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Hilary Swank | Source: Getty Images
Hilary Swank | Source: Getty Images

Hilary Swank Sparked Strong Reactions after Giving Birth at 48 – Inside New Mom's Mountain Home

Taitirwa Sehliselwe Murape
Oct 11, 2023
07:45 P.M.
  • "P.S. I Love You" star Hilary Swank became a mother to twins at 48 and talked about how she consciously chose to have her children at her age.
  • The A-lister divulged two reasons that made her wait for the "right time" to get pregnant. Despite this, many people have expressed complete disdain and disapproval of her decision to have children at her age.
  • The star has been labeled "irresponsible" for her choice, and many have expressed concern for her babies being born to "such an old" mother.
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Hilary Ann Swank is a globally known award-winning actress born in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1974. Since her breakout role in "The Next Karate Kid," Swank has won several awards for her acting ability. The "I Am Mother" star has achieved 60 wins and 48 nominations thus far.

Hilary Swank accepting her award at the 77th Annual Academy Awards in 2005 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images

Hilary Swank accepting her award at the 77th Annual Academy Awards in 2005 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images

Swank is most known for her portrayal of Maggie Fitzgerald in "Million Dollar Baby," which won her the Best Performance in a Leading Role award at the 2005 Oscars. The "Conviction" talent is also best known for her noteworthy portrayal of Brandon Teena in the critically acclaimed "Boys Don't Cry." Swank won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for that film.

Coming from humble beginnings, Swank grew up in a trailer park and lived in a car before getting her first role. The actress learned about classism very young, resulting in her feeling like an "outsider." Finding solace in book and film characters that were "outcasts" was one driving factor behind Swank's desire to become an actress.

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As a child, she struggled to come to grips with understanding why she was treated differently from other kids simply because of where she came from. Though the star found it challenging to deal with, she had her mother by her side. To raise her, Swank's mother, Judy, gave up her dreams of becoming a dancer and an athlete.

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In an interview with BBC's "100 Women" series, the "Boys Don't Cry" actress spoke about how her mother always believed in her and gave her the gift of ambition and perseverance, which Swank stated was the most significant contribution she ever received from her:

"My mom just believed in me. She gave me the greatest gift I think you can give a child, and that is that gift of belief, and it made me believe in myself, and it made me want to work hard, and it made me want to persevere. Now at 41, I can recognize that that is probably the biggest gift I will ever be given."

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After her parents split up, Swank, along with her mother, packed up their stuff and headed for Los Angeles with only $75. Swank was excited about the venture because it was done to kickstart her acting career.

The mother and daughter lived in their car, and Swank's mother would stand at payphones all day with quarter rolls phoning agents to meet her daughter. Eventually, as their lives progressed, Swank landed her role in "The Next Karate Kid" when she was 18.

Hilary Swank at the "I Am Mother" screening in 2019 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images

Hilary Swank at the "I Am Mother" screening in 2019 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images

According to Swank, she was just a "girl from a trailer park who had a dream" and worked super hard to accomplish all she has today. As one of Hollywood's most esteemed and praised actresses, she has accomplished feats that some spend a lifetime trying to achieve.

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Aside from her acting talent, the star is known for her advocacy and charity work. In 2014, Swank took a break from filming for personal reasons. When it was discovered her dad needed a lung transplant, she dropped everything to be by his side.

Hilary Swank at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in 2011 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images

Hilary Swank at the Vanity Fair Oscar party in 2011 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images

Initially deciding to take only a year off, Swank took three years off instead, determined to stay with her dad until he fully recovered. The A-list actress explained:

"The plan was to take off a year; I became my dad's health advocate. One year quickly turned into two and then three. And, thank God, prayers were answered; he is healthy and doing really well five-plus years later."

Swank's hiatus was extended due to the fragility of an organ transplant. Transplants of that nature usually take up to a year to see if the organ will take to the body, and a lung transplant is even more finicky and delicate than any other organ.

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Hilary Swank Gives Birth To Her Twins At 48

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On April 10, 2023, Swank announced that she had given birth to a beautiful baby boy and girl in an Instagram post shared on the star's feed. The mom of two was ecstatic to welcome her children. However, criticisms arose among the public, and many disapproved of her decision to have kids at 48.

A negative comment labelling Hilary Swank as "irresponsible" on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

A negative comment labelling Hilary Swank as "irresponsible" on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

Much of the hate and backlash targeted toward Swank stems from several people believing the star is too "old" to have children. Many took to the actress' page to post hateful comments about the children being in jeopardy of being eventually orphaned because they were born to a significantly older mother. Some have even accused Swank of faking her pregnancy or using "donor eggs."

