Hilary Swank plays Claire Morgan, the stressed-out producer of the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop in the star-studded romantic comedy, New Year’s Eve. The Academy Award-winning actress is one of the many stars in the film, which also features Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Abigail Breslin, Josh Duhamel, Halle Berry and Katherine Heigl.
The comedy, helmed by Garry Marshall, opens in theaters of Dec. 9.
Swank talked to The Hollywood Reporter during the premiere after-party at the Kodak Ballroom in Hollywood. She told THR that she first heard about the Warner Bros. project when the writer, Katherine Fugate, was speaking to Swank and her producing partner, Molly Smith, about a script they were pitching together.
“She said, ‘I just finished New Year’s Eve and I’ve always had you in mind for Claire Morgan. I was writing her for you,’” Swank told THR.
“I read it and I obviously fell in love,” said Swank. Swank then found out that Marshall, who is known for his many romantic comedies including Valentine’s Day, Runaway Bride and Pretty Woman, would be helming the project. “He’s an institution in comedy, so it was really an honor,” said Swank.
In the film, Swank’s Claire Morgan is producing the annual ball drop in Times Square when a technical issue arises and it may look like the ball may not drop at all.
“I can totally relate to it. I take my job so seriously and I don’t want to mess it up, so I can totally relate to her,” said Swank. Swank was recently dealing with the fallout from attending a birthday celebration for Chechnyan dictator Ramzan Kadyrov in October. Swank’s attendance came under fire from human rights groups for taking part in the event for a man who has been linked to murder and human-rights abuses. Swank later appeared on The Tonight Show, and said that she donated the fee received for her appearance to charity. She also said she’d learned a valuable lesson – to pay more attention to where she was going.
Swank, who has won two Best Actress Oscars for her work on Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby, told THR that she was much more comfortable with the drama parts of New Year’s Eve.
“The drama bits are the parts that I’m more used to. I just felt like the comedy bits were more of a challenge for me,” she said.
Swank got to shoot some scenes with Robert De Niro, which was a highlight of the film for her.
“Getting to do drama with Robert De Niro, I just had to keep pinching myself,” she said.