Hilary Swank is used to having to train a lot for an acting job. For her leading role in Million Dollar Baby, with which she won an Oscar, she spent hours in boxing school every day. But her role in the new Netflix series Away also required a lot of preparation. “It was much heavier than I had thought“, she confessed to the ANP.
In the series, the actress plays the commander of a space mission to Mars. It is, after The Core from 2003, the second time that Swank plays an astronaut, but this role physically required a lot more from her. “There are many scenes in it without gravity. It takes a lot of effort to film that, especially because it had to look effortless”
To achieve that, the actors‘ lower bodies were hung in a harness. “So all the movement came from our abdominal and gluteal muscles. We stretched them so hard that we had to be careful not to talk crazy” And that wasn’t the only problem with the dialogues, says Swank laughing. “We found out that if you pretend to float through space, you tend to talk in slow motion. Which, of course, doesn’t happen in real life at all.”
Away, to be seen from Friday on Netflix, is about a three-year space mission but above all about the lack of family on earth for the astronauts. Swank: “It’s a very human story. My character Emma is on the one hand living out her dream with the mission to Mars, but has also seen another dream come true unexpectedly: becoming a mother. And now she is away from her child for three years”
According to the actress, the fact that Emma is a woman is not an issue in the story. “That’s what I like about it, it’s not about a woman leading the mission. Nor is she such a stereotypical tough military lady who rules with an iron fist. She is a human being, with all her vulnerabilities. And that is perhaps what makes her strongest.”