Hilary Swank was born in Bellingham, Washington. She grew up there and in Los Angeles, California.
Swank considers herself a spiritual, but has never been an adherent of any particular organized religion. While talking about a movie in which she played a former theologian who lost her faith, she said,
Well, I believe in a higher power. I was not baptized, or into organized religion, and all of that, but it's definitely interesting.
Swank mentioned that she respects both the scientific and religious communities' explanations for the world's mysteries, but she stopped short of saying that she believes in miracles. She said,
I've seen in my own life, just a lot of things that have happened that have been, I wouldn't say miraculous, but I would just say a blessing. And I think maybe I have a lot of luck. I had to work really hard, but there's a lot of luck. But I haven't, myself, witnessed a miracle.
It almost sounds like she's a little bit agnostic towards some aspects of religion, but I can't put words in her mouth. So we'll just put her in the spiritual, not religious category for now.
Shame on Swank
Swank prefers not to let her political persuasions be known. When asked who she was voting for in the 2008 election, she said,
I don't usually talk about my politics as a general rule.
Despite her general rule, she did express her support for gay marriage. After Vice President Joe Biden put his political weight behind the issue, she said,
I feel like it's phenomenal. I think it's a big positive step forward and one we should have been way past.
So she's probably liberal, but my guess is that she's not all that political, because if she was, she might not have gotten herself into a mess with Ramzan Kadyrov, the Chechen head of state who has been accused of human rights violations. Swank was paid to attend the leader's birthday party in 2011 with a few other celebrities, apparently unaware of the controversy surrounding him. After the Human Rights Foundation raised questions about her appearance, she publicly apologized saying,
Shame on me. The bottom line is I should know where I'm going and I should do better research.
Her lack of knowledge about Chechnya's political situation isn't unusual for an American, but the fact that she traveled to the other side of the world for a birthday party for a man she didn't bother to Google might indicate that she's not too tapped into global politics.