10 Questions for Hilary Swank

The Oscar-winning actress stars in Conviction, based on a true story. Hilary Swank will now take your questions

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Paul Shin

Which of the characters you've played has had the biggest effect on you?

Naafeh Dhillon, LAHORE, PAKISTAN

Betty Anne Waters is still walking the earth, so it was a huge responsibility for me to do justice to her story. Conviction reminds me of what's important: family and loving like it's the last day of your life because you never know what's going to happen tomorrow.

Do you think you would make a good lawyer in real life?

Dimitris Christofileas, ATHENS

I think being a lawyer would be a wonderful, fascinating job. Like acting--you never know what the next day is going to bring. It's kind of an acting job in itself. You meet all types of people. I'm not here to say that I could actually become a lawyer. I think I'll stick to playing lawyers in the movies.

I've read that you dropped out of high school. Do you think education is important?

Jody DeFalco, DALLAS

I did leave high school my sophomore year, but I got my GED. I wouldn't ever recommend not going to school. I think it's case by case. But what's really important is not just to have a diploma but also to experience life. I'm certainly not very book smart, but I started traveling at 16, and it has enriched me in ways I could never begin to explain.

Given your work in Million Dollar Baby, are you ever tempted to use your boxing skills?

Marc Ford, AUBURN, ALA.

I miss boxing because I don't do it so much anymore. I'll go into a boxing gym, and everyone's like, "Million Dollar Baby! Come on! Let's go!" And I'm like, I was just an actor. I know how to box, but thankfully I haven't had to do it out on the streets.

What was it like to work with Clint Eastwood?

Bêrîvan Bloomfield, KREFELD, GERMANY

Working with Clint was one of those experiences that will be very tough to beat. He's everything you could imagine and then some. Clint has that belief in people. He says, "I hired who I think is right for the role, and I know that they're going to do their thing. And I just get out of the way."

Who is your biggest mentor?

Jose Karry, FALLON, NEV.

Growing up, it was fictional characters, like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. Also the characters I play. That's where I learn the most and am reminded about how to carry myself, what I want, what's important.

You've played many strong women on film. Where do you find inspiration?

Phaura Reinz, NAAWAN, PHILIPPINES

I get my inspiration from the people I portray, whether they are fictional or real-life. In my career, there's no doubt that I'm drawn to those real-life people because they're brave and courageous. So I just look into the person I'm playing. With Betty Anne Waters, all I had to do was meet her to get an understanding of where she was coming from. That was inspiration upon inspiration upon inspiration.

Will we see you in another comedy in the future?

Sonal Bhadoria, PUNE, INDIA

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