Which is the same of the character in some ways, because he/he's in
a state of confusion and does not fit in a place in which she is not quite
Hilary Swank: Absolutely, I mean there was something that was happening
in my transformation in my going out on the street as a boy. I was constantly
reading people's eyes. What they would believe, what don't they believe,
how am I passing? You're constantly looking into people -- almost as a
mirror -- like how are they seeing me. That's definitely something that
Brandon went through. Nevertheless, for me it was just an acting thing
. for her or for him, however you want to say it, its life, or death and
that's kind of a scary comment on our society.
Do you know anybody or have you been around any transsexuals?
Hilary Swank: I do know some; I have a couple of friends who are
CrankyCritic: Have they had the operation?
Hilary Swank: One was going through the operation. You have to
go through the whole life test and I know it's an emotional draining experience.
We all question whether we are doing the right things in our life as it
is, let alone changing it with appearance.
Do you see Boys Don't Cry as a gay-themed film?
Hilary Swank: Absolutely! It's naive to say that it's not a gay
film but it's also a lot of other things. What is interesting about it
is a huge commentary on our society? I think it is about a hate crime
that happened to a gay person or a transgender but ultimately in my connection
to it, because I am not gay nor a transgender, my reaction to it was that
here's a person struggling throughout a lesson. It's a coming of age story.
It's finding yourself. The courage to be yourself and finding love. I
think it is more than that but absolutely it does deal with gay issues,
and it is naïve to say that it's not that at all.
CrankyCritic: How did you deal with your love scenes with Chloe Sevigny?
Hilary Swank: The movie was so emotionally gruelling and physically
exhausting. These were the only scenes where you are finding the real
joy this person had, that and the transformation. So many people have
so many hang-ups about people of the same sex having sex or making love.
Ultimately I think that what Chloe and I tried to do is to transcend gender
and get an intimate connection between two souls.
CrankyCritic: Did you talk about that?
Hilary Swank: We didn't talk about it -- but that is what I tried
to do. I don't know what her motives were. We didn't talk about each other's
What was the hardest part for you to play this character?
Hilary Swank: There were a couple of different scenes. The hardest
scene to film was the rape scene. The stripping scene was also really
hard, as you could imagine. Not only because what it entailed. But to
really, really think that this happened to a real human being, like any
of us, is almost way too much for me. So I had to disconnect that it happened
What about research?
Hilary Swank: My research was so extensive. It took four weeks
of daily research, I read novels, books, autobiographies on transgender
people, gender benders.
What was it like to watch yourself?
Hilary Swank: I have seen it a few times now, but it is not like
watching myself in any other venue. It's so completely different from
I believe Fate played a hand in your career.
Hilary Swank: Yeah, my first role was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
-- my character's name was Kimberly. Second role that I did was in the
Karate Kid and my last name was Pierce.
Hilary Swank: My feeling is that there are a lot of signs in people's
lives. I believe in signs and listening to your intuition and being quite
with yourself. I think that sometimes we can get too crazy and too hooked
on outward appearance and to hooked on what we think other people want
from us. But when you really listen and you're quite with yourself, you
hear these things and see these signs. Believe me, I would have never
put it together, but Kim's step mum told me that. I definitely listen
to my heart because that makes me much happier as a human being.
Where did the actor in you come from?
Hilary Swank: I grew up in Washington State and wanted to be an
astronaut for the longest time.
CrankyCritic: Do you enjoy space?
Hilary Swank: Well, yeah, I just think that it is amazing and I
think that it makes us realise that when you see a picture of Earth, how
small we are and what a small part we really play in this whole thing.
That has always been a fascinating thing for me. Just to see what else
is out there and to see the whole world in a larger perspective. But I
came from a lower class family and my parents never talked about education
and college, so having that actually happened was really slim. Not that
I actually knew that at the time. What happened was when I was eight-years
old our teacher had us write a little skit and we had to get up and read
it. Suddenly something just came alive in me and I felt so alive and thought
it was so much fun and wanted to do this with my life. I did this at eight-years
old and I went home to my mum and said, "I think that I want to be an
actress" and she said, "Oh, that's nice honey, go play." So I started
doing school theatre, my first role was Mogly in the Jungle Book. I didn't
even audition for that role; I wanted to play the Black Panther. Then
I started doing theatre in the local town and my mum realised that it
was something that I was really interested in and really taking seriously.
She came to a crossroad in her life were my father and her were separated
and she asked if I wanted to move to California and we did. I was sixteen.
How long have you been married?
Hilary Swank: About two years a week ago. He really has been my
anchor though all of this. Doing this film, as I've said, has been emotionally
draining at times. There were times when I didn't know if I could make
CrankyCritic: How did that feel?
Hilary Swank: I was working eighteen-hour days. It was consistently
being someone else, hiding all my natural moves and using totally different
facial expressions. As you can see Brandon and I are totally different
and this so tiring. Using a different voice, emotionally just thinking
about this really happening to someone and really trying to find that
emotional truth so that I could do the story justice. Day in and day out,
six days a week away from home. I was in Dallas, Texas. It just gets tiring
and three weeks thought I felt that I lost every ounce of Hilary. I felt
like I was never going to be able to find myself again and that was really
How long did it take you to be where you are as an actor? Are you
prepared at all, I mean the buzz is on?
Hilary Swank: I am definitely getting a response that I have never
had before and I am getting people who are throwing scripts my way. I've
been getting offers and things and it's an interesting place I've never
been before. You know I started acting professionally when I was sixteen
years old and started working right away. I am terribly blessed because
there are a lot of actors who don't even have an agent and they're very
talented. I started working in television and in movies; I've been going
back and forth with both. In addition, like I said . just waiting for
a role like this to come along so I could stretch myself as an actress
and as a human being.
Are there more good roles? It must be difficult for you to find something
that will grab you now as much as this one did.
Hilary Swank: Absolutely, but I just keep hoping that there will
be something that will challenge me. Probably not as much as playing someone
of the opposite sex. I love to transform myself. I would love to play
a mentally challenged person or a paraplegic.