Hilary Swank was ready to put it all on the line when she was cast in her newest film Fatale.
The Oscar-winning actress, 46, is no stranger to taking on physical roles, but her newest action flick alongside Michael Ealy saw her taking some of her bigger risks on camera.
“We really had to watch each other, we were in close quarters with two cameras,” Swank tells 9Honey Celebrity. “We had to make sure we didn’t hurt each other and that we didn’t endanger the camera people.”
The actress recalled filming an elevator scene on their final day of the shoot, where she said, “I almost broke my hand.”
“I don’t want to give anything away, but that last scene in the elevator, I was doing something pretty intense,” Swank says.
“I felt like I was hurting you [Ealy], I said ‘just move over to the side, I’m just going to hit this mat so I can give it on my close up’. The mat was small, they were doing the best they could, so I started hitting, wham wham [winces in pain], I think that might be it.”
“I think that might be a wrap,” Ealy jokingly adds.
Fatale follows Derrick Tyler (Ealy), a sports agent who seemingly has it all. He lives in a sprawling Los Angeles home and has a loving wife. But it all unravels when he has a steamy one-night stand with Valerie Quinland (Swank) in Las Vegas.
Swank shared some insight into how they generated on-screen chemistry for some of the racy scenes.
“It was so great, I love this man,” Swank says of working with Healy. “When you get the opportunity to work with an actor who is so professional, comes prepared, knows their lines, shows up on time, and is ready to play. Also, they have a great idea for what the scene should be about but isn’t holding it so tight that they can’t be flexible, that’s Michael.”
The actress, who has worked with big names over the years, hasn’t always felt so lucky on a project.
“You want to say to the other actor who shows up not prepared, ‘Do you remember when you’re hitting the pavement and you were auditioning and would do anything to get this role.’ Go back there, learn your lines and come back to work’,” Swank says.
Ealy similarly had a positive experience working with Swank on the movie.
“It’s amazing to work with another actor who gets it, does the work, and comes prepared,” she says. “This was a low budget, we were thrown into this like an off-broadway play. We kind of found each other, there’s a certain level of respect we have for each other and the craft that led to the chemistry that you see on screen.”
Swank has had a remarkable career in Hollywood that has seen her nab two Oscar wins for Best Actress in Boys Don’t Cry (2000) and Million Dollar Baby (2005). She also ventured into producing in the last decade with films like Amelia, Conviction, You’re Not You, and What They Had, all of which she starred in.
Her other notable acting credits are Freedom Writers, Logan Lucky, and P.S I Love You. In 2005, Time Magazine named her as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
“To have a 29-year career, and to find something you haven’t done is hard to find,” she says. “This had everything, it had a great co-star, a rising director [Deon Taylor] who I think is going to have an out-of-this-world career, and it had a movie that’s really unique.
“It’s a movie about a bunch of people who are flawed, make mistakes, and are trying to figure their lives out. There’s no black and white, like this is the good person and this is the bad person. We’ve all seen that.
“We don’t see Noirs and thrillers anymore that have this many twists and turns. All the way to the very end, you’re like ‘what?’ and in the last ten minutes you are still getting surprised.”
Like many films in the past year, Fatale’s release schedule was interrupted due to COVID-19. Both Swank and Ealy have learned some lessons from the pandemic.
“I think it’s a continued reminder that you can’t take anything for granted,” Swank says. “It’s sad that it takes something so big to shock us into that, but it’s also a reminder to have each other’s backs. We can’t do anything alone. We have to care for our fellow neighbour.”
Ealy says, “2020 has been an eye-opener. A tumultuous year, election cycle, systemic racism, pandemic. What I’ve learned is that America is extremely divided. That’s been a wake-up call for me that we have a lot of work to do. I’m going to remain hopeful that we can ride this ship.”
Moving forward, Swank is committed to working on some projects that have been put on the back burner.
“I don’t have kids, my whole thing is I have an opportunity to develop projects that we’ve been producing that didn’t get my attention while I was on a set,” she says. “It hasn’t changed much for me. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder for the things you’re passionate about. I can’t wait to get back on set to collaborate with fellow artists. It’s a feeling like no other.”