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Q+A Hilary Swank

Jan. 10, 2005
Jan. 10, 2005

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Jan. 10, 2005

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Q+A Hilary Swank

The 30-year-old Academy Award winner stars opposite director Clint Eastwood in Million Dollar Baby

SI: To play a boxer you trained 41/2 hours a day, six days a week for three months and gained 19 pounds of muscle. Would you advise that regimen for couch potatoes?

This is an article from the Jan. 10, 2005 issue Original Layout

Swank: I'd recommend them warming up to it. Boxing was physically the hardest thing I've ever done. Ever.

SI: Describe your character's relationship with boxing.

Swank: For Maggie, boxing is her dream. It's a calling, and I also think it's an escape. It's a way out.

SI: How long did it take to get used to hitting and being hit?

Swank: I felt protected because [trainer] Hector Roca would let people hit me only in the body until I got used to moving around. Gradually we got to letting people hit me in the face. Then it was a different game, and it made me better. I got the hang of hitting and being hit, and I enjoyed it. I remember bloodying my first nose. I was like, "Yeah!"

SI: You fight pro boxer Lucia Rijker in one of the film's most important scenes. How intimidating was it?

Swank: She was really supportive, giving me tips and pointers. She would never go all out because she would kill me. If she wanted to remind me that I'm not really a boxer, I'm sure it would have been hell.

SI: You were nominated for a Golden Globe for best actress. How would you feel about your chances if the award were decided in the ring?

Swank: As long as it wasn't against Lucia Rijker, I might be able to hold my own (laughs).

SI: You have an age advantage on Imelda Staunton and better reach than Scarlett Johannson. Uma Thurman may be tough, though.

Swank: That's very interesting. You'd like to see that, wouldn't you? Me and Uma Thurman in the ring. --Richard Deitsch

COLOR PHOTOANDREEA ANGELESCU/KEYSTONE PRESS/ZUMA PRESS INC. (SWANK)COLOR PHOTOCOURTESY OF LAKESHORE ENTERTAINMENT/ZUMA PRESS INC. (SWANK BOXING)