Hilary Swank to appear in BBC One film drama
HILARY Swank has been cast in a new BBC One film drama written by Richard Curtis which will be shown during the run up to Red Nose Day.
Hilary Swank is to appear in Mary & Martha, a BBC One film drama which will be shown as part of the channel’s Comic Relief schedule for 2013.
The Oscar winning actress will be starring alongside British actor Brenda Blethyn in a 90-minute film written by Richard Curtis and directed by Philip Noyce.
Mary & Martha tells the story of two grieving mothers who are united by loss after their sons contract and die from malaria. Swank will play Mary, an American whose young son, George, contracts the tropical disease whilst on a trip to Africa with her, while Martha’s (Blethyn) son, Ben, dies while working as a volunteer in Mozambique.
In a statement, Swank she was "inspired by the creative possibilities" of working with Curtis and the film's director Philip Noyce (The Bone Collector, Catch a Fire) to "tell this remarkable journey of two women from completely different worlds who collided then forged an unbreakable friendship full of humour and grace."
The 37-year-old, who has won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, as Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry (1999) and as struggling waitress-turned-boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby (2004), also praised Brenda Blethyn as "fantastic".
Writer Richard Curtis, who wrote the classic BBC comedy series Blackadder, as well as films Four Weddings and a Funeral and Love Actually, said the BBC film would combine comedy and tragedy.
He said: "I’ve always wanted to write a film about the fact that when you have children, there’s always the possibility of extreme joy and extreme sorrow.
And over the years working with Comic Relief, I have come across the tragedy of the startling number of lives taken by malaria every year. This film gives me a chance to write about that too."
Red Nose Day typically takes place in March each year with a televised telethon to raise money for charity. It was first run in 1988 as a focal point for Comic Relief, a charity formed by Curtis and comedian Lenny Henry in 19885 in response to the famine in Ethiopia.