Hilary Swank heads to the dark side in the supernatural thriller
Two-time Oscar winner, Hilary Swank is switching gears a little, moving to the horror/thriller genre in her latest film, The Reaping.
The actress stars as a Louisiana State University professor, who, along with her co-worker (Idris Elba), has been sent on assignment to debunk a mysterious occurrence in a small town of Haven in the state - a boy has been killed and his blood has turned the river red. What she doesn't know is there's a few people trying to stop her from finding out why.
During Hilary's search, she begins to uncover strange patters paralleling the 10 Plagues - people in the town try to tell her all this has been started by a small child, played by AnnaSophia Robb. With everyone trying to keep Hilary away from AnnaSophia, Hilary's past draws her to directly to her.
The Reaping was shot in Louisiana, before and after Hurricane Katrina and Rita in the summer of 2005; producer Joel Silver was determined not to let that stop them from returning once the clean-up began.
That's also something Hilary felt very strongly about; she tells all about working on The Reaping; check it out:
So, do you love sci-fi, thriller movies like this?
Hilary Swank: I do, I do; I like smart ones and I feel like this is a really smart one. It really makes you think - the twists and turns in it and I was surprised and I read a lot of scripts and I see a lot of movies and I couldn't believe it got me.
How much of the stuff do you actually believe in the plagues?
Hilary Swank: Well, I don't know if I would believe that all of a sudden that a bunch of locusts are going to land on us and it's not really anything I thought about, but I am from Nebraska and there are a lot of locusts there. I think it's interesting to think about - do I think it's going to happen? No, but I think it's a really interesting thing to think about. I believe in a higher power.
What was it like for you going back to the shoot after the hurricanes?
Hilary Swank: It was a horrible devastation that happened, but when we were evacuated, the great thing was that the studio actually said, 'We're going to go back.' A movie is a movie and it's a business and it took us way off schedule, but instead they just waited; instead of pulling out and filming somewhere else, which would have left these people homeless and jobless, they kept the movie there, which I appreciated. Warner Bros. and Joel and they all made that real effort to do that - we all did. I was like, 'Please make sure we go back.' And I just thought that was really, really great we could give these people a place to go and something else to think about - and try and help rebuild.
How long had you been shooting before the hurricane occurred?
Hilary Swank: Almost 3/4th's of the way through; somewhere between a half and 3/4th's. I don't remember, but it was longer - on the long side. I know we went down on my birthday, which is July 30th, and we left November 2nd.
You play a lot of character like this where you get down and dirty and you really get in the muck. Do you prefer that or dressing up?
Hilary Swank: Oh, it's all fun; the great thing, again, as I said, one of the great things about being an actor - I mean as a girl I love my high heels and I love my dresses and I like to dress up, but I love that I get to play these characters that are really different than that. I get the best of both worlds.
What is it about rehearsing that is something you don't like?
Hilary Swank: Yeah, there are a lot of people who I respect who love to rehearse. I've worked with Al Pacino and he wants to rehearse for hours and hours and he comes from the theater. So, it's just how everyone's background is just so different and how when you are working with different people you have to be respectful of that, because even though I don't like to rehearse other people might. So, keeping that happy balance to keep everyone and able to do their jobs so everyone can is important. But yeah, I think there is something that happens, like with Clint, he believes the first take is the best; he thinks there is something that happens naturally and instinctively the first time and I think that if you do that in a rehearsal than you've lost it. And that first time isn't on camera - sometimes when you are working with actors who like to rehearse, the director's and producer's can see it as wasting film, because if it doesn't work then you're actually rehearsing on film if they see it. I just think a lot of interesting things come from that and you can use and the editor can use. I just think it's fun; it's just something that happens that you don't expect and as you do more and more takes you kind of are understanding what the other person is doing so it's also fun when the director - and Stephen did this a lot - would whisper and say secrets to the other actors. He would tell you guys. He come up to us all and say, 'OK, in this take let's do it this way.' He'd say, 'You do this and you do this.' We didn't really know what was going to happen which really keeps you on your toes.
What was it like working with Idris?
Hilary Swank: I actually didn't know a lot of his work and was not really familiar with him. I think Idris definitely is the real deal; he's just got so much talent. And we had so much fun together; I think our chemistry onscreen is really great, it seems like we've been great friends forever.
You can find out exactly what secrets lie beneath the town of Haven in The Reaping; it opens in theaters April 5th, rated R.