Tilda Swinton
reddit AMA - June 2014

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I am Tilda Swinton, AMA.

Hi Tilda! What was it like playing the character Orlando? The story of that film was very fascinating to me. Would you ever see yourself playing a role like that again, or working with Sally Potter sometime in the future? Regards!

Orlando is a very dear memory for me: it was the first time I had worked alongside a project for so long - it took us five years, from first deciding to try to make it, to finishing the film - and Sally is a great friend of mine: we thought at the time we would never get to the finish with it.. but once it was done, we realised we savoured every minute of the ride.. if you mean would I ever play another cross-dressing, gender transitioning, four hundred year old English aristocrat again, I feel like saying it's not likely, as those stories aren't told so often..but then again, Orlando never feels very far away from me, somehow..

Hey! Im so excited to see snowpiercer!! I just got home and saw that you were doing an AMA from facebook (just in time). I haven't seen it yet because I live in the US and there are very few theaters playing it. I just wanted to ask what was your favorite part of filming Snowpiercer? (be it working with certain actors, a certain scene or anything) Thanks for reading this! I can't wait to see the movie when it comes to a theater near me! :D

SNOWPIERCER is something all of us who made it are so excited about everyone seeing.. Bong Joon Ho is a total master and it is such a privilege to be his colleague.. the more of you in the US who see it this weekend, the more theatres will play it over the next weeks, so GO HARD! My favourite part of filming was probably making Director Bong laugh.. he kind of sniggers like a kitten..

Hey Tilda. What's an underappreciated movie that you've been in that you would like more people to see?

Making films is such a long drawn out business.. there is the preparation (after the pre-preparation.. which can be years) and then we shoot, cut and look for distribution. I made a film with Erick Zonca called JULIA of which I am extremely proud: in the United States it had a very small release by a great little and passionate distribution company called Magnolia.. but there was only so wide they could release it.. PLEASE look for that one.. it is something else.. and I LOVE it.

How do you choose your projects?

I first started making films with Derek Jarman in England in the 1980's.. we were very close friends and we made 7 films together over the nine years before he died in 1994. I learned very early on that filmmaking is amongst the most fun things that can be done in a group, in the cold and the rain in the middle of the night when the food has run out.. so ever since then, I have chosen the people first above every other element.. life is too short to be working alongside people you don't like A LOT for years on end..

Hi Tilda. Love your work. How many times have you walked in on George Clooney wearing the Batsuit?

I'm holding onto a large stash of Polaroids..

The Grand Budapest Hotel and Only Lovers Left Alive both seem like they must have been very fun movies to work on, was that the case?

Working with both Jim Jarmusch and Wes Anderson is like the summer camp of dreams.. with significant themic differences.. Wes Camp means all staying in a big house together and eating round one big table every night, none of that trailer stuff that big movies do, which tends to divide people out and make for lonely days (so I hear).. Jim Camp is rock n' roll camp, nocturnal, super mellow, like the endless morning after a crash-out sleep-over when noone really wants to go home..

Hi Tilda, I wanted to know if you are into the comedy scene? Do you go to any shows? Do you have any favorite comedians current or past? PS: I can’t wait to see Trainwreck!


Comedy = lifeblood

Hi! Director Bong Joon-Ho had an AMA here a few days ago and told us that you had a lot of ideas for your character in Snowpiercer, and some of them were allegedly too wild that he "had to bring it back a little bit" (in his own words). Can you tell us some of those ideas that weren't used?

Hahahahahahahaha I'm going to have to think about that one... let me see..

I do remember wanting my wig - which wasn't fixed down - to shift about a bit.. and even come off in the fight scene.. still.. my teeth made it..

Hi Tilda, had you seen any of Bong Joon-Ho's movies before working on Snowpiercer? What was it like working with him and Song Kang-ho? Would you like to work with Bong Joon-Ho again if given the chance?

I was a MASSIVE fan of Bong Joon Ho's before I met him: MEMORIES OF MURDER, THE HOST, MOTHER and even his first film BARKING DOGS NEVER BITE.. some of my favourite films of the last fifteen years.. and, Song Kang Ho is a great, proper film star in the best sense.. I would work with them on anything we could dream up together..

Yo T-Swinny, Snowpiercer looks dope, your body of work is magnificent. 2 questions. What's the best song you've heard in the last week? What recent on set experience jumps out most in your mind? Ok, 3 questions. Was We Need to Talk About Kevin anywhere near as intense to film as it was to watch? Thanks!

Hunger of the Pine by Alt-J

and hmmmm.. we once had a boating accident on the set of THE BEACH which all of us who were involved in it will find it hard to forget..

