Hilary Swank can ‘Trust’ in the facts of a true story

Two-time Oscar winner makes her television return in FX drama

Hilary Swank of "Trust" Sunday on FX
Hilary Swank of “Trust” Sunday on FX

Q: Where did you start your research to play Gail Getty in “Trust”?

A: I sat down with (the producers) in London and they gave me a couple of books and I started reading them and digging in. I like to do research like Donald (Sutherland, who plays J. Paul Getty) does, just diving into the people. But really, Simon (Beaufoy) wrote such rich characters. Every character was so fleshed-out.

The beauty of television, I think – and I’ve made a career of doing so many movies – is that everything gets revealed as you go, and that’s so human. It’s so hard to tell a story in two hours, I’m coming to recognize more than ever now. And the idea of having such trust in the people that you’re working with, knowing that they’re going to write something that you’re going to be so happy to be a part of, that’s going to challenge you and bring all of the things you want as an actor … we’re just like an audience member. We’re waiting for the next episodes to come.

Q: What do you think of Gail Getty’s place in “Trust,” having been the mother of a kidnap victim who had to engineer the rescue?

A: She’s really the emotional anchor. I don’t have children, so my ability to empathize with this probably was only scratching the surface of what it feels like, but I have a pretty great understanding that it’s your child. And the idea of your child being in any type of harm has to be the most devastating thing ever. To wake up and not knowing if they’re alive, it’s all-consuming, and rightfully so. Everything is focused on saving your child.

And no matter what age they are, I think that it’s debilitating at times. And (with) the gradations of finding strength within that, I think that Gail really grew up as the episodes go on. She made terrible choices in men – why she did that is a whole other thing – but then, as she’s finding her footing and knowing that she has to do everything within her power to get her son back, the strength and almost the self-respect that she gains (was everything).

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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