When Hilary Swank posted the trailer for her new film “Ordinary Angels” on Instagram, she hoped others found the same inspiration she found in telling the story.
The role came to her just months after her father, Stephen, died at 73. He had received a lung transplant in 2014.“His life was literally saved for an extended period of time that he wouldn’t have had here, had he not been given that gift,” Swank, 49, tells USA TODAY. “There’s millions of people in need who are on a wait list. So if you can be a donor, please do.”
The film, in theaters Friday, is based on a true story. In 1994, a hairdresser in Louisville, Kentucky, rallied a community to help transport a girl in need of a liver transplant to Nebraska. The hairdresser raised thousands of dollars and secured a private jet for the trip, but the call with a donor match came during a historic blizzard that shut down the city. The girl had already lost her mother to a rare condition and was raised by her widowed father and grandmother, played in the film by Alan Ritchson and Nancy Travis.
Hilary Swank turned up the heat at the Ordinary Angels premiere on Monday.
The two-time Oscar winner, 49, graced the red carpet in a draped corseted dress from the Vivienne Westwood Made-to-Order collection. The sweetheart off-the-shoulder gown was made of crimson red crepe satin and worn with soft makeup.
Her elegant, side-swept hair brought attention to her glistening Kwiat 3.5 ct round brilliant-cut diamond stud earrings in platinum. Swank accessorized the look with a Fred Leighton Antique Ruby and Diamond Navette Cluster ring.
– Events Ordinary Angels New York Premiere – February 19 2024
Hilary Swank is reflecting on the challenges and rewards of being a mom of twins!
On Monday, the Oscar-winning actress, 49, spoke exclusively to PEOPLE at the premiere of her new film Ordinary Angels at the SVA Theatre in New York.
In April 2023, Swank and her husband Philip Schneider welcomed twins, daughter Aya and son Ohm.
Nights are admittedly “hard” with twins, but Swank also knows there will be a time when she’ll look back at this period with a different perspective.
“I think that being a mother of twins, I never have had a singleton, so I don’t know what that’s like,” she explained. “But I know that the sleepless nights are hard and when you have one that might sleep through the night, the other one’s not, so it’s kind of this trade-off every night.”
“But I know this is also a season, and it too will pass, and I try and remind myself that there’s going to be a day when I’m like, ‘Oh, I’d love to wake up right now and just hold you.’ So just trying and hold on to that.”
She’s already looking forward to the next challenge: when the twins are more mobile.
“Well, they’re only crawling, so it’s not like we’re out of control or anything,” she tells PEOPLE.
In the Lionsgate film, Swank stars as Sharon Stevens, a “fierce but struggling hairdresser in small-town Kentucky who discovers a renewed sense of purpose when she meets Ed (Alan Ritchson), a widower working hard to make ends meet for his two daughters,” according to an official synopsis.
She starts out as a member of an alcoholism support group, but then cleans up her act to help the widower whose 5-year-old who is waiting for a liver transplant.
“What unfolds is the inspiring tale of faith, everyday miracles and ordinary angels,” the synopsis adds.
Ordinary Angels also stars Tamala Jones, Amy Acker, Drew Powell, Skywalker Hughes and Emily Mitchell, and is directed by Jon Gunn.
During an appearance on Today on Monday ahead of the premiere, the new mom revealed the special meaning behind her babies’ names.
“Aya was a Syrian refugee we met in Lebanon. So she was just this courageous, brave young girl full of life going through a really difficult time. My husband and I were like, she’s so beautiful, what a great name,” she shared.
As for son Ohm, Swank said, “Ohm is considered the first universal sound and unites all people, and that sounds very fitting.”