When Hilary Swank scooped two Oscars in the space of just five years — for Boys Don’t Cry (1999) and Million Dollar Baby (2004) — she became one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Since then, the 46-year-old Nebraska native has navigated the industry on her own terms, appearing in weighty dramas such as The Homesman (2014) and prestige TV in the form of FX’s Trust (2018), but also taking regular breaks from acting.
In 2015, she founded the Hilaroo Foundation, a nonprofit that supports underprivileged youth and abandoned animals, and the following year launched Mission Statement, a clothing line specialising in luxury ethical wardrobe staples. Between 2014 and 2017, she also cared for her father, who was recovering from a lung transplant. When she and entrepreneur Philip Schneider married in 2018, her father was well enough again to walk her down the aisle.
Swank returned to work with turns in the sci-fi thriller I Am Mother (2019) and satirical horror The Hunt (2020), but her next role is her most prominent in more than a decade: that of soft-spoken, sensitive American astronaut Emma Green in Andrew Hinderaker’s 10-part Netflix series Away which starts streaming this Friday. Tasked with leading a mission to Mars, she must unite an international space crew composed of a jaded Russian cosmonaut (Mark Ivanir), a secretive Chinese chemist (Vivian Wu), a British-Ghanian botanist (Ato Essandoh) and an Indian co-pilot (Ray Panthaki). In order to make history, Emma also has to leave behind her husband Matt (Josh Charles) and daughter Alexis (Talitha Eliana Bateman) — an arrangement complicated by the former’s ailing health and the latter’s coming of age.
We recently spoke to Swank about her grueling zero-gravity scenes, the illuminating conversations she had with some of the world’s greatest female astronauts, and why taking on the role meant partly fulfilling a childhood ambition. Continue reading Two-Time Oscar-Winner Hilary Swank Realizes a Childhood Dream With Her New Netflix Series, Away