How Hilary Nearly Gave Her All for 'Baby'
January 28, 2005

Golden Globe winner Hilary Swank is up for her second Academy Award for her portrayal of a boxer in "Million Dollar Baby," and now the superstar is coming clean about a shocking secret to "60 Minutes" -- a secret that nearly killed her while shooting the film.

While preparing for her "Million Dollar Baby" roll, Swank got a staph infection that could have been fatal. And in the interview, she admits to Mike Wallace that she didn't even tell the film's director and star Clint Eastwood.

"He still to this day doesn't know," Hilary reveals. "I was about halfway through my training when I got a blister the size of my palm on the ball of my foot."

Within 48 hours, the blister got badly infected. "I couldn't believe the pain," Swank admits." "I looked down and there were streaks going up my foot."

Swank relates that she went to the doctor right away and received a scary diagnosis: "He said, 'It is really serious and if you would have waited two more hours, you would have been in the hospital for three weeks. And if it gets to your heart, that's it.'"

So why did Hilary keep such a serious condition a secret? "Because in the end, that's what happens to boxers," Swank says. "They have injuries and they keep pushing through it."

And Hilary literally became a boxer for the film, telling "Extra" last month about the physical beating she took in the ring: "Lots of blisters, lots of aches and pains and a couple of fat lips."

But the gorgeous Oscar winner is used to roughing it. When she first moved to Hollywood, she and her mother lived in their car. Hilary, however, kept a positive attitude, revealing to us, "I never looked at it as, 'Oh this is really hard. I can't believe I am in my car right now.' I just saw it as, 'I hope I get an agent.'"

So from the streets to a possible second Oscar, Hilary Swank has come a long way.

You can see Hilary's full "60 Minutes" interview Sunday on CBS.


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