New York

Hilary Swank had to rely on “the good old-fashioned phone” to speak to her military dad when she was a child and he was away on duty.

The two-time Oscar winner was raised in a military household as her dad Stephen was Chief Master Sergeant in the Oregon Air National Guard. His job took him away from his family regularly throughout her childhood, and now the 40-year-old has reflected on that time in her life. “There were things that were missed - the little things,” she told People magazine, naming swim meets and moments round the breakfast table as two examples. “I went months at a time without my dad around. This was before cell phones, before texting, before Skype, before you could be in touch so easily like we have now just right at our fingertips. It was just the good old-fashioned phone at that point.” Hilary spoke about her experience as a serviceman’s daughter at a New York City event where battery company Duracell announced s $100,000 donation to the USO’s Comfort Crew for Military Kids. The organisation isn’t the only cause close to the Million Dollar Baby star’s heart.

She won her first Oscar for her role as a transgender man in the 1999 film Boys Don’t Cry and then served as a spokesperson at the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which advocates for LGBTQ youth.

“To be their spokesperson and having to scratch the surface of what life was like for them and playing a role like that was a great honour for me,” she said. The star also added how thrilled she was that transgender people were being represented openly by the likes of Caitlyn Jenner and Laverne Cox. “We’re all one people, and we all want to give and receive love, and I think it’s really beautiful that people are…celebrating our differences,” she smiled.