When you are one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, it is easy to forget who your real friends are. When you are one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, it is easy to forget who your real friends are.. Hilary Swank, who won not one, but two Oscars, doesn’t need to look far to find her best friends. The actress, who stars in Amelia, the true story of famed pilot Amelia Earhart, sat down with Wendy and Lucky to discuss her own dogs’ favorite toys, the latest in a long line of charities she has gotten involved in and how she helped rescue countless pets after 9/11! For those of you who aren’t history buffs, Amelia Earhart was the brave aviator who disappeared over the Atlantic in 1937. The pioneer is now being brought to the silver screen by one of Hollywood’s most talented and versatile actresses.
The film, which also stars Richard Gere and Ewan McGregor, tells the story of how Earhart captured the nation’s hearts and imagination by becoming the first woman aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She gained infamy after her plane disappeared in 1937 while trying to circumnavigate the world. To this day, what exactly happened to Earhart is still a mystery. As someone who was sensitive, yet driven and motivated, Amelia Earhart became an inspiration to women everywhere; much like the woman portraying her in the new film Amelia, Hilary Swank.
Like Earhart, Swank is a renegade who ignored the typical rules for women. Defying critics who cried career suicide, Hilary Swank took on the role of a young woman who decides to become a man in the 1999 film Boys Don’t Cry. She ended up winning her first Academy Award for Best Actress for a role most actresses would avoid like the plague. She eventually won her second gold statue for the 2004 film Million Dollar Baby. Another similarity between Earhart and Swank was their love for dogs. As a child, Amelia had a large black dog named James Ferocious.
Hilary Swank has long been a devoted animal lover and is the proud mommy to two rescued pooches, Karoo and Rumi. Regular fixtures on film sets, Karoo and Rumi have been known to cause a little mischief every now and then. “If I can’t find Karoo and Rumi on set or if I can’t find them in my trailer, I know they’re at the craft service table,” the actress said.
Hilary Swank was in New York to promote the Iams Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive, which aims to help at least 1.5 million homeless pets find homes between October 1, 2009 and January 4, 2010. Anyone can get involved by becoming a volunteer, donating to a local shelter and of course, adopting a pet.
The two-time Oscar winner revealed that her own million dollar babies love any kind of toy that squeaks! She also claimed that the pups have taken a liking to new hand-made wool toys from Tibet (probably inspired by her Amelia co-star, Richard Gere). “They’re made from recycled wool and they’re really thick, they’re dense. They’re not hollow, so they last forever and my dogs just pull and pull and pull them apart!” Swank said.
When asked what breed of dog her P.S., I Love You co-star, Gerard Butler would be, the actress/activist thought long and hard. “He’s got a big personality. Gerard is like a puppy dog. He loves jokes, he’s really spirited and he’s playful. What’s a spirited, playful puppy? All of them,” the actress said of
the 300 star. Eventually, Swank, Wendy and Lucky all agreed that the Scottish actor would make a great Pug, which is a funny coincidence. “He has a Pug,” Swank said with a smile. Who knew Spartans could be so lovable?
Swank, who once lived out of her car for a few weeks, understands how far a little compassion can go. She was also there when her country was reeling. After 9/11, Swank teamed up with the Humane Society of New York to help rescue lost and trapped animals. What makes this even more remarkable is the fact that the A-Lister did all of this under anonymity, choosing not to use her celebrity for special treatment.
“When the 9/11 attack occurred at the World Trade Center, Hilary asked if there was anything she could do to help the animals near ground zero. We told her about Lola, a poodle who had been trapped alone in an apartment for four days. Hilary made her way past many obstacles and up 31 flights of stairs so that Lola could be reunited with her most grateful guardians. The Humane Society of New York will never forget how helpful, kind and brave she was during that difficult time,” says Sandra DeFeo, co-executive director of the organization.
Swank’s biggest reward was simply seeing a family reunited. “It was really incredible to walk up with someone’s beloved family member and to hear them screaming, calling the dog’s name and seeing the tail wagging,” the A-Lister said with a smile. Swank’s courage, generosity and endless drive to succeed are all traits that would make the real Amelia Earhart proud.
– Dylan Davis & Wendy Diamond