A negative comment calling Hilary Swank's pregnancy "fake" on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

A negative comment calling Hilary Swank's pregnancy "fake" on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

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A negative comment denying Hilary Swank gave birth naturally on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

A negative comment denying Hilary Swank gave birth naturally on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

A negative comment calling Hilary Swank "selfish" on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

A negative comment calling Hilary Swank "selfish" on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

Hilary Swank Wanted to Wait For The Perfect Time To Start Her Family

Before finding happiness with her husband, Philip Schneider, Swank was formerly married to "Life Goes On" actor Chad Lowe. The pair announced their split in January 2008 after eight years of marriage and thirteen years together. Ultimately, the couple divorced because Swank felt herself slipping back into a toxic pattern of constantly putting everyone else's needs above and before hers.

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In 2008, she discussed the troubles in her marriage to Lowe, exposing his previous substance abuse issues. Regarding her habit of sacrificing herself to take care of others, the star spoke very candidly:

"My pattern is that I've taken care of everyone. I took care of my mom; I took care of my dad; I took care of Chad. And I don't want to carry that anymore. It's a big habit to break, but in the end, I sacrificed part of myself."

Chad Lowe and Hilary Swank at the 77th Annual Academy Awards in 2005 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images

Chad Lowe and Hilary Swank at the 77th Annual Academy Awards in 2005 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images

Even though their marriage ended, Swank positively closed that chapter of her life. The actress has nothing but love and admiration for her ex-husband and wishes him the very best in life. She still supports him on his sobriety journey and is grateful for the "good times" they shared; she looks at her previous marriage not through the eyes of failure but success.

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As a little girl, Swank had predicted quite early on that she would become a mother not just to one but to two babies.

Swank met her second husband, social venture entrepreneur Philip Schneider, over a bottomless brunch. Her close friends, Jean and Vicki, wife of actor Misha Collins, set the pair up on a blind date. The couple enjoyed their time together so much that their first date lasted thirteen hours.

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One year later, in 2016, Schneider and Swank got engaged. Schneider proposed during a beautiful vacation in Colorado and sweetly made sure Swank's beloved rescue dogs were in attendance.

The pair wed in California's beautiful redwoods underneath 800-year-old trees to represent the couple's love of nature. Swank described the scenario as a dream:

"It was timeless. There is just no other way to describe it. I was overwhelmed with such gratitude and thanks to be marrying the man of my dreams and to see all the people we love together in the middle of such a profound setting. It was truly a dream come true."

Hilary Swank and Philip Schneider at the "What They Had" screening in 2018 in California | Source: Getty Images

Hilary Swank and Philip Schneider at the "What They Had" screening in 2018 in California | Source: Getty Images

Apart from dominating the acting space, she is known for her love of animals and nature. Swank has adopted a few rescue dogs and established her own rescue dog charity organization, Hilaroo. The star has reported that she only ever has rescue dogs as pets, adding:

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"Every dog I've ever rescued and also shared my life with have all had their unique way of being in the world."

Swank's rescue dog foundation pairs troubled youth with abandoned dogs. The origin of the name Hilaroo stems from a combination of her name, Hilary, and the name of one of her rescues, Karoo.

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Swank first announced her pregnancy in October of 2022 in her first interview since the pandemic on Good Morning America. She also shared her journey via posts on her Instagram. The actress was delighted and boasted over the fact that she was making another long-time dream come true:

"This is something that I've been wanting for a long time, and my next thing is I'm gonna be a mom. And not just of one, but of two. I can't believe it. It's so nice to be able to talk about it and share it."

Schneider and Swank have kept their relationship relatively private, with the two only occasionally seen attending industry events together. Though not much is known about the entrepreneur who "combines capitalism with a do-gooder mentality," the couple share many interests, such as hiking, exploring, fly-fishing, and observing wildlife.

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As a little girl, Swank had predicted quite early on that she would become a mother not just to one but to two babies. The actress pointed out that twins run in her family as her grandmother was a twin, and her husband's grandmother was also a twin.

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Swank spoke with Extra TV about her pregnancy and excitement about giving birth. The star pointed out that her decision to have children stemmed from her feeling as though it was never the "right time" for her to pursue having kids:

"Having a career and just, you know, not having the right relationship until four years ago now and just, you know, all the elements needing to come together and be right."

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Swank is a certified worker bee. The actress never takes a break from working, even while pregnant. The "New Year's Eve" star filmed her new show "Alaska Daily" while pregnant.

The Hollywood actress, who kept her pregnancy a secret while filming, spoke about how she had to lie around shooting certain scenes where she had to run. Swank convinced the crew members that she needed a stunt double to run in her place, saying she was a terrible runner and even demonstrating how bad she was.

