A day in the life of … Hilary Swank
Back on the big screen after a three-year Hollywood hiatus, during which she launched her new clothing line, the two-time Oscar-winning actress invites us into her world.
By Britt Burritt
Known for the powerful characters she plays on screen and for being an off-screen powerhouse, Hilary Swank has consistently relied on her instincts when choosing projects and passions. Recently, she took a three-year break from acting to care for her father, and during that time she launched her own "luxe leisure" line, Mission Statement, now available at Nordstrom.
The actress, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist works on the line from her home office in Los Angeles. She says she sought to create clothing "for the modern-day woman who is juggling family and career while taking the time to care for herself." Highlights include washable leather and nonpilling cashmere. "The brand encourages women to live their own mission statement," she adds.
We spoke with Swank, 44, about her many missions and how family, friends, her dogs and self-care help her make the most of her day.
What time do you wake up? I'll wake up anytime between 6:45 and 8am. But it depends on the day. If I'm on a set, it could be a 4 or 5am call or we could work all night.
How do you spend the morning?
Usually I get up and go. If I'm going to work out, I won't shower first. I'll take care of my rescue dogs: Kai, Teddy and Sufi. But I always put on sunscreen first, and that's it.
Tell us about your morning exercise routine.
In my mid-twenties, I started resistance training with a trainer. It's one of my indulgences. It makes me feel strong. Then I mix it up throughout the year depending on the weather. Right now I'm completely obsessed with tennis. I play up to two hours a day, three days a week.
What's your go-to outfit?
It's no longer difficult to get dressed, thanks to Mission Statement—it transitions from my home office to business meetings to cocktail parties. The Sassy Pant, with its washable leather, easily transitions from day to night. I also love to layer because buildings have their AC blasting when it's hot, or in the fall the weather is unpredictable. Our Cloud Layer 1 is usually my first layer and then the Vice Versa top, which can be worn eight different ways. Both are made with Loro Piana washable cashmere. Functionality is key. My lifestyle has evolved into a minimum, pared-down vibe. I value comfort more, but I don't want to sacrifice luxury for it.
Do you eat breakfast?
I'm a big proponent of breakfast. Before I work out, I'll have a hard-boiled egg or a protein shake or a handful of nuts or a protein bar—something to get me through my workout. When I'm done with my workout, I'll have a proper breakfast—usually a breakfast burrito with scrambled egg whites, beans, grilled vegetables, avocado and a bit of cheese.
Share with us how you spend your days.
Between Mission Statement, my acting career, producing and the Hilaroo Foundation—we bring together kids who've been given up on and animals that have been abandoned to help heal each other—I'm pretty busy. But I like to learn. I like to challenge myself.
What do you have for lunch?
For lunch, it's probably grilled fish and veggies. I always include protein in every meal. But I've never had a potato chip I didn't love. I do like salty food.
What are afternoons like at Mission Statement?
The Mission Statement office is my home office. We design, talk concepts—a lot of those conversations are about sustainability. We're designing clothes that you can keep for years. Through the versatility of each clothing item, Mission Statement is designed to meet 80 percent of your clothing needs but take up only 20 percent of your closet. The company also ensures that all our clothing is ethically produced.
How do you spend your evenings?
If I haven't been able to spend much time with my dogs, we usually take a stroll or go to the dog park. I like to eat in. My family and I like to cook. We have friends over and sit around the dining room table and have conversations. A lot revolves around food and friends. I'm not a very good cook, but the people around me are really good cooks, thankfully.
Tell us how you unwind.
For me, de-stressing is working out and spending time with my dogs and being in nature. Working out is not about an aesthetic; it's about getting out of my head. I think working out is one of the best gifts anyone can give themselves. My dogs are always a stress release. And if I'm ever feeling too overwhelmed with everything that is going on in the world or in my life, I just step out in nature.
What is your before-bed routine?
I usually head to bed between 10:30 and 11pm. I like to take a bath or shower at night—it just cleanses the day. I will never go to bed without washing my face. And I really like essential oils for peaceful sleep.