Monday, May 18, 2009

Hilary Ann Swank

Born on July 30, 1974
Hilary Ann Swank is an American actress. Her Hollywood film career began with a small part in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992) and then a major part in The Next Karate Kid (1994), where she played Julie Pierce, the first female protégé of the sensei Mr. Miyagi. She has become known for her two Academy Award-winning performances: first as Brandon Teena, a transgender man (FTM) in the movie Boys Don't Cry (1999), and a struggling waitress-turned-boxer, Maggie Fitzgerald, in Million Dollar Baby (2004).

When one of the most memorable performances of her career mandated that she conceal her feminine identity, and the other required her to put on 20 pounds of muscle to portray a boxer, it is difficult to judge Hilary Swank's sex appeal. However, Teena Brandon and Maggie Fitzgerald were just roles. We can overcome the images of Swank with a strapped chest or with bulging biceps in the interest of objectivity. Our panel does boast an impressive resume of female veneration after all.

So, Boys Don't Cry and Million Dollar Baby aside, ho
w does Swank stack up? Not that well, we're afraid. Her score may even be more inflated than a Venezuelan beauty pageant. We gave her credit for the awards (hardware is sexy) and for marrying a man (Chad Lowe) whose family has the most notorious taste in women this side of the Sheen clan.

Even during the early stages of her career, Swank was never cast as the vixen or sex object. In order to emerge with a higher score the next time around, Swank will have to craft an image better suited to the British publication of the same name.

When Swank was nine years old, she made her first appearance on stage starring in The Jungle Book. She became involved in school and community theater programs, including those of the Bellingham Theatre Guild. She went to Sehome High Schoolin Bellingham until she was sixteen. Swank also competed in the Junior Olympics and the Washington state championships in swimming; she ranked fifth in the state in all-around gymnastics (which would come in handy when starring in The Next Karate Kid (1994) years later). Swank's parents separated when she was thirteen, and her mother, supportive of her daughter's desire to act, moved to Los Angeles, where they lived out of their car until Swank's mother saved enough money to rent an apartment. Swank has described her mother as the inspiration for her acting career and her life. In California, Swank enrolled in South Pasadena High School (although she later dropped out of school) and started acting professionally. She helped pay the rent with the money she earned appearing in television programs such as Evening Shade and Growing Pains.

The Next Karate Kid is a 1994 film starring Hilary Swank and Pat Morita. It is the fourth and final movie in the Karate Kid series. In September 1997, Swank was cast as single mother Carly Reynolds on Beverly Hills, 90210. She was initially promised it would be a two-year role, but saw her character written out after 16 episodes in January 1998. Swank later said that she was devastated at being cut from the show, thinking, "If I'm not good enough for 90210, I'm not good enough for anything."

As it turned out, the firing was a lucky break for Swank, freeing her to audition for the role of Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry. Swank reduced her body fat to seven percent in preparation for the role. Many critics hailed hers as the best female performance of 1999; her co-star, Chloë Sevigny, had her performance singled out as well. Swank's work ultimately won her the Golden Globe and Oscar for Best Actress. She subsequently won the Best Actress Oscar and Golden Globe again for playing a boxer in Clint Eastwood's 2004 Oscar-winning film Million Dollar Baby, a role for which she underwent training in the ring and gained 19 pounds of muscle.

Swank's success meant that she had joined the ranks of Vivien Leigh, Helen Hayes, Sally Field, and Luise Rainer as the only actresses to have been nominated for Academy Awards twice and win both times. She is the third-youngest double Best Actress winner (after Rainer and Jodie Foster). After winning her second Oscar, she said, "I don't know what I did in this life to deserve this. I'm just a girl from a trailer park who had a dream." Swank had earned only $75 per day for her work on Boys Don't Cry, culminating in a total of $3,000. Her earnings were so low, that (according to an anecdote on 60 Minutes) she had not even earned enough to qualify for health insurance.

In early 2006, Swank signed a three-year contract as spokesperson for Guerlain (a women's fragrance). In 2007, Swank starred in and executive produced Freedom Writers, a drama about a real-life teacher who inspired a California high school class. Many reviews of Swank's performance were positive, with one critic noting that she "brings credibility" to the role and another stating that her performance reaches a "singular lack of artifice, stripping herself back to the bare essentials".

Swank starred in The Reaping, a horror film released on April 5, 2007, in which she plays a debunker of religious phenomena. Swank convinced the producers to move the film's setting from New England to the Deep South, and the movie was being filmed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, when Hurricane Katrina struck. Swank also appeared in the romantic comedy P.S. I Love You alongside Gerard Butler, an actor for whom she has much praise. It was released at the end of 2007.

Swank received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 8, 2007. Hers was the 2,325th star presented.

Variety online reported in February 2008, that Swank would be portraying Amelia Earhart, and be co-executive producer for a biopic titled Amelia. Filming occurred in the summer of 2008 in a number of international locations. Swank is also attached to star in the Hollywood remake version of Intimate Strangers.