Hilary Swank as Eileen Fitzgerald in "Alaska Daily" in 2022 | Source: Getty Images

Hilary Swank as Eileen Fitzgerald in "Alaska Daily" in 2022 | Source: Getty Images

In an ultrasound photo shared by Swank on her Instagram, one of the twins was seen flexing their arm. The mother of two joked about how that baby is considered the "real Million Dollar Baby" and "Prize fighter."

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Some of Swank's celebrity friends, including Kate Hudson, Lindsay Lohan, and Sharon Stone, endearingly commented on the photo. Meanwhile, the star marveled at the overall experience of pregnancy:

"I feel like women are superheroes. What our bodies do? I have such, like, a whole newfound respect. I mean, I love women, I've always loved women, but now, I'm like, 'Wow, we can do this!'"

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For Hilary, It's Family Over Everything

While promoting her film, "Conviction," the star reminisced about what matters most to her — her family. Regarding the role that has had the most significant impact on her, she didn't hesitate to answer with "Conviction":

"This movie had done something for me two-fold. One is it reminds me of what's important in life which is family, and the importance of loving that person in your life, whether it's your parents, your children, your significant other, your partner, whoever that is to you like it's the last day of your life. Because you never know what's gonna happen tomorrow."

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Swank is no stranger to showing extensive generosity and selflessness regarding her loving family and sacrificing for them. As shared previously, the Hollywood A-lister devoted significant time caring for her father when he underwent a lung transplant.

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As devoted as Swank was to her father, she is equally devoted to her mother. Judy has often been seen accompanying her daughter to A-list events. On one occasion, she was asked by an interviewer how she felt attending the event with her daughter, to which she remarked:

"It's awesome. It's so awesome to be with her, I mean, I admired her since she was a really little one, so this is pretty amazing, actually."

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Hilary Swank is Happy and Thriving

Despite the influx of hateful comments Swank has received since giving birth to her twins, many people have also shown the actress love over her joyous news. Fans of the acting icon have flooded the comment section of the newly posted picture of Swank's babies, driving away the negativity.

A positive comment congratulating Hilary Swank on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

A positive comment congratulating Hilary Swank on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

A positive comment congratulating Hilary Swank on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

A positive comment congratulating Hilary Swank on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

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A positive comment congratulating Hilary Swank on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

A positive comment congratulating Hilary Swank on the photo showcasing her twins posted on April 10 2023 | Source: Instagram.com/hilaryswank

Swank might keep her children's lives private, but she has given a glimpse of the values she wants to raise her children with. The actress shared a photo of her holding her twins with a back facing the camera while also capturing a beautiful sunset.

Hilary Swankat the 10th Annual Governors Awards in 2018 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images

Hilary Swankat the 10th Annual Governors Awards in 2018 in Hollywood | Source: Getty Images

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She started with a quote explaining that it was necessary to "toughen" children and equip them with the right tools to face this "cruel," hoping they would one day make the world a happier place.

The actress shared another quote that touched on how essential it was to speak to children with the kindest words and make them believe in the best version of themselves because what they believe will be what they become. The mother of two is quietly raising her children in her dream home in Colorado.

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More about the House Where She Raises Her Twins

Schneider and Swank started building their family home before the arrival of their twins, but now the house has been their "happiest place." The actress said she had been looking for the perfect plot of land since she was in her 20s.

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So when she and her husband came across their 168 acres, it was a dream come true. Swank described it as "magical and said they knew it was the one because they could not stop thinking about it. It was ideally situated where they would not be seen by their neighbors and perfectly secluded.

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The couple found the land in 2016 and started building two years later. They eventually moved in in August 2020. It was vital for them that they constructed the house with sustainable materials. They had masonries nearby and were able to use the rocks to create stone walls.

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The house also has a fireplace in the kitchen, the formal dining room, and the main one in the living room. The actress explained that she did not want the house to feel like a log cabin, so having a lot of lighting was important, especially for someone who grew up in a trailer park; light was one of the most crucial things to master in her home.

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Swank loves to watch the sunset; she especially loves it when all the windows are open in summer. But sustainability was not only crucial in the building of the home.

But in the outdoors, too. So, the couple found a way to build a big dome to help them grow food on their land. The home and ample land are also perfect for Swank's five dogs to live happily and freely.

Hilary Swank during an interview. | Source: Youtube.com/People

Hilary Swank during an interview. | Source: Youtube.com/People

The mother of two looks great at 48, is happy, and living her best life with her loving husband. Fans couldn't wait to see pictures showing what the twins looked like. Schneider and Swank are reminding us all that age really is, in fact, just a number, and we can all take a page from their book.

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