As for KEVIN.. of course, I reckon it's way more intense for you guys who saw the film straight up in the theater than for us group of chums who made it.. we got to do scarey moves and then break for lunch, play a game of cards and think of other things - all spread over several weeks..

Hey Tilda! Loved your performance as the Witch from Narnia, definitely a villain not to be reckoned with. Any chance we will see you reprise your role on any future sequels??

I have always hoped that there would be the chance to make THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW.. the prequel to THE LION THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE - such a fantastic story.. the creation of Narnia and the Witch driving a coach and four horses around Victorian London at breakneck speed.. but no word as yet.. let's cross our fingers..

Tilda, You're hardly recognizable in Snowpiercer and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Do you play a role in the appearance of your characters?

The whole business of dressing up and playing is the greatest of fun for me.. every time, it doesn't have to be something as extreme or pantomime ridiculous as Mason in SNOWPIERCER or intricate as the extraordinary prosthetics for GBH.. even when working out the look of someone pretty regular like the woman in I AM LOVE or KEVIN.. the look is, in a pretty big way, where I mainly do my work.. once we start shooting, then: I play..

Och aye, good afternoon Tilda. I heard you have a young lover and an old lover, is this true? If so why? Do you think this affects people's perception of you?

This is not true, lukeyrads.. it never was.. someone once ran with a misunderstanding.. I suppose there may be people out there who believe it, though, so their perception would be skewed.. I'm sorry if this is a disappointment for anybody..

What was it like working with David Fincher?

I truly LOVE Fincher. He is a pal and a great person to be on a set with, although I was only on his film THE CC OF BB for a very short time.. we had a very sweet time.. I wish there could have been more of the woman I play in the film..

Hi, Tilda. How's the weather up in the north? It's been lovely down here in the central belt all week.

Completely golden days.. bit cooler today, but yesterday was a stunner.. hold on.. it'll slip your way..

What attracted you to Snowpiercer?


I loved your performance on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. What was an interesting experience you had while filming?

The time when Fincher failed to notice that BP and I had arranged two potatoes and a carrot in a specific configuration on the kitchen table we were sitting at.. and had to have it pointed out to him at the END of a take..

Hi Tilda! I'm from Duns - how often do you get to visit your parents in Swinton, and what do you make of the Borders in general?

AHHHHHHH love to the Borders from the Highlands.. I come as often as I possibly can..

Yo girl. I was curious, if you hadn't become an actress, what do you think you may have ended up doing for a living?

Professional gambler

Hi Tilda. If I show Snowpiercer at my London cinema, will you come along for a Q and A?

Very good question. When and where? Ask and let's see if it's possible.. if I can, YOU'RE ON..

Are you looking forward to working with The Coen Brothers?


Hello Tilda, and welcome to Reddit. I regret to inform you that the cinemas in my area are not currently playing Snowpiercer, so I cannot see it this fine Sunday. So that aside, what's for dinner?

OH but WAIT.. it's breaking wider next weekend, I promise you.. check the details at the bottom of my opening message and apparently it'll give you all you need to know.. GO IN A HUGE GROUP AT LEAST EVERY DAY THIS WEEK..

As for dinner, I need to pick a salad in the garden and a big vegetable stew for some of us.. the children are having an Indian carry-out as a treat for the start of their summer holidays.. this is my opportunity to sing the praises of THE MAGNIFICENT AL RAJ RESTAURANT IN NAIRN..

What is your favorite sandwich?

Today, I have to say Avocado and goat's cheese..

Hi Tilda, throughout your career you've played quite a few very strong female roles. And this power bleeds through into stationary photoshoots. What advice would you give to young women of today to make them feel more empowered?

Make sure you know that you know best for yourself.. and that being happy and at ease is not too much to ask..

Have you ever considered changing your name (or at least how it appears in print) to the tilde symbol "~" a la Prince?

Frankly no, but since you mention it.. ~ xo

Tilda, I have a theory that you're a clone of David Bowie created right around the Modern Love era so that he could continue being a musician as well as star in more movies. So far I've discovered no evidence to the contrary. Do you have any opinion on that?

The laboratory gave me strict instructions to issue no comment

Hello Tilda! How much of what you wear is chosen by you, and how much is the work of stylists?

My friend Jerry Stafford - who is a brilliant creative director in Paris - and I work together on basic directions when looking at public and editorial appearances, but I am lucky to be able to work directly with designers and nobody but me lays out my stuff or decides what I will actually wear..

Lovely Redditeers,

This has been such a nice way to spend an easy Sunday evening in my own armchair with a dog on my feet.. It is an overwhelmingly touching thing to see how enthusiastic so many people are for what we are doing.. on behalf of all my colleagues - on all our films and projects - THANK YOU for taking the ride with us.. have a beautiful Sunday and a kind and love-filled rest of the year,

yours aye,



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