When it comes to movie roles, Hilary Swank knows some have a little more impact than others.
But one of the films that made great strides for an entire group was her portrayal of a transgender male in the 1999 film Boys Don’t Cry.
During an appearance on Thursday’s all-new Meredith Vieira Show, Swank was asked about the progress made for the transgender community since the film’s release. As it turns out, the actress believes we as a society still have some work to do.
“I think we have taken strides since that movie, like you said 15 years ago,” she explained to Meredith Vieira. “We have a long way to go.”
She continued, “It’s astonishing to me that we are here in 2015 and there are so many issues that need to be looked at and handled and we shouldn’t dictate who people should love.”
Swank has been a proud supporter of LGBT rights for many years. In fact, she recently received the GLAAD award and Outfest award for her work in the famous film. When asked if she ever expected the movie to spur so much conversation, she would have to say no.
“I had no idea. If I had known that at the time, I probably would have collapsed from the enormous responsibility of that,” she recently told Larry King. “It was an enormous responsibility just to play someone who had lived and been murdered so brutally and whose life was taken short because of their choice of whom to love.”
In a world filled with many more issues, Swank argues that Americans should spend their time on far more important causes instead of preventing equal rights for the LGBT community.
“Let people love people and let’s focus on what truly needs looked at and help homeless people, homeless pets, sick people,” she explained to Vieira. “Look at the rest of the world, let’s focus on those things.”