping Out the Human Race to Start Over’

Categories Articles & Interviews Career Movies

Hilary Swank says filming in Australia ‘almost like being on a different planet’

In the American film industry today, actors don’t come much more credible or committed than Hilary Swank. This is a judgment that would be endorsed by almost everybody, including the voters at the Oscars, who gave her the Best Actress award for Boys Don’t Cry in 2000 and again for Million Dollar Baby in 2005.

Since this double triumph, Swank has moved in and out of the spotlight, dropping out of showbusiness entirely for a few years in the mid-2010s in order to care for her sick father. The film she’s discussing today, the independent science-fiction thriller I Am Mother, was shot in Adelaide in 2017 not long after she returned to work.

At the time, Swank was juggling two other projects, which coincidentally share with I Am Mother the theme of parents and children—the feature What They Had, where she starred as a woman whose mother (Blythe Danner) is afflicted with Alzheimer’s, and the TV series Trust, where she played the mother of kidnapped oil heir John Paul Getty III (Harris Dickinson).

“It was kind of a mad rush to get them all done around the same time,” she recalls over the phone from New York. “But it was definitely an entertaining ride.”

Swank’s performances suggest a highly focused, level-headed personality behind them, and this is borne out in conversation. Her tone is friendly and straightforward, her answers carefully considered, suggesting that she approaches being interviewed as seriously as every other aspect of her job.

“I don’t take roles because I see them as being Academy Award worthy,” she says when asked specifically about her past success and how it affects her current career choices.

While she’s grateful for the recognition, what she looks for are characters that will challenge her — that call on her to rethink how she walks in the world, as she puts it, in both a figurative and literal sense.

As she points out, in I Am Mother she plays a supporting though crucial role, given that she’s one of only two main cast members whose faces are visible on screen. Continue reading Hilary Swank says filming in Australia ‘almost like being on a different planet’