MOVIE NEWS: Press Conference For the Upcoming Film Amelia

Left to Right: Susan Larson, Hillary Swank, and Mira Nair discuss the life and upcoming film on Amelia Earhart

A mix of reporters and pilots gathered at Essex County Airport in Fairfield, NJ on Friday for the Amelia press conference Fox Searchlight Pictures put on. A Lockheed Model 12A Electra Junior was parked in the hangar. This particular plane was used in some of the Toronto shots in the movie, and resembles the Lockheed L-10 Electra Earhart disappeared in.

Before the questions and answers began, Hilary Swank and Director Mira Nair presented a few props from the movie, including a white pilot jumpsuit with a big red “A.E” on the back, to Susan Larson, president of the Ninety-Nines, the international organization of women pilots Amelia Earhart helped form.

The Ninety-Nines had gifts for Nair and Swank. Nair’s gift was a signed copy of the book Earhart wrote, 20 Hours, 40 Minutes.

“I’m a great lover of books and lover of Amelia and here the twin meet,” Nair said upon receiving the gift.

Nair, Swank and Larson were joined by two authors on the panel, Susan Long, author of East to the Dawn, one of the two books the movie was based on, and author Elgen Long, who wrote Amelia Earhart: The Mystery Solved and who is also a record-setting pilot.

Most of the audience’s questions, though, were aimed at Swank and Nair. Nair had the opportunity to discuss what she was trying to create in the movie, a film that centered on Earhart’s “ecstasy she felt in the sky” and the “responsibility she had on earth.” Nair described how the film centered on a universal battle: balancing passion and responsibility.

Swank was given a chance to talk about what it was like to play “America’s Sweetheart.” She said it was a “big responsibility to play someone who really lived, someone as iconic as her.” She spoke about Earhart’s “specific physicality” and how she studied Earhart’s speaking pattern for eight weeks in order to prepare for the role. She’s also learning to fly.

During the conference, Swank revealed what drives her, “My passion lies in telling stories. It’s what I wanted to do since I was nine.” Swank seemed to share a common thread with Earhart when it comes to how to live life, “You only live once,” Swank said, “You might as well do what you love.”

Amy Hamblen

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