Hilary Swank was only supposed to take ''a year'' away from Hollywood when her father needed a lung transplant.

The 46-year-old actress took a break from her Hollywood career to care for her father after he underwent a ''difficult'' organ transplant, and whilst she was only expecting to be out of the spotlight for a year, setbacks with her dad's health journey meant she ended up staying away from her career for three years.

Hilary began returning to work in 2018, and has now reflected on her dad's health five years after his surgery, saying he's ''doing really well''.

She said: ''It was supposed to be a year, because it takes a year to see if an organ transplant takes. A lung transplant is the most difficult of all, as it's an incredibly delicate organ. The plan was to take off a year. I became my dad's health advocate. One year quickly turned into two, and then three.

''And, thank God, prayers were answered. He is healthy and doing really well five-plus years later.''

Although she's back in the spotlight, Hilary isn't throwing herself into too many projects at once, as she's keen to only work on things she's passionate about, such as the upcoming Netflix drama 'Away'.

Speaking to Health magazine, she added: ''Before being an actor, I wanted to be an astronaut. I had such passion for, and respect for, astronauts and people who are exploring something that's so much bigger than all of us.

''Something else, which was just as significant to me when I read 'Away', was that the script was unique in its inclusion of so many multi-ethnic characters. They too are all struggling with their own powerful personal stories, which really connects all of us. It also highlights the beautiful fact that space has no borders. We could use more of that down here right now.''

Meanwhile, the 'Million Dollar Baby' star previously said she was happy to take a career break for the sake of her father.

She explained: ''Yeah, I took three years off to be with him and help him through that life journey.

''He's great, thank you for asking. For those of you who don't know, my dad got a lung transplant. It's the hardest surgery a person can undergo and I thank all the people that make themselves a donor, it saves lives.

''They had given him a short time to live if he didn't get a lung transplant and thankfully he got one and he's alive and thriving and well.''