Don’t expect to see Hilary Swank checking herself in at Promises any time soon, but the actress does seem to have a bit of a pill problem.
Sitting in a white terrycloth robe at her W photo shoot, her eyelids caked with smoky shadow and her hair volumized to the hilt, she’s rummaging through a sandwich-size plastic bag of tablets with the focus of a junkie preparing for her next hit. “This is my Aloe C, which I dissolve in water,” she says, brandishing a giant orange pill. “Here’s my flax. This one’s for my immune system, and this one is my BrainWave—it’s great, like if I have a lot of lines to memorize.” Swank takes nearly 45 supplements a day, tossing them into her mile-wide maw at various hours according to a carefully determined schedule. “I just took my most important ones, which are my Oz Garcia Longevity Pak,” she continues, rattling the empty green packet. “I shoved them in my mouth right before I met you, which I actually shouldn’t do, because I choked on my vitamins once before.”
A devotee of celebrity nutritionist Oz Garcia for the past seven years, Swank sees her regimen as one of the secrets to her success. “Oz has changed my life. The Longevity Pak is so awesome,” she says, eyes shining. (And later, as if the sack of supplements wasn’t enough, she excuses herself so that a visiting nurse can give her a vitamin injection.)
Whether it’s truly the vitamins or just genetics, Swank, 33, certainly looks good these days. Her bulging Million Dollar Baby guns long gone, the actress is strikingly feminine in person, with an ultralean yet curvaceous physique that shimmies easily into the Calvin Klein dress she dons for the W cover. Her newly shorn hair (cut just two weeks ago on The Oprah Winfrey Show to promote a charity effort) looks sexy and chic, and her skin seems to radiate health.
“I have a really high metabolism,” Swank says, almost apologetically, as she takes a giant bite out of a chocolate croissant. (It’s her second pastry of the morning.) “Exercise is also really important to me. I think it gives me more energy. I would rather sleep six hours and get an hour workout than sleep seven hours.” Twice a week she lifts weights. Other days she hikes, does Power Pilates or practices Krav Maga, an Israeli hand-to-hand self-defense technique she’s lately become obsessed with. “You punch, you kick, you also learn how to get out of a choke hold. I love, love it,” she says.
All of this might sound like excellent training for another of Swank’s highly physical film roles, but her next project is about loving, not fighting. Titled P.S. I Love You, it marks the actress’s first attempt at romantic comedy. “It’s a movie that I loved as soon as I read it. I just loved it,” says Swank, who has an effusive, Rachael Ray way of speaking. She loves, loves things. People are awesome. And situations are huh-larious.