- Title: USA: The new Hilary Swank thriller, "The Reaping," premieres in Los Angeles
- Date: 5th April 2007
- Summary: PAN FROM MOVIE POSTER TO RED CARPET. CLOSE SHOT OF MOVIE POSTER
- Embargoed: 20th April 2007 13:00
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Reuters ID: LVA66K4WIUST9GG0V5F0HLT73RM6
- Story Text: The new Hilary Swank thriller, "The Reaping," premiered in Los Angeles on Thursday (March 29). In the film, Swank plays a former Christian missionary who abandons her faith after losing her husband and daughter to tragedy and has since become a world-renowned expert in disproving religious phenomena.
Swank portrays a university professor, Katherine Winter, who is focused on finding scientific answers to refute supposed miracles around the world. But after much success, she suddenly comes up short when faced with what appear to be Biblical plagues unfolding in a small town called Haven nestled in the Louisiana swamplands: She unexpectedly finds her theories crumbling and at a loss to explain what is happening.
When asked how she manages to consistently connect with filmgoers, Swank deferred to those who have watched her Academy Award-winning performances for the answer.
"Oh, I don't know," blushed a suddenly shy Swank. "You know that's something-- I don't know if I can answer that. I think you may have to ask the audience. I don't know. I just, I like to pick movies that are different, that mix it up for myself and, you know, and challenge myself in different ways. And, this is one of those movies that was just so much fun, and just so different than what I'd done."
British actor Idris Alba plays Swank's assistant, Ben, in the film. For a man born and bred in London, Alba plays a very convincing American.
"Honestly, the challenge is really just cultural," said Alba. "Getting the cultural, you know, nuances and making them right. And making them persistent, you know. Um, I happen to live here for awhile, and therefore I am a great witness for it, so therefore I can do it. But, honestly, it's gotta-- you gotta be very, pay attention to it, make it happen. And what can I say? I'm a mimic, I'm a fake!"
Meanwhile, upcoming actress AnnaSophia Robb, who on-screen portrays a young girl being blamed for the horrifying series of events, praised Swank for acting as her mentor while shooting the movie.
"Hilary is wonderful. She really took me under her wing during some of the really intense scenes. And she just, you know, taught me how to stay focused and stay into character, and just helped me to also work off other actors. And just watching her just got me into my character of being Loren."
Director Stephen Hopkins also credited Swank for helping him create a film he believes is destined to be a winner.
"The film, the way I make films and wanted to make this one, I usually pick a character in a film. Whether it's what I did in "24" or other stuff. You pick one character and you follow them through a story. And for me, that's great filmmaking. That's the most emotive filmmaking. Whether it be-- whatever type of film. And this is a scary movie and then, Hilary is such a believable person, so grounded. She's playing a real grounded personality in the world. An obsessive person. And you follow her through the story, and you see it all unfold with her. And if you don't have-- you know I'm a smart enough director to surround myself always with great actors. If you don't have that, then you're struggling. You know. They teach you stuff. They show you stuff how it makes it work."
The Jamaican-born Hopkins is also known for his Emmy Award-winning made-for-TV movie "The Life and Death of Peter Sellers" and also for co-producing nearly two dozen episodes of the television drama "24."
"The Reaping is set to open in theaters on Thursday, April 5th.
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