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Hilary Swank, Mark Ruffalo discuss their careers at Hamptons film fest

Mark Ruffalo and Bennet Miller on the red

Mark Ruffalo and Bennet Miller on the red carpet for the film "Foxcatcher" at the Hamptons Film Festival at Guild Hall in East Hampton on October 11, 2014. Credit: John Roca

Hilary Swank and Mark Ruffalo sat for interviews at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor Sunday, capping off a busy weekend at the 22nd Hamptons International Film Festival.

Swank stars in a new western, "The Homesman," and Ruffalo plays an Olympic wrestler in "Foxcatcher," both of which screened at the festival. The actors spoke as part of the festival's series "A Conversation With . . ."

Ruffalo, interviewed by New York magazine film critic David Edelstein, discussed nearly his entire acting career, from small stage-plays in Los Angeles to his role as The Hulk in "Marvel's The Avengers." He also touched on the brain tumor, discovered in 2001 and surgically removed, that derailed his newfound success.

"Shortly after I woke up, my face became paralyzed on the left side, which is not good for an actor at all," Ruffalo said. The day he slightly squinted his left eye, he said, "my wife and I literally burst into joyful tears." The tumor left Ruffalo without hearing in his left ear.

Swank, talking with Steven Gaydos of Variety magazine, noted that she had been in Sag Harbor when she learned she would star in "Boys Don't Cry," the 1999 film that earned her a best actress Oscar.

"How interesting that everything comes full circle," she said. She earned her second Oscar for playing a boxer in Clint Eastwood's 2004 drama "Million Dollar Baby."

Swank also explained why, at 40, she has relatively few credits to her name. "I probably do one movie a year, because I can't just be arm-candy," she said. "I don't think there are as many strong choices for women as there are for men."

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