Hilary Swank's haircut at the end of the fifth episode of Trust, "Silenzio," wasn't just about Abigail Harris Getty's emotions regarding her son. It also served to make Swank in look more like the real Gail. Based on photos of the real Abigail Harris Getty from the time of her son's kidnapping, it seems that Swank was cast more for her talent than any striking resemblance to John Paul Getty III's mother. But while these women don't look very similar at first glance, photos of Gail Getty compared to Hilary Swank in Trust show just how committed the two-time Oscar-winning actress is to portraying this real-life person. Since Trust is based on real events, spoilers follow.
Paul's sister Ariadne Getty has made her stance on Trust clear with her lawyer claiming the FX show "false and misleading." (FX did not respond to Bustle's request for comment.) Unlike her daughter, Gail hasn't released a statement about the series. It stands to reason that, like Ariadne, she probably doesn't appreciate Trust depicting Paul being involved in his kidnapping. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Gail wouldn't approve of Swank's performance. Because along with portraying Gail as a compassionate character, Swank seems to be channeling some of the real Gail's gestures. Like in this below photo of Gail walking away from the paparazzi after Paul's kidnapping became public. Swank did the same routine of removing her sunglasses in her first appearance of the series in the episode, "Lone Star."
When Trust started, Swank had longer hair that didn't match Gail's short, curlier hair. But Swank's physical transformation is complete now that she cut her hair in "Silenzio." And her costumes certainly seem to match the style of clothes that Gail was wearing in 1973.
But more impressive than the hair and costuming are Swank's expressions. There aren't any major similarities between the two white, middle-aged women except for maybe the shape of their noses. Yet, the way Swank moves her mouth appears to be in line with Gail's mannerisms from photos taken at the time of the kidnapping, like this below one of Gail with her lawyer.
In "Silenzio," Gail inadvertently confirms the house where Paul was hiding when Paul calls her and doesn't hang up the phone before he flees. After the kidnappers tell Gail again that they want $17 million, she reflects on the last time she saw Paul and cuts her hair.
As the real photo of Gail being followed by paparazzi occurred just days after Paul was kidnapped in July 1973, the haircutting scene is most likely a dramatization since it appears Gail had short hair for the entirety of the ordeal. But there's no denying that the scene packed an emotional punch — and got Swank to look more like Gail did at the time.
Gail's efforts — and Paul's grandfather's money — will eventually get Paul freed from his kidnappers. When the mother reunited with her son in December 1973, there's a photo of them together where Gail looks (understandably) relieved to see her child alive. Since Trust has four episodes to go after the April 29 episode, "John, Chapter 11," viewers will have to wait to see this reunion. But Swank showed how much Gail cares for her son earlier in the season when Paul visited her in "La Dolce Vita."
While Gail hasn't said anything publicly about Trust, she did allegedly approve of the other recent project about her son's kidnapping — All The Money In The World. Director Ridley Scott claimed to CinemaBlend that Gail watched his film and approved of it. At the time of the interview with Scott, Gail was 82 years old. "She said, 'And you resisted some of the stuff that I thought might ... you might go for it, but you didn't do that. We were treated with great respect,' which I thought that was a pretty good reaction," Scott claimed.
In All The Money In The World, Gail was portrayed by Michelle Williams. Williams was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role of Paul's mother. And for sake of comparison, here's a photo of Williams in character.
Swank might not be a dead ringer for Gail Getty, but these photos do show that these women may have more in common than you probably noticed at first.