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The new mission of Oscar winner Hilary Swank in the March 4 drama “Away”

; premieres September 4 on Netflix.

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Hilary Swank has always wanted to be among the stars. But we’re not talking about Brad or Leo.

“I wanted to be an astronaut before I wanted to be an actor, who was about 9 years old,” Swank says. “It still feels the same to me now, as it did then, the whole idea of ​​something bigger than us and the unknown. I would still like to go to space one day, but being an actor and playing an astronaut is the second best. ”

Swank, a two-time Academy Award winner, takes that chance on the Netflix drama “Away” (broadcast September 4), by producer Jason Katims (“Parenthood”, “Friday Night Dights”).

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Set in the near future, the first 10-episode season dramatizes the first man-led expedition to Mars, commanded by pragmatic American astronaut Emma Green (Swank). Emma leads an international crew of scientists and astronauts, whose backstage and families we know during the course of the season. Team members initially question Emma’s leadership skills as she struggles with distance and guilt because she left her teenage daughter (Talitha Bateman) and husband (Josh Charles) back on Earth.

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Here is an exclusive first look at Oscar-winner Hilary Swank’s new Netflix space drama “Away,” which premieres September 4.

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The series is loosely based on a 2014 Esquire story by Chris Jones, about the first American astronaut to spend a year in space.

“I do not consider myself a space show guy, but there was something about this article that really caught my eye,” says Katims. “It was another way of thinking about space: this very intimate look at what it was human experience to be away for so long, how to stay connected to the world, and what you do with your mind and body. It seemed so different. . ”

Shortly after onset, Emma’s husband, Matt, suffers a stroke caused by a rare vascular disease known as cavernous cavernous malformation. Emma considers leaving the mission to help Matt recover, but he and their daughter, Alexis, insist she put pressure. That storyline particularly resonated with Andrew Hinderaker, who created the show with Katims and executive producer Jessica Goldberg.

“There’s a moment in the article that talks about an astronaut being on the International Space Station when something really catastrophic happens to his family, and what will be so far away,” says Hinderaker. “I was in a long distance relationship with a woman who was diagnosed with a progressive disease shortly before Jason brought me the article, so that moment I discover that someone you love is in trouble and needs you. and you “left (working) was something that resonated really deeply.”

Charles, who is best known for CBS ‘The Wife Wife’, says he found the combination of “intriguing cosmic and interpersonal drama” (Director) Ed Zwick said that every wedding is like a mission to Mars. “The potential to explore this couple and this family during this time of trying seemed rich.”

To prepare for the role, Swank, 46, spoke extensively with former astronaut Mike Massimino and attended a so-called “boot camp,” where he learned wire work for the zero-gravity space scenes of the series.

“We were on these wires all the time trying to learn to move nicely, which is something I don’t do. I’m kind of tired,” Swank says. In addition to stunts, “the most challenging thing was making a monologue that is emotional while other people are sailing. You kick in the face and start laughing.”

For Swank and the creators, the emphasis of the show on science and teamwork could not have come at a more opportune time, as many of us continue to be isolated at home with family or others because of COVID-19. A particularly conscious episode finds Ram (Ray Panthaki), an astronaut from India, getting seriously ill from a virus. He is quarantined by the rest of the crew, who wear protective clothing and try to handle it from a safe distance.

“If anyone had said this (the pandemic) would have happened right when we finished filming (last winter), I would not have been able to believe it,” Swank says. “There is nothing more isolating than going into space for three years, but I think people (now) will relate to it more and understand it a little deeper. This pandemic has thrown into perspective what is important in life, which is our health and really being able to be with loved ones “.

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