Entertainment

Hilary Swank wouldn’t take Boys Don’t Cry role now

Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry

Hilary Swank wouldn’t take her Oscar-winning role in ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ today.

Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry

The 49-year-old star shot to fame when she played Brandon Teena, a trans man who was murdered in a hate crime, in the 1999 drama and she thinks if it was remade now, the role would offer a “great opportunity” for a trans actor, but she defended taking the role herself, insisting it was “such different times” back then.

She told The Times’ Saturday Review: “Now for the most part, in most places, it’s accepted to be a trans person. [But] at that time, people weren’t even coming out as gay and lesbian, it was a career killer, or whatever. They weren’t ready to tell their family, or maybe they weren’t even ready to tell themselves.

“We’re in such different times — I feel like it would be a great opportunity for an actor who’s trans to play that role.”

However, Hilary insisted trans actors shouldn’t only be getting trans roles.

She added: “But I also feel like actors are actors. We are supposed to play different people and I would like to hope trans people are getting the opportunity to play non-trans people as well.”

The actress believes “100 per cent” that ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ helped improve understanding of trans people in wider society but still feels more is needed.

She said: “It was a jumping-off board to start a conversation that was needed, and we need this conversation to continue until everyone’s leading a safe life.”

Hilary lived as a man for a month to prepare for the film and when she played a boxer in ‘Million Dollar Baby’, she ate 60 egg whites a day and contracted mercury poisoning from eating too much fish as she transformed her body.

The ‘Ordinary Angels’ star enjoys being able to deeply dedicate herself to a role but admitted radical transformations are “few and far between” these days.

She said: “I like those transformative roles, the collaborative process of getting to that point, whether it’s with the hair and make-up people or a trainer, or whether it’s just walking in someone else’s shoes who is so different from me physically.

“It allows me to see the world in different ways. I’d be up for a role like that again, but they’re so few and far between.”

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