'New Year's Eve' premiere: Hilary Swank sees every day as a new start
The significance of New Year's Eve has long been glorified on the big screen -- after all, who can forget Billy Crystal running dramatically to Meg Ryan to declare his love before the ball drops in "When Harry Met Sally"?
With the release of Garry Marshall's romantic comedy "New Year's Eve" on Friday, a whole new set of over-the-top romantic gestures will likely set legions of young moviegoers up for future disappointment when the clock strikes midnight later this month.
At the premiere of the star-studded film in Hollywood on Monday night, even many of the movie's cast members -- including Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Hilary Swank, Zac Efron, Katherine Heigl and Michelle Pfeiffer -- admitted they believe too many expectations are placed upon the holiday.
"I'm sure we've all felt let down over this night," said New Kids on the Block member Joey McIntyre, who plays Rory in the film and whose birthday falls on New Year's Eve. "I admire those people that just keep it real simple. Stay inside. You know all the jokes -- 'It's rookie night,' and the whole thing. That's when the crazies come out."
Hilary Swank, meanwhile, said she wishes more people were able to view every day as a new opportunity to approach a resolution.
"I don't think you have to wait a whole year," the actress told us on the black carpet, which was decorated with stylish heat lamps and a disco ball. "Every day can be an opportunity to be a better person or to love more or to forgive."
Swank should know: She's spent the last few weeks trying to recover from the fallout from attending an event honoring Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov, whom many say employs violent tactics to quiet his critics.
"Shame on me," Swank told Jay Leno last week of the mistake. "The bottom line is that I should know where I'm going, and do better research."
After making the appearance on "The Tonight Show," Swank said she hasn't had to face too much criticism about the international incident during the promotion of "New Year's Eve."
"It's been really great," she said. "I think people saw me talk on Jay Leno and felt like their questions were answered, and it was nice to be able to talk about because I hadn't really gotten an opportunity to say what had really happened."
Meanwhile, Swank's co-stars stuck to discussing lighter fare on the carpet: actor Josh Duhamel, for one, spent plenty of time gushing about his wife, Fergie.
Asked what he admired most about the Black Eyed Peas singer, he responded: "Her spirit." As for their plans this New Year's Eve, the pair will be heading to Las Vegas to celebrate.
"It takes a lot out of the equation when you have somebody you're married to to be with," he smiled.
Photo: Lea Michele and Ashton Kutcher meet on the red carpet at the "New Year's Eve" premiere." Credit: Frederic Brown/AFP/GettyImages