Hilary Swank: Film star calls for more roles for trans people

Hilary Swank
Film star calls for more roles for trans people

Won an Oscar in 1999 for the transgender drama “Boys Don’t Cry”: Hilary Swank

© imago/Everett Collection

Hilary Swank achieved her breakthrough with the transgender drama “Boys Don’t Cry”. Today she is calling for more role opportunities for transsexuals.

With the independent film “Boys Don’t Cry” in 1999, US actress Hilary Swank (49) made the switch to something more serious after roles in works such as “Buffy – The Vampire Killer” and “Karate Kid IV – The Next Generation”. Academic subject. In the film she played the young trans man Brandon Teena, who is finally murdered after a long story of suffering. The film drama is based on a true story. The Hollywood newcomer promptly won an Oscar for best leading role for her convincing portrayal of Teena. In one In an interview with the British “Sunday Times” she explained that today she would rather leave the role to a transsexual colleague.

Acceptance of trans people has increased

Looking back, she summarized the production circumstances at the time: “It is now largely accepted in most places to be a trans person,” said Swank. “But at that time people didn’t even come out as gay and lesbian, it was a career killer or whatever. They weren’t ready to tell their family, or maybe they weren’t even ready to tell themselves .”

Actors continue to be actors

However, times have changed dramatically now and today it would be a “great opportunity for a transsexual actor to play this role.” Nevertheless, in the interview she spoke out in favor of less dogmatism when awarding roles of this kind: “But I also have the feeling that actors are actors. We are supposed to play different people and I would like to hope that transsexuals get the opportunity, too -Playing transsexuals.”

She is still pleased that with “Boys Don’t Cry” she helped to give the public a better understanding of the challenges faced by transsexuals. “It was a starting point for a conversation that was needed,” she said, “and we need to continue this conversation until everyone lives a safe life.”


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