Hilary Swank Quotes

“I'll pretty much just keep playing dudes till I’m shitting Oscars.””

"My most annoying question is `Hilary, are you ever going to play a pretty girl?` quoted in Newsweek. "

"You need to study and work on
your craft. If you`re not prepared when that dream audition comes, you are not going to get that opportunity. To me, the definition of success is when opportunity meets preparation. So I really recommend that actors always work on their craft and their skills. Obviously you can`t make a living doing that, but you can get a lot of joy from it and learn and be inspired by the people you`re working with and by your teachers and by the material. As long as you`re still being inspired by it, you`re going to find joy. Then hopefully the role will come along. I just want every actor to know to keep chipping away at it. - On giving advice to beginning actors."

"I cut coupons, love specials and believe in buying toilet paper and toothpaste in bulk. It`s just who I am. quoted in Woman`s
World - 7-19-05 "

"The truth is, after Boys Don`t Cry, I realized how few and far between the great roles are. I am beyond thankful for finding Million Dollar Baby. "

"I can remember crying on the set of Beverly Hills 90210 after being released from the show a few years ago. "

"Here I am: I'm a work in progress... and always will be."

- Hilary Swank"



1. Invasion of Privacy (2010) (filming) .... Dr. Juliet Dermer
2. Betty Anne Waters (2009) (post-production) .... Betty Anne Waters
3. Amelia (2009) (completed) .... Amelia Earhart
4. Birds of America (2008) .... Laura
5. P.S. I Love You (2007) .... Holly
6. The Reaping (2007) .... Katherine
7. Freedom Writers (2007) .... Erin Gruwell
8. The Black Dahlia (2006) .... Madeleine Linscott
... aka Black Dahlia (Germany)
... aka Die schwarze Dahlie (Germany: TV title)
9. Million Dollar Baby (2004) .... Maggie Fitzgerald
10. Red Dust (2004) .... Sarah Barcant
11. Iron Jawed Angels (2004) (TV) .... Alice Paul
12. 11:14 (2003) .... Buzzy
13. The Core (2003) .... Maj. Rebecca Childs
... aka Core (USA: poster title)
14. The Space Between (2002)
15. Insomnia (2002/I) .... Ellie Burr
... aka Insomnie (Canada: French title)
16. The Affair of the Necklace (2001) .... Jeanne St. Remy de Valois
17. The Gift (2000) .... Valerie Barksdale
18. The Audition (2000)
19. Boys Don't Cry (1999) .... Brandon Teena
20. "Beverly Hills, 90210" .... Carly Reynolds (16 episodes, 1997-1998)
... aka "Class of Beverly Hills" (USA: teaser title)
- The Elephant's Father (1998) TV episode .... Carly Reynolds
21. Heartwood (1998) .... Sylvia Orsini
22. Quiet Days in Hollywood (1997) .... Lolita
... aka The Way We Are
- Illegal Tender (1998) TV episode .... Carly Reynolds
- Ready or Not (1998) TV episode .... Carly Reynolds
- Santa Knows (1997) TV episode .... Carly Reynolds
- Comic Relief (1997) TV episode .... Carly Reynolds
(11 more)


1. Betty Anne Waters (2009) (executive producer)
2. Amelia (2009) (completed) (executive producer)
3. Freedom Writers (2007) (executive producer)
4. Beautiful Ohio (2006) (producer)
5. "Celebrity Charades" (2005) TV series (executive producer) (unknown episodes)
6. 11:14 (2003) (executive producer)

Archive Footage:

1. "The O'Reilly Factor"
- Episode dated 26 February 2008 (2008) TV episode .... Herself - 'Patriot' ('Pinheads & Patriots' segment)
2. Oscar, que empiece el espectáculo (2008) (TV) (uncredited) .... Herself/Maggie Fitzgerald
3. Cómo conseguir un papel en Hollywood (2007) (TV) .... Herself
4. 50 premios Sant Jordi de cinematografía (2006) (TV) .... Maggie Fitzgerald
5. VH1 News Presents: Hollywood Secrets Revealed - Scenes They Don't Want You to See (2006) (TV) .... Herself
6. El oficio de actor (2005) (TV) (uncredited) .... Herself
7. San Sebastián 2005: Crónica de Carlos Boyero (2005) (TV) (uncredited) .... Teena Brandon - Brandon Teena
8. 101 Biggest Celebrity Oops (2004) (TV) .... Herself - #63: Acceptance Speech Goofs
9. The European Film Awards (1999) (TV) .... Brandon Teena

Nickname:Hillary Skank
Birthname:Hillary Ann Swank
Hookups:Chad Lowe, Jean-Claude Inauen
Assets:Roundhouse, spinning side kick, ability to manipulate the oppressive constraints of gender
Vices:Face much like Gary Busey
Hobbies:Hiking, swimming, camping, rafting, cage fighting, Burmese boxing
Country of Origin:United States
Hobbies:Hiking, swimming, camping, rafting, cage fighting, Burmese boxing
Country of Origin:United States

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