Categories Articles & Interviews

Interview With Two-Time Academy Award Winner Hilary Swank

Something Borrowed isn’t the type of movie we usually cover on Screen Junkies. In this case, the film offered us a chance to interview two time Academy Award winner Hilary Swank, so you never know where an opportunity is going to come from.

You’re probably thinking, “Isn’t that a Kate Hudson movie?” Yes, it is. Swank is the producer. Her company, 2S Films, is making all sorts of movies that Swank won’t be starring in (and some that she will.) So Swank and her partner Molly Mickler Smith gave lots of attention to the press for their latest baby.

Q: Whenever we get a chance to meet, I always like to refer to you as Two Time Academy Award Winner Hilary Swank.
Hilary Swank: Thank you.

Q: May I address you as such?
HS: Sure, I won’t stop you.

Q: What song do you guys dance to in your pajamas at home?
HS: Hmm, what do you?
Molly Mickler Smith: Well, “Push It” was one of my top favorite themes so I will add that, but I think my sister and I had a routine to Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”
HS: Oh my gosh, that’s so funny. I think one of mine was Tone Loc. Do do do do do do, do do do do do… I don’t remember the name of it.

Q: Do you sing into hairbrushes too?
HS: No, but at one point yeah.
MMS: I sing in the car. I’m great in the car.

Q: Obviously you get what I’m joking about, but where does that tradition of the pajama dance and hair brush lip sync come from?
HS: Well, you do. Especially as a young girl.
MMS: “Star Search?” Definitely my sisters and I thought we were going on “Star Search” so we would videotape ourselves.
HS: Looks like you didn’t want to be on “Star Search.”

Q: I guess not. What would you say if a financier said they’d give you the money for a movie, but only if Hilary would star?
HS: If it felt right for me and I responded to the character, yeah. We’re going to produce things that I will act in, just not all of them.

Q: But if you had a vision for someone else, would you fight for that sticking point?
HS: Yeah, absolutely. I’ve never not fought for what I’ve envisioned and Molly’s exactly the same.

Q: How did Molly make such an impression as an assistant that she ultimately became a producing partner?
MMS: I know, we met 13 years ago. I was a PA on set. I guess I grew up on sets a little bit.
HS: Just watching her. I’ve watched her over the 12 years become this incredible producer. She produced P.S. I Love You. Between that first one and P.S. I Love You, I’ve watched her drive and her passion and her tenacity. The list goes on. Her choices in material, it’s just been incredible to see her. She just turned 30 and all that she’s achieved in this amount of time is really, really extraordinary.

Q: What should upstart PAs learn from this experience?
HS: I think it’s about working hard. I think it’s about working hard and obviously having a lot of passion but you can’t do anything without working hard. Boys Don’t Cry, people said I was an overnight success. It was nine years that I’d been in the business. So it’s all about working hard in any endeavor you’re doing or any business you’re in.
MMS: I think that’s why we like the message of this movie, which is follow your heart and go after what you want and learn to speak up for what you want. That’s definitely something Hilary and I don’t have a problem doing.

Q: Well, I knew it wasn’t an overnight success because I always had a soft spot for The Next Karate Kid. When the new Karate Kid came out with younger kids and became number one, did you have any nostalgia?
HS: No, I just thought wow, that’s an amazing movie that can continue going and going and going with a bunch of different people.

Q: How big is your stack of scripts at 2S?
HS: It’s nice. It’s a nice size.

Q: What can a writer do to make an impression in that stack?
HS: Send a good script in. An original idea. That’s well written.

Q: As Two Time Academy Award Winner Hilary Swank, do you get to vote in the Oscars?
HS: Uh-huh.

Q: Do you vote for your own films?
HS: With Boys Don’t Cry, I wasn’t a part of the Academy so I couldn’t vote for that. With Million Dollar Baby, I voted for Clint, I voted for Morgan, I voted for the movie of course because I believed in it and I believe in their performances. I won’t vote or nominate a film unless I’ve seen everything because I don’t think it’s fair.