Categories Articles & Interviews Movies

Dystopian A.I. Drama ‘I Am Mother’ Brings Out “Survivalist” In Hilary Swank

In Grant Sputore’s feature film debut I Am Mother, we are brought into a dystopian world where the human race is extinct and a robot named Mother (voiced by Rose Byrne) commences her protocol in a high-tech bunker deep beneath the Earth’s surface. Clara Ruggard plays a young woman born from a test-tube embryo and raised by Mother, while a Hilary Swank plays a wounded woman who arrives at the bunker door, doubting Mother’s account of the earth’s fate and threatens the unique bond between Mother and her “daughter.” The Oscar-winning actress was immediately drawn to the A.I.-driven story and the role.

“I connected to the survivalist in my character,” says Swank in Deadline’s Sundance studio. She adds that her character begs the question, “What do you do when you’re faced with a post-apocalyptic world?”

Sputore chimes in: “You want to be with Hilary Swank!”

Swank thanks Sputore and continues, “I am fascinated by people who persevere… I was immediately drawn to the entire script and all the characters.”

Rugaard says that there is “crazy genius brains” behind the film, referring to Sputore’s vision and the script by Michael Lloyd Green. In addition to being a story focusing on A.I. she adds, “It’s also a coming of age story…she’s very relatable. She has a very cool journey throughout.”

Swank echoes the praise for the work by Sputore and Green saying that it was a “smart idea” and they articulated the vision well.

“It’s an important time to evaluate what our relationship with technology could look like in the coming years,” Sputore says.

Source: https://deadline.com/

Categories Articles & Interviews

Hilary Swank on Technology, Political Polarization, and ‘I Am Mother’

“I Am Mother” depicts a future in which humanity has been nearly wiped out and robots are left to pick up the pieces. The thriller, which debuted on Friday at Sundance, sounds a cautionary note about the perils of automation. It’s a message that resonates with Hilary Swank. the Oscar-winning actress who stars in the film as a woman fighting for survival doesn’t need to be pressured to put down the iPad or iPhone.

“I’m so old-tech that I think of gadgets as a hole puncher or a cheese grater,” she told Variety in an interview on the eve of the film’s premiere. “I’m not a technical person. It took me forever to figure out Instagram. I don’t know about apps. I don’t surf the internet. I don’t spend time on my computer. I prefer reading a book to looking at a tablet.”

That’s not the case with Grant Sputore, the film’s director, a self-described “gadget head.”

“I’m not a ‘beware technology is Frankenstein’ kind of person,” said Sputore. “It’s clearly made all of our lives so much better. I just think we are entering new terrain where machines will likely be smarter than us and we should be mindful of that.”

In “I Am Mother,” a robot has raised a young girl since she was an embryo. Growing up, the child (Clara Rugaard) is lavished with attention and told that she must live in an underground bunker because of an ecological catastrophe. The relationship between the girl and her surrogate parent is tested when Swank’s character appears at their hideout, bleeding out from a gunshot wound and carrying a devastating secret. Swank said the part was physically grueling, requiring her to be in a state of panic and near collapse throughout the shoot.

“Over the entire movie I’m sweating and panting and trying to overcome this pain,” said Swank. “She’s completely feral. She doesn’t know who to trust and she’s just trying to survive.”

As tensions mount between Swank’s character and the robot, Sputore drew on films such as “Alien” to create a claustrophobic atmosphere. He also insisted that an actor wear the robot’s suit (Rose Byrne provides the voice), instead of relying on a green screen to bring her to life. Sputore notes that “Alien” director Ridley Scott employed a similar approach to creating the Xenomorph in that 1979 horror classic.

“Sometimes it’s the practical effects that contain more magic,” he said.

Swank is reluctant to describe the film’s message, but she thinks that it has lessons that are applicable to today’s fractured political environment.

“We want people to think about morals and manners and ethics,” she said. “That’s timely when you think about how polarized we are as a country. We want people to agree to disagree with more kindness.”

Source: https://variety.com/

Categories Articles & Interviews

Create & Cultivate 100: Entertainment: Hilary Swank

When Hilary Swank does something, she does it 100 percent. So when her father needed a lung transplant in 2014, Hilary was there. The two-time Oscar winner turned down work to be his live-in caretaker for three years—or as she so beautifully put it in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, ““I was saying yes to something else that I wanted to be a part of.”

But now, her father is well again, and she’s back at it again in Hollywood. This past year, she appeared on screens big and small in What They Had, I Am Mother, and Trust, all while producing three TV shows and running her clothing business, Mission Statement. We told you: Hilary gives 100 percent, and we can’t wait to see what she creates in 2019.

You won an Academy Award for your performance in Boys Don’t Cry. Tell us a little about your work building up to your role in the film and how winning an Oscar changed the course of your career.

It was imperative that I tried my hardest to do justice to this real life person, who died in such a horrific manner for just wanting to give and receive love. So, I spent 4 weeks walking around public trying to pass as a boy, seeing what did and didn’t work. To be believable in front of the camera, it was important that I could pull of being a boy in all of my everyday experiences—no matter how challenging this was at times. Continue reading Create & Cultivate 100: Entertainment: Hilary Swank

Categories Articles & Interviews

Hilary Swank’s perspective on life, love changed after caring for ailing father

Illness changes things. It changes how we live. What we care about. Who we make time for.

For Hilary Swank, who moved her father into her Los Angeles home three years ago as he underwent a risky lung transplant, it also changed how she dated.

“It’s almost a great way to weed out people,” says Swank, 44, who recently married social venture entrepreneur Philip Schneider. ” ‘Wait, you live with your dad?’ The reaction to that helps you move through things faster.” She and Schneider, who were set up on a blind date, have “that same ethos and belief in being there for your family,” she says. “That started it off right.”

Familial devotion is at the heart of Swank’s latest film, “What They Had,” one of the first roles she took after caring for her father. In the multi-generational drama, Swank plays Bridget, a long-distance daughter coping with her mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s. Her father (Robert Forster) argues he can care for his wife (Blythe Danner) better than the Chicago memory-care facility that his son (Michael Shannon), who lives nearby, is advocating. It’s Christmas, and no one has the answers.

Swank says little prepares you for becoming an aging parent’s proxy. “There were moments when I was taking care of my dad where you’re not confident, when you know that in helping make a decision, (it) could be good or bad – and that was something you were going to have to live with, no matter which way it went. So it was scary.” Continue reading Hilary Swank’s perspective on life, love changed after caring for ailing father