Hilary Swank Says 'Boys Don't Cry' Would Be A 'Great Opportunity' For A Trans Actor Today

Hilary Swank is thinking about how her film, “Boys Don’t Cry,” would be different if made today.

Swank won an Oscar for the 2000 drama, but in a new interview, the star said she’d appreciate seeing a transgender actor play the part of Brandon Teena, a man who was killed in a transphobic hate crime in 1993.

Talking to The Times of London, Swank said, “Now for the most part, in most places, it’s accepted to be a trans person. [But] at that time, people weren’t even coming out as gay and lesbian, it was a career killer, or whatever.”

“They weren’t ready to tell their family, or maybe they weren’t even ready to tell themselves,” she continued. “We’re in such different times — I feel like it would be a great opportunity for an actor who’s trans to play that role.”

Swank added that she isn’t opposed to cisgender actors playing trans roles, saying, “I also feel like actors are actors.”

Hilary Swank attends the New York premiere of
Hilary Swank attends the New York premiere of "Ordinary Angels" on Feb. 19. In a new interview, she looks back on her role in "Boys Don't Cry." Variety via Getty Images

“We are supposed to play different people,” she said. “I would like to hope trans people are getting the opportunity to play non-trans people as well.”

Swank told The Times she still sees “Boys Don’t Cry” as an important part of bringing trans experiences into public view.

“It was a jumping-off board to start a conversation that was needed,” she explained. “And we need this conversation to continue until everyone’s leading a safe life.”

Swank also talked about what “Boys Don’t Cry” meant for transgender representation in a 2020 interview with Variety.

She said that while “trans people weren’t really walking around in the world” openly in 2000, two decades later, there are a “bunch of trans actors who would obviously be a lot more right for the role.”