Hilary Swank Reveals the Meaning Behind Her Twins' Names and 'Ordinary Angels' Movie (Exclusive)

The actress welcomed her babies last April.

Hilary Swank is opening up about her twins' names. ET's Nischelle Turner spoke to the actress on Friday, 10 months after Swank and her husband, Philip Schneider, welcomed their first kids.

The interview came just days after the actress unveiled her babies' names to the world in honor of Valentine's Day. The special monikers, which she shared in an Instagram post, are Aya and Ohm.

When it comes to her daughter's name, Swank told ET, "I met a Syrian refugee when I went to Lebanon, a young girl who... had been through so much. She was so brave and so courageous and so full of light, especially under her circumstances and what they were, how they were living, where they were moving. My husband and I were like, 'If we ever have a daughter, I think we should name her after Aya.'"

As for her son, Swank noted that Ohm is "considered the first universal sound and the sound that unites people," adding that the moniker "seemed fitting" for her baby boy.

Since welcoming her babies, Swank said her life has "a lot more joy, and a lot more love, and a lot more fun." 

"It is the most wonderful blessing and I'm so grateful for these two little miracles," she gushed. "Every day is something new."

Just as she did with her kids' names, Swank told ET that she finds it important to infuse meaning into her professional life as well. She did just that with her latest film, Ordinary Angels, which is based on a true story about a small-town hairdresser who meets a single dad working hard as his daughter awaits a liver transplant. The film hit home for Swank, as her dad received a lung transplant.

"I think [the film is] also a reminder of the power of being an organ donor. That saves lives," she said. "I've seen that firsthand with my father, who received a lung transplant."

Swank's father died months before production began on Ordinary Angels, a fact that added some weight to the process.

"To this day people say that time heals... [but] you'll never really get over the loss of someone who's so important to you. It still makes me really emotional, but I think I was definitely more raw then," she said of when filming began. "But this movie is a movie that my dad would have been the most proud that I was a part of... I felt like my dad sent it to me. I think he was like, 'Here, this is what you're to do next.' Being on set every day felt like he was right there with me... He went to all of my premieres with me and he would have just been beaming [at this one]."

As for what she hopes fans will take away from the movie, Swank said, "There's a lot of layers in this movie about giving in different ways and how we can all just work together and be better human beings."

Her co-star, Alan Ritchson, agreed, telling ET, "The message to me is that you don't have to be perfect, you don't have to be well resourced, you don't have to have all the answers and have it all figured out before you go start helping others in your world."

"I think it's also a reminder that these acts of kindness and doing things for others helps us find our truest purpose," Swank added. "We're not always set out to understand that when we do something like that, that we'd get so much from it, but we do. I think every time we do that for someone else, we just are doing something really for ourselves as well. We're all united."

Ordinary Angels opens in theaters nationwide on Feb. 23.



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