Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank and Molly Smith
produce “Something Borrowed”
Hilary Swank packs a punch in front of and behind the camera. The two-time Oscar winner (Million Dollar Baby, Boys Don’t Cry, P.S. I Love You) serves as producer for the new romantic comedy, Something Borrowed, starring Oscar nominee Kate Hudson along with Ginnifer Goodwin (He’s Just Not That Into You) and John Krasinski (NBC’s The Office). BORROWED is a welcoming account of how love and relationships can be unpredictable, based on the novel series by Emily Griffin.
To date, Swank has served as either Executive Producer or Producer on several films, among them: Freedom Writers, Amelia and Conviction. According to industry reports, future films for which she will produce include: You’re Not You, Falling Out of Fashion, and French Women Don’t Get Fat (based on the international best seller by Mirielle Guiliano) along with her producing partner, Molly Mickler Smith of 2S Films, their four-year-old production company.
Swank and Smith spoke with Talk2SV —
Sandra Varner/Talk2SV: I’d say this film is a gutsy move in light of the conventional format of romantic comedies made in Hollywood. For starters, it is an unpredictable love story.
Hilary Swank: I think it’s really hard to find a romantic comedy that has you thinking and that is anchored in something real: a story that goes beyond the surface. As an actor, finding one is impossible so that’s what we loved about this story.
Molly Mickler Smith served as Executive Producer on “The Blind Side”
Molly Mickler Smith: Emily Giffin novels are all like this; they tend to pose moral dilemmas. Begging questions such as, “What would you do if you were in her shoes?” We just loved that and felt like audiences haven’t seen that explored in a very real and relatable way.
Swank: And that’s real…life is messy. It’s not slick and shiny and it doesn’t end the way you always think it’s going to end; you’re thrown curve balls and how you deal with them or how you chose to grow or not grow from them. Do you stay stagnant, do you get out of unhealthy relationships or do you do you just stay in them? Those are all universal issues that we deal with [in life and in this movie].
Talk2SV: Rules don’t necessarily apply in this story particularly among friends. In your view, what are the golden rules of a friendship?
Swank: Allowing someone to be themselves; good communication, having fun and hopefully, honesty. Ultimately, allowing the other person’s growth and not putting something on them that comes out of your own insecurity.
Swank and Smith, Business Partners in 2S Films
Talk2SV: Talk about your partnership at 2S Films, producing this film and your roles in the company.
Smith: The interesting thing about Hilary and I is, we’ve known each other for about thirteen years now. I used to get coffee for her on one of her early movies (smiles). Our relationship is great because we have very similar tastes and we both love stories that emotionally move or touch you in one way or another, whether to laugh or cry. So we partnered (as a company) and I produced P.S. I Love You that Hilary starred in. As a production company, we decided to try to find original material and ended up optioning several books; Emily Griffin’s book was one of the first books we optioned. We want to tell stories primarily for females because as women, we want to make films that we want to go see; something that feels real and relatable for women like us and that became our mantra. We are trying to create stories that have heart, that are entertaining and original. We are proud of the slate that we’re building. We’ve got several other books in development and but this is our first 2 S Films release.
Talk2SV: It is encouraging to learn of your commitment to producing stories about women; it is a well-known pattern in Hollywood that women “age out” frequently. Is it also a goal to develop one of your optioned properties into a story cast with slightly older women?
Author, Emily Griffin
Smith: Absolutely. Emily (Griffin) is on her fifth book now, writing the sixth and we have the rights to Heart of the Matter, her latest release about women who are a little bit older. We have a variety of great female stories.
Talk2SV: Hilary, are you using your muscle to help get stories marshaled through Hollywood?
Swank: I feel very fortunate to be in a place where I can use what I’ve built in my career. I’ve been doing this over half of my life now and I have the respect within the industry. To be able to muscle some things through is a blessing that I don’t want to abuse. So, we (2S Films) only go out for projects that we completely believe in; we’re not going to show up to a pitch meeting and say, ‘Oh, you don’t like this, hold on, what about this or what about this?’ Everything that we acquire, we’re going to see it through to the screen. So, when I ‘muscle in’ certain things it’s because we believe in. I want to be respectful of those relationships and thankfully, I’m in a place where people do respect my opinion and that’s nice.
Talk2SV: What have you observed from working with Clint Eastwood that you’ve translated into this partnership?
Swank: Oh, you can’t work with people like Clint Eastwood and not incorporate the experience into every aspect of your life. He and his wife Dina are dear friends. Clint is old school in that he makes so many studio movies a year –the way the system worked when people just churned them out– and they’re really good. He is a great communicator and he has a lot of respect for the people around him so you carry that [aspect] into what you’re building.