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Swank Remembers Not Belonging

November 18, 2001

NEW YORK (AP) _ Like the troubled girl she played in ``Boys Don’t Cry,″ Hilary Swank says she often felt as if she didn’t belong anywhere.

At age 6, she and her family moved into a trailer park in Bellingham, Wash., because her father decided to sell trailers.

``Some people looked at us like, ‘You’re poor, and you don’t wear the right clothes,’ `` Swank tells Sunday’s Parade magazine. ``It was petty and hurtful.″

She discovered a love of acting three years later when she wrote and performed a skit for a school project. In high school, she discovered that her successes isolated her from her classmates.

``One day, the kids I grew up with threw a note at me,″ she recalls. ``It said, ‘You think you can act, but you suck. You think you’re pretty, but you’re not.’ I felt betrayed.″

Swank, 27, says her mother always told her to follow her heart. ``She gave me the freedom to be myself. And because of that, I was always different,″ she said.

Swank won a best actress Oscar for her role as a social and sexual misfit in the 1999 movie ``Boys Don’t Cry.″

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