“It’s a dream come true—I’m in a movie with Meryl Streep,” Hilary Swank happily informed us of being cast with arguably the greatest living actress, in “The Homesman.” Then, Hilary added, “But I don’t have one scene with Meryl! I thought, ‘Well, on the days that I’m not working, I’m going to be a fly on the wall. I’m just going to watch Meryl—but, she wasn’t even in the same location! I did all my work in New Mexico. When we wrapped there recently, they went to Georgia.”
Hilary admitted that it was “nice to have a dress on after all that time out there” in New Mexico to shoot “The Homesman,” being directed by Tommy Lee Jones who, along with Wesley Oliver and Kieran Fitzgerald, wrote the screenplay adaptation of Glendon Swarthout’s western novel of the same title, set around 1855.
“I was on the prairie for the last 60 days,” Hilary reported. “My character (Mary Bee Cuddy) is a farmer—I plow the fields and pump for water. My hands are all beat up.” The actress plays the title role, a “homesman” who must escort several women who lost their minds back to civilization. She teams up with an unlikely partner, George Briggs (Tommy Lee), a claim jumper.
Hilary leaving an office building in New York City.
- Candids May 22, 2013
Actress and producer Hilary Swank will be a guest of the Life Ball on 25th May, 2013 and will present the Crystal of Hope Award donated by Swarovski to the project “The Girl Effect“ during the opening ceremony.
The Crystal of Hope Award has been established in 2005 in cooperation with Swarovski – and ever since, the presentation of an outstanding initiative in the response to HIV/AIDS has been the most emotional moment of each Life Ball opening. Ground workers who work in the front line to promote innovative ideas for AIDS research, to improve the lives of people affected or to oppose discrimination and stigmatization have been presented with the award for their special commitment.
At the Life Ball 2013, Hilary Swank will present representatives of “The Girl Effect“ – Lisa T.D. Nguyen from Cambodia, Patricia Suriel from the Dominican Republic, Sulaiman Turay from Cameroon and Sadie St. Denis from Uganda – with the award endowed with EUR 100,000 and sponsored by the company Swarovski.
The Girl Effect – against poverty & HIV in girls
The project focuses on leveraging the potential of adolescent girls to prevent them from becoming the victims of poverty and illness. If you invest in the economic potential of girls by educating them and if you prevent child marriage and teen pregnancy, problems related to HIV/AIDS can be solved and the cycle of poverty can be broken. All donations go into the “Girl Effect Fund”, which distributes the donations equally between 12 girl-focused projects each year that create the global Girl Effect.
For 2013, the Board of AIDS LIFE chose those four projects, which are linked to HIV and AIDS the most:
• One Project in Cambodia, which helps girls escape from sex slavery and provides them with therapy and education.
• A program for the support and training of 100 teenage mothers and for the reduction of sexually transmitted diseases – like AIDS – in Cameroon.
• The MARIPOSA Center for girls in the Dominican Republic, which promotes education and activity of the girls as well as prevention of HIV and AIDS.
• Workshops for girls in Uganda for the reduction of teenage pregnancy and for the health of mothers through information on HIV and AIDS.
Nadja Swarovski, member of the Executive Board, Swarovski Crystal Business: “Swarovski is delighted to help celebrate the 21st anniversary of Life Ball and to support The Girl Effect, a truly inspirational charity. We hope that the Award will enable The Girl Effect to continue its incredible work empowering girls around the world to change their lives for the better.”
Further information on www.thegirleffect.org
Sometimes, it takes a familiar face to put a face on a problem… even one that is international in scope.
Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank is no stranger to championing social causes, and she takes up another as she and two-time Oscar nominee Brenda Blethyn play the title roles in the HBO drama movie “Mary and Martha” Saturday at 8 p.m.
Written by Richard Curtis (“Love Actually,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral”) and filmed largely in South Africa, the BBC and NBC Universal co-production tells the story of two very different women who unite to crusade against malaria after both lose sons to the illness.
Mary (Swank) is an American who takes her child (Lux Haney-Jardine, “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”) away from bullying classmates for an “adventure” abroad, and Martha (Blethyn) is an Englishwoman whose son (Sam Claflin, “Snow White and the Huntsman”) volunteers at an African orphanage. After both young men contract and die of malaria, their mothers meet and bond, then decide to take their message about the disease to the masses — and ultimately to a Washington, D.C., hearing.
James Woods also appears as Mary’s politically connected father in the film, directed by Phillip Noyce (“Clear and Present Danger”).
“Obviously, what’s on the page is the most important thing in the beginning,” Swank says, “but you follow it up with talent like that, in every corner, and it’s a no-brainer. It’s something you just jump at to be a part of.”
Swank has played mothers before (“Conviction,” “The Reaping”), and that aspect of “Mary and Martha” largely drove her performance.
“I don’t think there’s anything worse in the world than losing a child,” Swank says. “I don’t have children of my own, but I have a lot of them in my life… nieces and nephews, children of boyfriends. Still, it was all on the page here.”
After writing for stars from Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts to Colin Firth and Emma Thompson, Curtis says he is pleased that Swank and Blethyn embody his Mary and Martha.
“They make for a very exciting clash of cultures,” he says. “There is something about Brenda that is so profoundly British and so humane, and, likewise, there’s an extraordinary Americanness and determination and kind of wisdom about Hilary. They were on the far ends of the characters I’d written, and I was delighted about that.”
