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WATCH: 20 years on, Hillary Swank discusses how ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ changed her life

Hillary Swank in ‘Away’

Few actors have the pedigree–or the reputation–of Hillary Swank.

The warm, thoughtful actress has the distinction of winning two Best Actress Academy Awards for two transformative performances. Swank exploded onto the indie scene in 1999 with her portrayal of transgender man Brandon Teena in Boys Don’t Cry, for which she picked up her first trophy. She repeated the feat in 2004 with Million Dollar Baby, playing a female boxer.

Related: ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ at 20: director Kimberly Peirce reflects on a classic

Now Swank conquers space with another physical role: that of Captain Emma Green, the astronaut tasked with leading the first manned mission to Mars in the new Netflix series Away. The show follows the adventures and personality conflicts of the international crew of the Sojourn, and strives for a level of scientific accuracy seldom seen in television. The cast shot almost the entire series in wire harnesses to simulate the anti-gravity of space, making their performances extremely physically demanding.

We caught some time with Swank to chat about the new series, her love for demanding roles, and the enduring legacy of Boys Don’t CryAway premiered on Netflix September 4.

 

Video editor: David Beerman