Categories Appearances Movies

Hilary Swank: Unpacking ‘Ordinary Angels’ and the Significance of Acts of Service

Variety senior culture and events editor Marc Malkin and two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank discussed her latest role as Sharon Stevens in the upcoming drama film “Ordinary Angels,” which is based on a true story. In the film, set for release on Feb. 23, Swank stars as a Louisville woman experiencing personal hardships who steps up to help the family of a widowed father.

“I love Sharon. She’s just a true tour de force human being who’s imperfect,” Swank said. She’s flawed, she struggles with loss, she struggles with keeping her faith during that loss.”

Swank continued to unpack the character, explaining how the film explores the idea of finding faith after losing it. “She loses her son, he doesn’t want anything to do with her. How do you find your faith after that again? How does your faith help you through that after you have found it again?… Also, the power of church and community and how community comes together to help one another is depicted in this film in a very beautiful way.”

The conversation also emphasized the importance of acts of service as they relate to spirituality and finding one’s purpose. Swank said of her job as an actor, “I feel personally as a storyteller that that’s my act of service, that I get this blessing to walk in different people’s shoes and see through their eyes. And it blows the blinders open of how I walk in the world and how I see the world. Because we see the world through our experiences, so I get to enrich mine through walking in Sharon’s shoes or Brandon Teena’s shoes or Maggie Fitzgerald’s or Erin Gruwell’s in ‘Freedom Writers.’ That act of service is how I’m evolving as a human.”


Categories Articles & Interviews Movies

Hilary Swank to Star in James Patterson Audible Originals

Hilary Swank, Sanaa Lathan, Aaron Paul and Krysten Ritter are set to lend their voices for Audible Originals releasing next year in collaboration with James Patterson Entertainment.

Audible Inc. announced Monday that the stars will narrate three new originals from the author: Zero Tolerance starring Swank, The Justice starring Lathan, and The Coldest Case Season 2 with Paul and Ritter. The three scripted audio drama releases will be available exclusively on Audible.

In Zero Tolerance, Swank will star as Sergeant Jo Barnes whose all-female U.S. Army investigative team is known for solving sex crime cases within the military. After their new mission takes them to the Mojave Desert amid the mysterious disappearance of Private Nichelle Simmons — a soldier who accused a comrade of assault — things take a turn when the accused is set free.

The original, co-written by Duane Swierczynski and also starring Christine Ko, Melonie Diaz and a full cast, will release on Aug. 24.

The Justice is an 8-part audio thriller centered on Beth Garner (Lathan), the newest Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, who becomes entangled in the dark secrets of her mentor and hero, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Clayton Erlenborn. The original, co-written by Aaron Cooley and also starring Susan Kelechi Watson and Luke Tennie, releases in early 2024.


Categories Movies

‘The Good Mother’ Trailer

Hilary Swank is desperate for answers in her latest role.

PEOPLE has the exclusive first trailer for The Good Mother, in which Oscar-winner Swank plays Albany Times-Union journalist Marissa Bennings as she copes with her son Michael’s murder — and searches for his killer with help from his pregnant girlfriend Paige (Olivia Cooke).

Paige reveals that Michael was involved in drug-dealing and tells Marissa he received a suspicious call the night of his death, before the arrival of “$50,000-worth of dirty heroin” at their home.

Marissa and Paige get help in their investigation from Marissa’s other son, a police officer (Midsommar’s Jack Reynor).
A synopsis for the movie describes Marissa and Michael as estranged prior to his death, leading to the “unlikely alliance with his pregnant girlfriend Paige to track down the killers.”

“Together they confront a world of corruption and drugs in the seedy underbelly of a small city in upstate New York,” the synopsis adds. “As they get closer to the truth, they unearth an even darker secret.”

The Good Mother”s director Miles Joris-Peyrafitte tells PEOPLE the idea for the film came from on-set discussions about the opioid crisis as he made his 2016 movie As You Are. The director says the new movie is “full of surprises [that] I think will keep [audiences] guessing.”

“Working with this cast was, and will continue to be, undoubtedly one of the greatest highlights of my career,” he says.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better group of actors or humans. This was a very small movie, shot in downtown Albany, for no money, and they made it feel like we were the biggest movie in the world.”

Joris-Peyrafitte adds that Swank, 49, “truly is unbelievable” to work with.

“A genuine master of her craft with a 1000-foot view of the whole filmmaking process,” he says. “She works so hard, doesn’t compromise and keeps everyone sharp. It was a pleasure, an education and an absolute honor to work with Hilary.”
Aside from Swank, Cooke and Reynor, the movie also stars Hopper Penn, Dilone, Norm Lewis and Karen Aldridge.
The Good Mother (formerly titled Mother’s Milk) is in theaters Sept. 1.


Categories Movies

Hilary Swank and Alan Ritchson Star in Trailer for Emotional True Story ‘Ordinary Angels’

Hilary Swank is on a mission to help a struggling widower in Ordinary Angels.

PEOPLE has the exclusive first trailer for the Lionsgate drama, in which Swank, 48, plays Sharon, a “fierce but struggling hairdresser in small-town Kentucky who discovers a renewed sense of purpose when she meets Ed (Alan Ritchson), a widower working hard to make ends meet for his two daughters,” according to an official synopsis.

“With his youngest daughter waiting for a liver transplant, Sharon sets her mind to helping the family and will move mountains to do it,” the synopsis adds. “What unfolds is the inspiring tale of faith, everyday miracles and ordinary angels.”

The trailer begins with Sharon at an alcoholism support group, before it cuts to her discovering the story of the young girl, 5-year-old Michelle, in the newspaper.

“I think this is it,” she declares, inspired to do what she can to help.


Categories Articles & Interviews Movies

Lionsgate Dates ‘Ordinary Angels’ Drama Starring Hilary Swank, Alan Ritchson

Lionsgate announced on Thursday that its Kingdom Story Company drama Ordinary Angels, starring 2x Oscar winner Hilary Swank (Alaska Daily) and Alan Ritchson (Reacher), will open wide on October 13th.

The film is now set to debut against the continuation of horror classic The Exorcist from Universal, Peacock, Blumhouse and Morgan Creek.

Based on a remarkable true story, and directed by Jon Gunn (The Unbreakable Boy), Ordinary Angels centers on Sharon Steves (Swank), a fierce but struggling hairdresser in small-town Kentucky who discovers a renewed sense of purpose when she meets Ed Schmitt (Ritchson), a widower working hard to make ends meet for his two daughters. With his youngest daughter waiting for a liver transplant, Sharon sets her mind to helping the family and will move mountains to do it.

Also starring Nancy Travis and Tamala Jones, the film was penned by Meg Tilly and Kelly Fremon Craig. Producers included Kingdom Story Company’s Kevin Downes, Jon Erwin and Andrew Erwin, as well as Roy Lee, ATO Pictures’ Dave Matthews, Stampede Ventures’ Jon Berg, Green Hummingbird Entertainment’s David Beal and Sarah Johnson, and Jonathan Dorfman.