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Hilary Swank Digs Into the Case of a Missing Indigenous Woman in 'Alaska Daily' Trailer

Hilary Swank plays a disgraced reporter getting a second chance at journalism through a local Alaskan outlet.

Danielle Turchiano
161023-0307

From left to right: Hilary Swank and Grace Dove in 'Alaska Daily'

ABC

Hilary Swank is the latest actor to step into a role of a big-city character who moves to a small-town to find personal and professional redemption. Take a look a trailer for her upcoming ABC series Alaska Daily to get a sense of who that character is, below.

In Alaska Daily, Swank stars as Eileen Fitzgerald, a disgraced reporter who leaves her life and career in New York in order to join a daily metro newspaper in Anchorage, Alaska. Surrounding her as the colorful cast of co-workers and new friends she will become enmeshed with are Stanley (Jeff Perry) and Bob (Matt Malloy), as well as reporters Claire (Meredith Holzman), Roz (Grace Dove), Yuna (Ami Park), and Austin (Craig Frank), as well as an assistant named Gabriel (Pablo Castelblanco).

Right away, Eileen is thrown into some hard reporting, looking into the cases of missing Indigenous women that have yet to really be covered by the local media, and therefore are seemingly buried by the local police department. Since she is a veteran from a fast-pace journalistic environment, she will challenge those she is now working with to stretch themselves and apply pressure to those in town to provide what they need for stories. But she isn't doing it alone.

"As the show goes on I'm sure we'll understand better why these two were paired up by Stanley and the strengths they bring to the reporting," Swank said of Eileen and Roz working alongside each other on the story. "They both go at it very differently, and their strengths compliment each other, but int he beginning they definitely butt heads."

From Roz's point of view, Dove added, "There's a lot of distrust because we have been dealing with the MMIW [missing and murdered Indigenous women] and Two Spirit girls and boys for a long time. This is not new; this has been going on for a very long time, and as Alaskan natives, we see a lot of people come in and maybe do it for the wrong reasons — maybe bring up these stories for the attention."

The show comes from creator Tom McCarthy, who wrote and directed the pilot and executive produces alongside Swank, Melissa Wells, Bert Salke, Kyle Hopkins, Ryan Binkley, and showrunner Peter Elkoff

McCarthy, who is also known for Spotlight, wanted to use this show to explain why it's important to support local journalism, in addition to looking at a system that is broken and has been failing Indigenous people for decades. 

"We're losing that and people are being funneled off into online sites," he said, noting that when we do it's "really detrimental, not just to democracy and politics, but also to the towns they represent. ... We're losing the ability to have these conversations locally."

Alaska Daily premieres Oct. 6 at 10:01 p.m. on ABC.