On her eighth film as a producer, Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank takes on a romantic dramedy based on Emily Giffin's book, Something Borrowed. Hilary sat down with Buzzine to talk about choosing the stars of this movie, staying true to the book, and what she orders at Astro Burger when she's a vegetarian.
Izumi Hasegawa: What did you like most about Emily Giffin's books?
Hilary Swank: That they're complex and real, and are tied up in a nice bow. They really bring up real-life complexities. And they're fun.
IH: Were Kate Hudson and Ginnifer Goodwin your first choices, and why were they so perfect for this?
HS: Definitely. They bring a real... You see the heart of it. It's not a surface thing; you understand, at the end, that Darcy puts this on because of her insecurities. You see women like that in life, and I know instantly: what are they hiding from? You know that there's an inner hurt and they put this front up, and that's something that I believe women will really relate to as well. Most people would probably be like, "Oh, I'm a Rachel," but I know a lot of Darcys.
IH: We've all heard horror stories about the writer of a book hating something about the movie. Are you leery of that?
HS: The great thing is that Emily is a great collaborator. I don't think she's going to sell the rights to her book to someone she doesn't believe is going to help see her vision into the screen. We liked her book so much that we wanted to make sure we were as honest to the story as possible. And we've all heard those stories. No one knows these characters and the complexities of these characters better than Emily, so we wanted her voice in the screenplay and involved in making those tricky decisions with us. Do we make this change, do we not? In the book, you have all these inner thoughts that you do not have in the film version; you're letting audiences figure it out for themselves and meet these people on the screen. It's definitely a challenge, but Emily was so fantastic, and we actually own the rights to several of her books, so we're going to be working with her for a long time.
IH: John Krasinski's character isn't quite the same as it is in the book.
HS: That's right. That's our one big departure from the book.
IH: How many actors did you audition for the lead role of Dex, and what made you choose Colin Egglesfield?
HS: Our casting director saw many actors, but Colin was definitely the one that, when we saw him, said, "That's our Dex." As you were saying, how Emily wrote it in the book is this JFK look, and we were thinking, "Who's famous that has that look?" Colin just fit the bill in every way.
IH: What kind of emotions are there as you present a project like this to the world?
HS: More excited than nervous because I think we believe in what we have. I think nervousness comes from like, "Oh, we tried, but we didn't quite hit the bulls-eye," and I think we [with Molly Smith] feel really behind what was created, and it's exciting because it's our first movie under our 2S entity. We've known each other for 13 years, but we've been partners for three and a half, and this is our first baby that we created to the screen...
IH: As an actor, you've had an intense role or two in your time. As a producer, were you consciously trying to do something not as intense?
HS: No, it just was what we stumbled upon and were passionate about. We have other movies; they're not all going to be on the lighter, romantic side. So no, it was kind of just a coincidence...although I think it's very hard to find a romantic comedy that's complex and anchored in something more real that stays with you. And making movies like that where you go and talk about it afterwards over dinner as moviegoers... I think what we all appreciate is you don't want to leave it and just go, "Oh, okay, that was two hours of whatever." It's something you really want to talk about.
IH: And the decision to have Emily in the movie for a cameo -- when did that start? How did it come together?
HS: I can't remember. I think she just said, "I'm going to be in there."
IH: What's your favorite thing to order at Astro Burger?
HS: I'm now eating meat, but at that time, I wasn't eating meat during Boys Don't Cry or Million Dollar Baby. Then I was getting a veggie burger with avocado and cheese.
IH: Any other movies outside of Emily's books that you're working on?
HS: We're hopeful that's one of our next ones. It's based on a novel by an author named Michelle Wildgen, and it's a drama. Falling Out of Fashion is the fictional life of Jane Pratt, the youngest magazine editor of all time. We've got several others in development, but those are probably the closest two.
Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Something Borrowed' is released on May 4, 2011.