Hilary Swank on her return to acting, caring for her father and new film "What They Had"

Hilary Swank talks "What They Had"

Hilary Swank's career spans nearly three decades. The actress won her first Academy Award portraying a transgender man in "Boys Don't Cry" and her second for her role as a boxer in "Million Dollar Baby."

In her latest movie, "What They Had," Swank plays a woman who has just returned home to care for her mother who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. The role marks Swank's return to acting after taking off three years to care for her own ailing father.

"My dad was really fighting for his life and I was really thankful I got the opportunity to be able to take time off work to care of him. But it very much mirrored the story in a way having a crisis in a family and how the family comes together and it shines a bright light on the strengths and weaknesses of a family," Swank told "CBS This Morning." "It deals with family dysfunction, but the love within the dysfunction."

Swank admitted that taking time away from the thing that so long defined her was "scary."

"Then I realized I'm so much more than an actress. There's all these other things I was able to explore about myself and it also gave me a renewed passion for being an actress. I think we can take things we love for granted and stepping back in I have a whole new appreciation for storytelling," Swank said.

A return to acting isn't the only big change in Swank's life. She recently married her longtime boyfriend entrepreneur Philip Schneider. Her father, who is now healthy and independent again thanks in part to her care, walked her down the aisle.

"That's what you do. He was there for me when I was a kid," she said. "That's kind of interesting, how roles reverse."