The TV movie remains in relative decline, which makes a weekend in which two high-profile versions with big-name stars and overt messages playing directly opposite each other especially noteworthy. It’s also instructive, in a compare-and-contrast sort of way, to consider why “Mary and Martha” — a moving return to intimate form for HBO — represents an emotionally stirring triumph, while Lifetime’s “Call Me Crazy: A Five Film” feels like an empty gimmick, an all-star marketing hook/public-service campaign in search of a movie.
After a stretch in which HBO has relied almost exclusively on attention-getting fact-based films like “Game Change” and “Phil Spector,” “Mary and Martha” harks back to when the service was content to tell great little stories — often with an agenda — that might not have been commercial enough to find a home elsewhere. And if one’s first thought is the 2005 gem “The Girl in the Cafe,” it should come as less of a surprise that “Mary” comes from that movie’s writer, Richard Curtis.
At its core a personal story about two mothers joined in grief, “Mary and Martha” is also a passionate piece of advocacy. Moreover, it reflects Curtis’ penchant for envisioning a world where good can come of ordinary people’s do-good passion, which is both uplifting and reassuring, even if it doesn’t always conform to reality.
Hilary is on the cover of March/April issue of Web MD Magazine. I have added scans from it.
- Magazine Scans Web MD – March/April 2013
A trio of Oscar winners will soon be in the Land of Enchantment.
Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank and Meryl Streep will all star in Jones’ directed feature, “The Homesman.”
“The Homesman” is based on the novel by Glendon Swarthout with a script written by Tommy Lee Jones, Kieran Fitzgerald and Wesley Oliver.
This Western follows the journey of a claim jumper, played by Jones, and an independent pioneer woman (Hilary Swank) who team up to escort three women driven mad by the Nebraska frontier back to Iowa.
According to the New Mexico Film Office, the production will employ more than 100 New Mexico crew members and more than 200 New Mexico principal and background talent.
Principal photography is scheduled for the end of March through mid-May at various locations in the Las Vegas, N.M. and Santa Fe areas.
The film will also star Grace Gumman, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter and Tim Blake Nelson.
It is produced by Michael Fitzgerald (The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, The Pledge and the upcoming The Rosenthal Gang), Tommy Lee Jones (The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and The Sunset Limited) and Peter Brant (Pollock, Basquiat).
Streep last won an Oscar for her role in “The Iron Lady,” while Swank picked up her last Oscar in “Million Dollar Baby.” Jones picked up his Oscar for his role in “The Fugitive.”
On April 20th, HBO will debut their latest original film, Mary and Martha, a tale of two mothers fighting to prevent the spread of malaria after they both lose sons to the disease. The film stars two-time Oscar® winner Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby) and Oscar® nominee Brenda Blethyn (Atonement) as the titular characters whose strong bond helps them enact change even as they are consumed by grief. Ahead of the premiere, HBO has released two trailers for the film, both of which are embedded below.
In addition to Swank and Blethyn, the cast also includes James Woods (Too Big to Fail), Frank Grillo (End of Watch) and Sam Claflin (Pirates of the Caribbean: Strange Tides).
Mary and Martha premieres Saturday, April 20th at 8PM on HBO.
Hilary Swank is pleased that cable TV continues to give her movies such strong afterlives.
This month alone, the Cinemax channels are running both of the dramas that earned her Academy Awards for best actress — “Boys Don’t Cry” and “Million Dollar Baby” — and also are featuring her as part of the huge ensemble cast of the comedy “New Year’s Eve.”
And that’s hardly all: Swank also is evident in March showings of “Freedom Writers” (which she also executive-produced) on MTV, “The Core” on IFC, “The Next Karate Kid” on Encore Family, and her pre-Oscars TV movie “Terror in the Family” on The Movie Channel Extra.
“I appreciate all the opportunities I’ve had,” Swank tells Zap2it, “from my early television work until now. Some of that television work might not be the most astute material, but they were great chances for me to grow and to learn as an actor.
“I would never knock such an opportunity. I think it’s funny that those old movies-of-the-week are still playing, but they were like my acting class.”
To a degree, so was “Beverly Hills, 90210,” on which Swank spent much of Season 8 as Carly Reynolds, the single-mom girlfriend of Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering). She plays a parent again in her next television project: Debuting Saturday, April 20, the HBO drama “Mary and Martha” casts Swank and Brenda Blethyn as mothers prompted by personal tragedies to crusade against malaria.
Having just finished the big-screen drama “You’re Not You” and started work on “The Homesman” — which also stars two more Oscar winners, Tommy Lee Jones (the film’s director as well) and Meryl Streep — Swank probably won’t consider doing TV regularly again for a while. But she doesn’t rule it out completely.
“That’s a question I haven’t been asked for a long time,” she notes. “I would never say ‘no’ to anything, although I feel like I’ve found my medium in film. I like to dissect and develop a character, then do it and let it go. That’s why theater’s also not for me. I like watching theater and watching television, but as an artist, I prefer film.”
However, Swank allows, “I usually watch (my films) and go, ‘Arrgghh! I wish I could do it again! Now I understand how I could do it so much better.’ I like to break down a character inside and out, do it once and be done. Some TV shows go for 10 years, and there’s too much I want to do.”