Hilary Swank discusses 3-year acting break to care for her sick father: 'It takes a lot of energy'

The actress had planned to take only one year off

Hilary Swank opened up about taking a three-year break from her career in order to care for her ill father.

Swank has been in showbusiness since the age of 15 and even secured herself two Academy Award wins for best performance by an actress in a leading role. Her first came in 2000 in the film “Boys Don’t Cry.” Her second was five years later in “Million Dollar Baby.”

However, in 2014 the actress took a step back from her lucrative career in order to play the role of loving daughter after it came to light that her dad, Stephen, needed a lung transplant.

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“It was supposed to be a year, because it takes a year to see if an organ transplant takes,” she told Health.com in a recent interview. “A lung transplant is the most difficult of all, as it’s an incredibly delicate organ. The plan was to take off a year.”

Hilary Swank explained what it was like to take a 3-year acting break to care for her sick father.

Hilary Swank explained what it was like to take a 3-year acting break to care for her sick father. (Reuters)

The yearlong break from her career turned into three years as it became clear that Swank's father needed more time to recover and would need the full-time help of his daughter. Fortunately, it all worked out and she’s happy to report that her dad is in good health.

“I became my dad’s health advocate. One year quickly turned into two, and then three. And, thank God, prayers were answered. He is healthy and doing really well five-plus years later,” she revealed.

Reflecting on her time essentially working as a full-time health advocate, the actress, 46, revealed that behind honest with yourself and others about when you need a break is the key.

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“It takes a lot of energy, love, and edifying yourself on the matter at hand. The ups and downs are so challenging and can be overwhelming,” she explained. “Make sure that you’re taking time for yourself and that you vocalize what your needs are to the people who are around you so they can help support you.”

The actress returned to acting in 2017 with roles in movies like “Logan Lucky” and “55 Steps.” However, her big returning role came in 2018 with a role on the FX series “Trust,” which centers on the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, the grandson of oil tycoon J. Paul Getty.

Hilary Swank stars as Emma Green in Netflix's 'Away.' Green must leave her family behind to embark on a three-year journey to Mars.

Hilary Swank stars as Emma Green in Netflix's 'Away.' Green must leave her family behind to embark on a three-year journey to Mars. ('Away' / Netflix)

Today, Swank finds herself hard at work once again, as though the three years away from the industry never happened. She appeared in the 2020 thriller “The Hunt” and is going to be in the upcoming Netflix series “Away.” In the movie, she’ll play a woman in charge of a harrowing expedition to Mars who is forced to leave behind her husband and teenage daughter.

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“Before being an actor, I wanted to be an astronaut. I had such passion for, and respect for, astronauts and people who are exploring something that’s so much bigger than all of us,” she said when asked about the new role.