No. 1 ~ HILARY SWANK in “Boys Don’t Cry” (Brandon Teena)
I know I will get some flack about this choice, but I have never been so moved by a film, or a performance as I was by Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry. When I left the theater I was speechless for at least five minutes. Swank’s portrayal of a young transgendered female was absolutely amazing.
Swank underwent significant preparation for the role by dressing and living as a man for at least a month, including wrapping her chest in tension bandages and putting socks down the front of her pants in much the same way as Brandon Teena had done. Her masquerade became particularly convincing. Swank’s neighbors believed the “young man” coming and going from her home was Swank’s visiting brother. She reduced her body fat to seven percent to accentuate her facial structure and refused to let the cast and crew see her out of costume. Swank earned only $75 per day for her work on Boys Don’t Cry, culminating in a total of $3,000. Her earnings were so low that she did not earn enough to qualify for health insurance.
I have never seen such a transformation of an actress as Swank made for this role, and her ability to portray the emotion, confusion and pain that this young woman must have felt. An amazing performance, my favorite.